Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Hear Wedding Bells...

My wife and I have always been big fans of arranged marriages. Not for us, but for other people. Oh sure, some people might think of them as barbaric or old fashioned, but we think arranged marriages are a good way of keeping potential Jerry Springer Show guests out of our family tree.

Because of this, we have already started looking at potential spouses for our three kids. We think we have a good handle on things concerning the Girl and the Boy, so now we can turn our attention to the Baby. The first possible spouse that we are considering is a plump, fresh newborn, let's call him Chubby Cheeks, born just a little over a week ago to our good friends, let's call them Jose and Charro. We have set them up on a couple of blind dates already, first at the hospital where Chubby was born, and then at a fun wedding shower that was being thrown at church on Sunday. It seemed as though there may have been quite a spark between the two: our Baby showed her interest in Chubby by not spitting up on him, and Chubby played the old "hard to get" routine by sleeping through both dates. We have good feelings about this relationship!

Just in case Chubby is the one for our dear Baby, we took a couple of photos of the two of them together. Won't it be fun for them to look back and reminisce about their very first date when they get old and gray?
The Baby and her new beau, Chubby, on their second date

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Remembering The Glory Days

Despite the seemingly turbulent life we lead here in the Hanson household, there's no way I would want to go back to life before kids. Having kids is awesome. Our three have filled up my life with an enormous amount of joy, and a somewhat smaller amount of aggravation, so I figure I have come out ahead in the whole scheme of things.

Oh sure, there are a few things that used to take up a much larger portion of my time, and have had to take a back seat since the kids have come along. I don't go fishing as much as I used to, but I probably did that an unhealthy amount, any way. I mean, spending upwards of 200 days a year on a trout stream is overdoing it a little, don't you think? Kids are way more fun to tickle and tease than a trout is, that's for sure, and it's easier to find their lips when you want to give them a smooch.

I used to have more time to hang out with friends, too, doing things like playing NTN Trivia and, um, well, I guess that's pretty much all we did. My wonderful bride lets me go and play trivia still, and we seem to hang out with friends often, so maybe this was a bad example.

There definitely is one thing that I do miss, however. Something that I may not be able to enjoy again with any regularity until I retire. I'm not mad at the kids about it - I know it's just part of life when you have three young ones running around. What I have lost since having kids is the ability to nap. I used to be an awesome napper. I could set my phone alarm for 20 minutes, lay my head down, and I would be out for the entire 20 minutes, waking up refreshed and ready to go. At one point I even mastered the 8 minute nap, which I utilized often during the hour I had between my full time job in Roseville and my part time job in Lake Elmo, which, for those of you outside the Twin Cities who may not know, is about a 35-40 minute drive during rush hour. I would scarf down some Arby's in the car, get to my apartment, which was also in Lake Elmo, at a quarter to five or so, hit the hay for 8 minutes, and run over to my part time job by 5. I was a good napper.

Now, even on the rare occasions when I have the chance to nap, I can't do it. I'm completely out of practice, so I just lay there, wondering how I used to do it so easily. When I come close to falling asleep, either the alarm goes off or my mind wakes up, ruining the moment. It's a little weird knowing that I used to be so good at something, and now I am terrible at it. Maybe I'll get to relive those glory days again some time. I can't wait.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Looks Like Some Family Has a Case of the Mondays

Today we had one of those mornings that happen every once in a while when you have a house full of small children. For some reason, everybody in the house was ornery, and it was obvious why that was. Everyone woke up way too early. It was so early that it almost made me spell "way" with several extra "a"s, you know, like "waaaaaay too early", to emphasize how early it was. But this is a blog of high literary esteem, so I decided not to do that.

If you believe that last sentence, then you are waaaaay too gullible.

It was obvious that the kids had gotten up too early as soon as they were all up and around. The Baby was crying like a mimmy-jimmy, and could not be consoled by any means. The Boy was whinier than normal, complaining about everything and acting as though every time he bumped into anything it hurt as much as a broken arm. The Girl was weepy and whiny, as well, instead of her normal cheery self. For the purposes of this blog, I will pretend that Daddy did not show any signs of waking up too early. As per usual, Mommy was calm, cool, and collected.

The Baby's grumpiness was squashed after breakfast, when she fell asleep in Mommy's arms. The other two rascals seemed to be doing better after they ate, too, although the act of eating didn't go too smoothly. The Boy refused to eat his eggs, which is a sure sign of orneriness, because he loooooves his eggs. He did agree to have a yogurt, but then he got mad when Daddy tried to open it for him. The Girl was just generally whiny about everything, from claiming to have the wrong spoon, to being pushed in too close to the table, and everything in between. Once they got some food in them, though, they were both much happier. Daddy perked up after his usual three eggs and a morning Dew, too.

I don't remember too much hostility after breakfast, so maybe the morning wasn't really that bad. Or, maybe I dozed off for the next three hours. Whatever the case, next thing I knew Mommy was back home again and it was time for lunch. I guess it was just a normal Monday morning, after all.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Perfect Gift Idea For a 2-Year-Old

The Boy's second birthday is in less than two weeks. In most regards, this will be a very joyous occasion, but there's one thing that his Mommy and I are not really looking forward to. That is the fact that many family members and loved ones will soon be asking us what they should get him for a present. How are we supposed to know what a 2-year-old wants?!?!

We know for sure that he likes wooden Thomas trains, so we have made arrangements for him to receive Toby and Mavis, which are his two favorite trains in the Thomas series (don't tell him, please), to go with the billion other trains, tracks, bridges, and buildings that he and his older sister, the Girl, already share. Other than that, even though I live with him, I'm not really sure it's possible to find out exactly what a toddler with limited speaking skills really wants.

We try to limit his television watching, although he and the Girl are allowed to watch the occasional video. But they always choose to watch one of the same three DVDs over and over. So he's not all that interested in any licensed toy products unless they are Thomas or Bob the Builder themed. We have a whole bunch of books that he loves, and he's perfectly happy reading one book before bedtime, and maybe another one or two at some point throughout the day. Seeing that we own enough to fill a library, though, I don't think he really needs any more.

He liked doing puzzles for about a day and a half a few months ago, but he quickly moved on from them, and we have a bunch sitting around the house, not being solved, so he probably doesn't need any of those, either.

The only thing I can think of that he will use and be happy with time after time, with little chance that he will ever get sick of it, is bacon. That kid could eat a pound of bacon every day, if we didn't limit him to a half a pound. Hey, we need the other half a pound for his older sister - she needs to eat, too! No, I'm just kidding, we don't feed our two toddlers a pound of bacon every day. In fact, they usually only get bacon once or twice a week. But they both eat as much as their Mommy can cook for them on those days that we have it. I think I have finally come up with the perfect gift for him, at least until he's old enough that he can tell us what he really wants. If you're reading this, and are going to be celebrating the Boy's birthday with us next weekend, I will be very disappointed if you don't show up bearing a gift of bacon. Especially after all of this brain-racking I've done to help you out.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hanson's Web

I don't want to continuously write about the same subject matters - no wait - yes, I do. As I have written about before, we took the opportunity last week to move a large majority of our kids' toys downstairs while they were in Oklahoma with their Aunt and Grandma. This was quite possibly the best decision my wife and I have made as a duo, as it performed two tasks that we have been trying to figure out how to do for as long as we have had mobile children in our house: 1. How to keep our main living quarters neat and free of children's toys that have the evil tendency of landing smack-dab in the middle of everywhere Mommy & Daddy tend to walk; and 2. How to get the kids in a different part of the house for whatever amount of time that is possible. The short amount of time that we have had this set-up has boosted the morale in the Hanson adults to near record levels. At this rate you may even see the both of us smile in the near future!

Calamity is probably too strong of a word, but there has been one minor nuisance that has arisen since we moved the toys into the basement. You see, even though it is a finished basement, it is still a basement, and it comes with all of the unappetizing things that basements have. Namely, spiders. When we were cleaning the house last week, I vacuumed up approximately eleventybillion spiders in the basement, and it has become abundantly clear that I barely made a dent in their population. This morning when I went down there with the kids to help them set up a new elaborate track assemblage for their Thomas trains, I walked through a large spider web that had appeared overnight in the corner of the room, and the very first train I picked up was concealing an unwelcome cohabitant of the eight-legged variety. It tried to scurry away, but was soon smushed into arachnid oblivion.

So far, neither of the kids has noticed any of the spiders that I have found, which is probably a good thing. We want them to want to keep going downstairs, and the knowledge of spiders in the basement may be a hindrance to that. The Girl does not like bugs at all, even though her parents have tried to instill a feeling of indifference towards them. The Boy seems to like bugs, if they are small, even to the point of wanting to play with them, but if they have much size to them, he very well may run in the opposite direction. Their Daddy actually likes bugs, so hopefully his feelings will rub off on them some day, because he's getting tired of lugging the vacuum downstairs all the time.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Blissful Friday Morning

Most Friday mornings either my wife or I stay home with all three of our kids while the other parent goes in to work. Our three kids alone are a handful, but then my sister also brings her 3-year-old daughter, The Cousin, over for us to look after while she goes to work. The Girl and The Boy love hanging out with The Cousin, and get themselves totally amped up and wigged out when they know she's coming over. The Cousin is also very excitable, so the three of them can quickly turn into a Raging Ball of Toddler when they get together. Throw in The Baby, and Friday mornings can be more than a little stressful for Daddy or Mommy. Actually, Mommy handles Fridays with much more aplomb than Daddy. When it's Daddy's turn to stay home on a given Friday morning, he can oftentimes be seen making a break for the border on Thursday night.
Lo and behold, today was Daddy's Friday to stay home. It was also the first Friday since we got our house cleaned and moved a majority of the kids' toys downstairs. I can't tell you what a difference it made to my sanity when the Raging Ball of Toddler spent most of the morning downstairs, playing nicely amongst themselves, while Daddy and Baby stayed upstairs in the relative peace and quiet. A little work got done, a couple of dozy naps were taken, and I only got called downstairs to fill milk cups and break up brouhahas a handful of times. I don't know why we didn't think about moving all the toys downstairs years ago. It's almost making me look forward to my next Friday morning at home.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Brief History of The Baby

I have been really bad about not only posting photos of the Baby, but even just taking photos of the Baby. One time I made the more-true-than-I-care-to-admit comment that we took a billion photos of The Girl when she was a baby, a thousand of the Boy when he was a baby, and ten of our newest Baby. That is a slight exaggeration, but for sure we have not taken enough photos of the Baby. I feel bad about that every day, and yet still, for whatever reason, we don't take nearly enough photos of her. And she's already changed a huge amount in her three short months on Earth. These are changes that we have failed to document on film; changes that she will never be able to look back at when she is an adult.

But, I did take a few photos of her on, or near, the day she turned three months old. She is a very smiley baby, but her smiles don't last long enough for the camera. By the time she turns four months I vow that I will have taught her how to "say cheese". Here's the best photo of the bunch. Hopefully there will be more soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Watery Fun

I was home with the two oldest kids tonight while my bride and the baby went to church for a thing. It was a hot and disgustingly sticky day here in the Upper Midwest. I think the temp got up to 92 or something like that, and the humidity was almost as high. On days like this, my love affair with air conditioning reaches a fever pitch. Before my wife left for her thing at church, though, she made a comment to the effect of "I know you don't like the heat, but maybe the kids would like to go out and run through the sprinkler tonight." The truth is, even though I love to do outdoorsy things, it's usually their mom who takes the kids out to play in the yard. I figured it was about time I pull my weight in that regard, so out we went as soon as I was done clearing off the plates from dinner.

I quickly found out what the most important part of running through the sprinkler is, at least in our yard. First of all, we need to get out the scooper and a plastic bag and get all of the doggie doo out of the way. If that is a priority at your house, I would highly recommend you do that before you turn the sprinkler on, but to each his own.

Luckily my two toddlers love to help pick up the dog poop, so the added workload actually added to the evening's enjoyment. We saw our next door neighbors while we were picking up the poop, and told them that we would soon be running through the sprinkler. Actually, I had no intention of doing any sprinkler running myself, but I hadn't told the kids that. The neighbors thought the sight of me running through the sprinkler would be a hoot, and my kids quickly agreed. They agreed so whole-heartedly that they wouldn't get wet until daddy did first. They can drive a hard bargain! At the end of the evening I had gotten so wet that we had to take a break so daddy could put his swimming trunks on. It was a great evening of watery fun, and only a couple of piles of poop were "discovered" while running through the sprinkler. The kids quickly figured out the sprinkler could double as their very own foot shower, so all was good. What a fun night!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Picky, Picky, Picky

In my lifetime I have been around a lot of picky eaters. I feel like it's okay for me to write about what could be a touchy subject for some people, because at one point in my life, I was the King of the Picky Eaters. There were several years during my youth in which I didn't really eat much of anything, except for french fries and hot dog buns. Yes, you read that right. Just the buns. I think I would occasionally eat the entire hot dog, including the meat, but not very often. I wouldn't go near it if it had ketchup or mustard on it! That was totally taboo. Needless to say, I was a weird kid.

I don't know if it was just the act of maturing or what, but now I would say that I am one of the least picky eaters I know. Sure, I still have a couple of things that I don't eat, but for the most part I'm open to trying anything. I have a theory that all the food in the world has to be enjoyed by somebody, or else it would cease to be eaten. So, if some people like it, its flavor must be at least somewhat enjoyable. So, now I'm usually OK trying new things. I'm not a huge fan of food that still has its eyeballs, but, c'mon, who really is?

Now that we have kids, both my wife and I are trying to make sure that they have well-rounded taste buds, and the willingness to be open to try new things. No matter how hard we work at it, though, kids will be kids, and strange likes and dislikes are bound to pop up. Take the Girl, for example. She just turned 3 a couple months ago, and for the most part, is not nearly as picky as a lot of other kids her age. But she does have a couple of quirks that boggle my mind. For example, she absolutely loves hummus, which, to me, seems to have more of an adult taste. I like it, but it doesn't seem like something a young child would like. But the Girl puts it on crackers (normal), veggies such as raw carrots (normal), and even fish sticks (weird!). But, get this: she does not like butter! I can not even fathom how anyone, no matter how old they are, could not like butter! I think that butter is as close to the essence of life as you can get on our mortal world. I guess I could understand if she was like me, and preferred hard, refrigerated butter (God's greatest culinary gift to bread) over soft, runny butter (good, but not great), but she doesn't like butter at all! It completely boggles my mind.

Hopefully this is just a phase she's going through, because I love butter, and would hate to see to see it come between the two of us.

The kids are home- It's time to relax!

Now that the two older kids are back home from their trip to Oklahoma, I decided to look over the list of all the things we wanted to get done while they were gone. It was an impressive list, if I do say so myself, and would have taken herculean efforts from the Wife and me to get everything done. Well, it turns out neither of us are anywhere near herculean, but we did get a good chunk of work done around the house. I wasn't sure how well we would do, so I thought we should invite some people over at the end of the week, so that we would have to stay on task, at least as far as the cleaning of the house was concerned. I guess you could say that our lunch guests were a sort of carrot dangling on the end of a stick, although that's a metaphor they might not have been too excited about. Personally, I've never been compared to a carrot, at least as far as I can remember, but it doesn't seem like it would be good for the old ego. One time my sister called me "rutabaga-head", and I didn't like that one bit. It seems like being compared to any root vegetable would be really sad.

Any ways, we invited a few people over for lunch on Saturday, and got the house ready just in time. When I say "ready", I assume that you know what I mean. In our house, "ready" means that the main rooms in the house are clean and, for the most part, organized, but there's that one room in which the final piles of clutter that we didn't get to are thrown, and then the door is closed tightly so that our guests don't go in. Most good hosts would simply ignore that room while giving the guests a tour of the house. For some reason I am always implored to point it out, by yelling "Don't go in there!" as I lead our guests past the door. Subtlety is not my strong point, apparently.

Lunch went smoothly, the Wife made some scrumptious kabobs that I have been dreaming about and drooling over ever since, and none of our guests sneaked in to the closed room. I am glad we went ahead and invited people over for lunch, even though it meant we had to work like dogs all week to get the house ready. It almost makes having all the kids home seem like a vacation. I'll probably never say that again!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bad Decisions are the Worst

I have made it my goal to get through an entire day without making a single bad decision. Since making that my goal a few months ago, the latest I have gotten into any single day without a bad decision has been 10:49 AM. This is proving to be much harder than I originally imagined. This morning I thought I was doing well, but then I got to work and saw the leftover cream-filled cupcake that was sitting out all night after my boss' birthday party yesterday. It looked like a Hostess cupcake, so, obviously, I thought it would have the same shelf-life as a Hostess cupcake. It did taste good, but now that it's been lingering in my tummy for the past few hours, I would hesitate to call it a good decision.

Many people would probably look at my wardrobe and claim that it's impossible for me to not make a bad decision every morning when I get dressed. I would tell them that I am the epitome of fashion on any local municipal golf course. This high praise of my own fashion sense is usually answered with a major guffaw, or at least minor retching.

Getting back to my bad decisions, I know they are probably just a way of life, but I tend to get sick of them happening so often. It seems like I always choose the wrong line at drive-thru windows, which leads me to be late to wherever I am headed, while I watch ten or more cars going though the line next to mine. As you can probably imagine, this can be very aggravating.

Or I'll say to myself, "Self, it's June. Shorts are always the right pant choice in June!" Then I will spend the evening trying to nonchalantly snuggle closer to anyone and everyone I am near, whether I know them or not, in the attempt of not dying of hypothermia. This happened last night when my bride and I went to the Twins game. It would be embarrassing to die of hypothermia in front of so many people! Plus, it's a good way to make new friends.

Any ways, if anyone knows of some secret way to avoid bad decisions, let me know. Even though I'm pretty sure I will start right up again making more bad decisions the next day, that one day without them would be pretty sweet.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Birthday Time!

Happy birthday to my beautiful, blue-eyed, blonde-haired, blushing bride and baby-maker! We are celebrating by bringing our only child who is currently in the same state as us to a baby sitter, and then heading off to Target Field to watch our favorite baseball team, the Twins, play the hated Philadelphia Phillies. Money is no object as I treat my dear wife to one of the most expensive meals in the entire metro area: Target Field hot dogs and a vat of coke. If I remember to stop at an ATM on the way, I may even have enough money to splurge for some nachos. Hooray!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Two Toddlers are Gone, Now What Do We Do?

The two oldest kiddos left for Oklahoma this morning, and we have word that they arrived safely. But now that there's only one child left in the house, and she can't really move, other than flailing her arms, The Wife and I have all sorts of time on our hands. Good thing we have a list of things to do that's as long as a mimmy-jimmy! We actually already got quite a few things done today, after we went out for a delicious-yet-cheap breakfast buffet to celebrate our pseudo independence. Here's a quick rundown of what we want to accomplish this week:
Mow the grass - Put the new hitch on the van - Wash all the sheets - Trim some sagging tree limbs - Change the oil in the car - Rearrange the basement so we can move all the kids' toys downstairs - Move all the kids' toys downstairs - Give me a haircut - Wash the carpets - Clean the kitchen - Clean out the gutters - Build legs for the train table I made for the kids - Kill all the spiders in the house - Clean off the porch - Clean the garage - Clean out the cars - Move the Girl's old bed over to my parents' house - Buy some birthday presents for the Boy (he turns two in just over three weeks) - And on and on and on.

Of course we still have to do all the maintenance required of a two-month-old, but luckily for us she's already pretty low maintenance. If we remember to feed her, oh, about 150 times each day, and change her diaper every day or so, she's happy. What really might cause a problem with our to-do list is that we have a bunch of things going on in the evenings this coming week, things like Board meetings and softball games, and Please Lord, do not let me forget my wife's birthday on Tuesday! Now that I think about it, I don't know how much we're going to get done on our list. Oh well, two-year-olds don't need presents any way, do they?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Daddy, The Blubberer

The girl and the boy will be leaving tomorrow, and I am starting to get a little sad. They won't be gone long - Aunt Sonie and Grandma Retta are taking them on a week-long trip to Oklahoma to visit cousins and other aunts and uncles. The girl has already been on several of these trips in her three years on this planet, and the boy has joined her at least once or twice. But, I still get sad when they are about to leave.

The first time the girl went on one of these trips without us was two days before her first birthday. Some people thought it was strange that we would willingly not be with her on the very first birthday she would ever celebrate, but we figured it was just a day, we could celebrate it any time, and besides, she was only one. It's not like she would remember it when she got older. I can still see Aunt Sonie driving away from the house with our little girl in the backseat, my wife and I watching them leave, me trying not to let anyone see that I was sobbing uncontrollably. I think that was the first time we both realized who the emotional parent was in our family.

As I mentioned, I am starting to get a little sad again, but I am sure I won't get as sad as I did that first time. Every time it gets easier, just like anything in life. And even during that first trip, although I missed my little girl, it was fun to have a free week in which my wife and I could go and do anything we wanted. By the second day of the week I had forgotten how sad I had been; we got so much work done around the house that I almost wished the girl would stay away a little longer. Don't tell her that, please! This time we'll have the baby with us, so we may not be as productive as before, but it will still be good to have a week away from the older kids. We'll get to work as soon as the sobbing stops.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Girl and Her Plopsy, Whatever That Is

The two older kids always spend Wednesdays with their Grandma Retta, and that was the case today, even though Grandma Retta was going to be busy helping put on a get-together at Great-Grandma Millie's house. Aunt Sonie was putting on her own get-together at Great-Grandma Millie's house, too, so there was all sorts of fun people for our kids to get in the way of. I was told that they both were actually very good, and didn't cause any problems, but I know better than that. There must have been some sort of bedlam, or at least a minor brouhaha, because if the kids were at our house for the same amount of time, both these things most definitely would have happened. We are often told that our kids are well-behaved when hanging out with other people, but we don't believe it for a minute.

Despite the stories of their good behavior, the girl did come home with evidence of some sort of scuffle. She had a small scrape or scratch on her chin. I wasn't exactly sure what it was, and I was very interested to hear how she got it.

The answer I got filled me with bewilderment. In her words, "I was just walking by Aunt Sonie, and she gave me a plopsy on my chin."

"A what?" I asked, since I wasn't sure I had heard her correctly.

"Aunt Sonie was walking next  to me, and, uh, I, uh, got a plopsy on my chin."

"I'm not sure what a plopsy is, Sweetie."

"You know, a plopsy."

I really did not know what a plopsy was, and I didn't seem to be getting much of a definition from my 3-year-old. So I just asked her, "Well, it looks like it might have hurt. Does it hurt?"



That was the end of our conversation. It probably could have gone on for hours if I had let it. Later on I found out from my wife what exactly happened. She had gotten a little scratch on her chin. I guess I could have figured that out on my own.

Monday, June 4, 2012

My Take on the Female Mind

There is one, and possibly only one, thing that I am totally certain about in this life. And that is that I really, really have no idea how the female mind works. It is an amazing thing - something that awes me time after time after time. I know a certain female who probably would say that she doesn't understand how the male mind works either, but if she really thought about it, she would be more accurate in saying that she does know that it doesn't work. Men (I will generalize here about the male of our species, because I am one) are dumb.

Case in point: I was just informed by that same certain female that we are going to be picking up, from some good friends of ours, an exersaucer that we loaned, not to them, but to one of their parents. Not only did my certain female remember 1. That we owned an exersaucer; but also 2. Who we had loaned it to, at least a year ago or more. If I had remembered that we owned one (which I wouldn't have), I probably would have spent an entire evening digging through piles of kids' stuff in our basement and beyond looking for it. How does she remember all this stuff?

What is probably even more impressive is her memory when it comes to our kids' clothes. As you probably know, we have three different sized kids, all of whom have approximately eight times as many clothes in their current sizes as their dad has in his. If you know how kids work, though, at least in the first few years of life, they stay in a certain size of clothing for about 4 days, before they move on to the next size. So we have to keep a supply of clothes on hand for the sizes they will be growing into in the coming months. We, literally, have more than 35 boxes of clothes not currently being used, stationed strategically in our basement, just waiting to be called upstairs for their 4 days of glory. The amazing thing is, I could reach into any random box of clothes, swirl it around a few times, pull out some generic onesie or footy pajama, and the certain female I know could tell me exactly when we got it and from whom it came. I, on the other hand, have to look at the tags just to tell if a shirt belongs to our 2-month-old (who is quite small) or our 3-year-old (relatively, quite large).

I chalk this difference in brain power up as just a wonderful way in which two humans can come together to form a terrific team of parents. We both have our strengths, and if I think of mine I'll write about it in an upcoming blog.

Friday, June 1, 2012

I never used to feel this way...

I remember when I wasn't a father. I was footloose and fancy free, never thinking twice about kids, or much else that might require my attention some day. I lived in the moment. If I wanted to go fishing, I went fishing. If I wanted to play golf, I set up a tee time. If Connie wanted me to do something else, I canceled my tee time and did what she wanted. Life was simple. I hardly paid any attention to kids, either in real life or on TV. News stories about sick or injured kids were just that - stories. They didn't affect me, so I paid them no heed. I was a rock, with no emotion coursing through my veins.

It would be a massive understatement to say that having kids has changed my perspective somewhat. What would be more accurate would be to say that having kids has turned this steely-eyed rock of a man into a quivering jellyfish who is liable to shed tears while watching a news story about a child who got a sliver stuck in his pinky toe. I'm not really sure what exactly happened, but I can not stand stories in which a child is injured. Oh my goodness, if a child is killed in a news story, it is almost impossible to suppress the waterworks.

The weird thing is, I even find myself getting choked up at stories that really aren't all that sad. Like this morning, I read a really upbeat feel-good story about an amusement park where all the rides are made for handicapped kids. There's a big swing for kids in wheelchairs, and a merry-go-round that's at ground level so kids can't fall off and hurt themselves. Nothing but good times were reported in this story, yet I found myself getting emotional while reading it. I'm even getting a little misty-eyed just thinking about it now. Makes me wonder if other manly men like myself are turned to jelly when they have kids. I'm going to assume so, because if not, then this blog entry never happened. Got it?