Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2+1 = Disaster!

Apparently the Wife and I aren't very good at math. Even though one of us, who shall remain nameless, majored in Math Education in college. The other one of us was a Marketing major, and we all know people with a major in Marketing don't know their prime numbers from a rhombus, so I, I mean whoever the Marketing major is, shouldn't be expected to be good at math. But, it turns out neither of us are.

If we were good at math, we would have seen that adding another child to the two children we already had would not add up to a happy and content household. We pretty much learned that as soon as we brought the youngest home from the hospital 21 months ago or so, but if we were smart we should have seen it coming.
This is the type of math we do around our house. Seems logical to me... Courtesy of tonterias.com

Several of our closest fiends, I mean friends, warned us when we announced we were pregnant with the Baby that we were about to be outnumbered. Although that is true, the fact that there is one more child than there are parents in the house has not been a big contributor to the added stress levels. Most of the stress has happened when all three of the kids try to play together.

For some reason our kids are only able to get along nicely while playing when there are only two of them doing the playing. At first the Wife and I thought the problem was that the two older kids, the Boy and the Girl, didn't like their baby sister, the Baby, and didn't want her to play with them. When she would come around they would invariably try to push her out of the picture, metaphorically speaking, which would cause much consternation on her part, and lead to much consternation on our part, as well.

Lately, though, it seems as though the Baby isn't necessarily the problem. The problem is the math. Apparently three kids is not a happy equation, no matter which of the kids is the odd one out. If the Girl and the Baby are the only ones playing, they are starting to get along beautifully, for the most part. If the Boy and the Baby are the ones doing the playing, they can go for a long time, sometimes even an hour or more, without taking a swing at each other. But when all three of them play, it only takes a couple of minutes before someone is crying.

So, it looks like we have to do some creative math to make things work around here. Do we segregate one of the kids at all times? Do we find some toys or games that need three people to make them work? Do we ship one of the kids off to Istanbul for the next 20 years, and if so, which one? Should we flip a coin? Do we have another kid and then pair them off in groups of two? Definitely not. So, Istanbul it is! Anybody got a three-sided quarter I can borrow?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Missing: A Father's Intuition

I have absolutely no intuition, at least when it comes to the kids. I never know what's about to happen, or what should happen, or even what could happen. Most of the time, I don't fully comprehend what is happening, even if I'm seeing it with my own two eyes. I am a very reactive daddy, but at least I think I react in the proper way most of the time, except for those times when I don't. Thankfully you don't know about most of those times...
Generally speaking, I don't have a clue...

Yes, I don't know if there is such a thing as a father's intuition, but I know that I don't have one. Maybe other fathers develop an intuition, but I sure haven't.

The Wife, on the other hand, has developed one of the most amazing mother's intuitions I have ever witnessed. Or maybe she was born with it. Who knows. What I do know is that she can see things coming a mile away. Somehow she always seems to know what milestones are about to occur, and what we as a family should do to get ready for them.

Take last week, for example. One of the days that the Wife was home with the kids, she made the decision to try the Baby out in a bed during naptime, instead of in her crib. Remember, this is a child who has been ornery since the day she was born. Why would we ever want her to be free to roam around the room without any supervision, breaking, tearing, and ripping everything she can get her grubby little hands on? I was assuming we would probably keep her in her crib until the day she goes off to college.

But the Wife saw something in the Baby that told her it was time to move her into a bed. And, lo and behold, she was perfectly content and happy during her nap. She didn't roam around at all, and nothing was broken, torn, or ripped, at least that we could find. And she's been sleeping in her bed, both at naptime and at night, ever since, with only one minor catastrophe, when she fell out and bonked her head. Other than that, it's been the smoothest transition in the history of mankind.

But how did the Wife know? What did she foresee? What takes place in the minds of mommies? Us daddies may never know...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Public Apology to all of New Brighton, MN, and all Surrounding Communities

The amazing thing is that we have lived in our current neighborhood for about six months now, and this is the first time that I can think of that I need to apologize to all the neighbors. You'd think I'd be in double digits by now...

Yes, I feel I need to apologize to my neighbors for my behavior last Wednesday morning. Wednesdays are my day to take the kids to Preschool, but things weren't going all that smoothly. We were having a difficult time getting out of the house in a timely fashion. Actually, we were having a difficult time with life in general. It's funny that now, a week later, I can't even remember what everybody's issues were, but I can clearly remember that, as I was trying to get all three of our children into their boots, hats, mittens and winter coats, I was surrounded by crying. Not just one of the kids; no, not even two of the kids; but all three of the kids were in hysterics - crying, howling, and throwing themselves on the floor. I was very close to joining them. It was enough to make me want to pull my hair out. Or scream, which is what I did.

Yes, I reached my boiling point and let out a nice loud "AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" at the top of my lungs. I'm pretty sure that anyone walking within a 12 block radius could have heard me, but thankfully it was bitterly cold and we had gotten about 10 inches of snow overnight, so nobody in their right mind would be out walking. My scream did just about scare the Boy out of the boots I had just worked so hard at getting on him, though. The fright only stopped his hysterics for a millisecond - he went right back to his wailing and gnashing of teeth as soon as he realized I was not a crazed homicidal maniac. Just crazed.

My cherubic angels were not any more cooperative when we went out to get in the van. We were already very late for Preschool, but none of them wanted to cooperate by getting in their carseats. Since I had already screamed once, I figured why stop now? So I belted out something along the lines of "WOULD YOU PLEASE JUST GET IN YOUR SEATS?!?!?!" That's when I looked over and saw my neighbor in her driveway, cleaning the snow off of her car. Actually, she had stopped cleaning the snow off her car, and was watching me, I assume because she wanted to see what her madman neighbor might do next.

So, any way, I feel I need to apologize. To anyone who was within earshot of my tantrum at approximately 9:10 AM last Wednesday, December 4th, I am sorry I acted that way, and I am sorry if I caused you or your family members any distress. I promise it won't happen again. Although to be safe, if you live within 12 blocks of us, maybe you should invest in some heavy-duty earplugs for Wednesday mornings... 
This is a very realistic artist's rendering of the situation that occurred last Wednesday, except the artist forgot the other two hysterical children...

 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Look Out, We're Having Another Stud Party!

"When is Scott going to post another one of his hilarious blogs?"

"Why hasn't he written very much on his blog lately?"

"Has there ever been any blogger in the history of the world who is as cool as Scott?"

You've probably heard all of these questions being uttered by inquisitive people over the past several weeks. Heck, maybe you've even been the one doing the uttering. And, who can blame you? My blog posts have been suspiciously paltry as of late: only three posts in the entire month of November, and this being just my second of December. I could go with the normal, boring excuses, like not having as much time because it's the Holidays, or my fingers froze in the -25 degree windchill so I can't type, or I'm actually spending some quality time with my kids for once in my life. We all know that those things wouldn't keep me from my computer keyboard, though, so there must be another reason.

There is another reason! I have been spending more and more time renovating our basement. Yes, the new house came with more mold than we anticipated, so I ended up tearing down most of the walls in the basement, and have started redoing them from scratch. Lately I have mostly been putting up new studs, so, since I am a very immature person, whenever I head downstairs to do some work I tell myself there's going to be a real "stud party" down there. I think it's good to have inside jokes with yourself. Mostly because when people see you laughing for what seems to be no reason at all, they tend to leave you alone. 

Aside from the seemingly limitless joke possibilities, we soon will be ready to hang new sheetrock. After that we'll get some new carpet; and in no time we'll have a finished basement that we can exile our children to when we need some quiet time. I need to stop blogging so I can hurry up and get it done!

Hopefully our house won't end up looking like this when I am done renovating things, but with my handyman skills, you never know what the end result will be...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Slowly Evolving Baby

"Having a baby is like having a dog...that slowly learns how to talk." - Chris Turk

"...Awesome!" - John Dorian

The above conversation took place between two somewhat dopey, and very immature, fictional characters on the fictional television comedy Scrubs. It may seem like an outlandish thing to say about babies, but in all reality, it's not all that far from the truth. In the beginning, a baby is really more like a pet than they are like an adult human, but very gradually they learn how to do things that make you think they may, some day, become a functioning part of society.

Take the Baby, for example. She is now over 20 months old. When she was a newborn she was essentially a blob, not able to do anything for herself except sleep, cry, and poop. Gradually she has evolved into a being who could hold herself up, then scoot around on the floor, then crawl, and eventually she began to walk. Now she runs around the house like a turkey. Sure she still falls over every once in a while, but who doesn't?

At birth she could hardly grasp anything, but she quickly was able to hold her own bottle; within 6 months she started feeding herself solid food; and now she regularly feeds herself soup and yogurt with a full-sized spoon, and hardly makes a mess. She eats way better than her older sister, who has turned in to the Pickiest Eater in The Entire World. At least on most nights...

The talking part of the evolution of the Baby has come somewhat slower. At this age the Girl was able to have adult-like conversations with us and regularly could be heard singing the songs that her mommy and I sang around the house. The Baby isn't nearly that evolved yet, but she is starting to be able to communicate with us verbally, at least some of the time. A lot of what she says still sounds like gibberish, but she has learned how to say "eeeeee!!!" (cheese!!!), "muh" (milk), "nana" (banana, duh!), and "ih-ih ee" (Christmas tree). She also is very clear when she says all of our names, and thankfully she has learned to say "nigh-nigh" when she is ready to go nighty-night, instead of just having a total meltdown, like she used to do before she discovered the English language, or at least her version of it.

So, as you can see, Chris Turk was correct. Having a baby is a lot like having a dog that slowly learns how to talk. And, John Dorian was correct. It is pretty awesome. Despite how I may make it seem in all of my other posts. Don't tell anyone I said that...
Only one of these two mammals will ever learn how to talk. Some days it seems like the dog might be the more likely option... Speaking of which, have you ever seen such silly hair in your whole life? What some people won't do to get attention...