We realized shortly after the baby was born that our kids were in for less nutrition, more brain-rotting TV and lower safety standards. Okay, just the first two. Basically, we are finding out daily that there are so many more things we’re in store for than just acclimating Jamie to our world. We are adjusting every aspect of our lives to fit his. I can’t imagine being a kid 4 years old or under. I think Jamie’s brothers might have it the worst.
I have just been at a loss for words lately. I think that all the kids in the house are afraid of losing their ranking in our family bracket, because they are in a competition to determine who can make the most noise to get their voice heard. Message received boys. Loud and clear. Don’t tell the big brothers, but the baby is by far the loudest yet.
While we pretend to have things down pat, honestly, I haven’t sworn this much (under my breath) at a kid since I was one. I utter more expletives (to myself) than I did at 10 years old to classmates when I believed that I invented them. It’s scary. I am realizing every day how unprepared I am for this new adventure. Right now, the house is quiet except for my typing (and extreme backspacing). I am sitting with Jamie and every couple of minutes, I see him brace himself, his arms and legs tense up and shake like a turtle, knocked on its shell. I started to crack up as I visualized the comparison, I woke him up. Damn.
At 6 weeks old, he clearly runs the house. It’s funny as I know at one time the dog ran the house. She was frightened of plastic bags and deathly afraid of balloons and the creatures that wield them. You’ve come along way, doggie.
While we often know when we need a break from our kids, our kids also need a break from us. I used to think I was fun but my son proves otherwise every day. Today AJ says to me with the inflection of an audio book narrator, “I’m so tired of you Dad!” I was at first mad as he seemed to be disrespectful, but I understood him completely. Without ever verbalizing in this same way, I know I’ve felt that way too.
One way to combat this is to give them a break. In our house, we want to have traditions like the family dinner, but we also want them to embrace childhood without breaking the house or the bank. This means letting them be kids. My father loves to tell my boys (and their cousins) “Quit acting like a kid!” making fun of us yelling at them. My brother was here last weekend with his kids and I hear how ridiculous I am when he yells at his kids. No offense Bro, I only mean that we both sound like Dad. He’s probably offended. I’m kind of offended. Dad would definitely be laughing if he knew how to turn on the interweb google machine to read this.
I often get mad especially when the boys try to include the 6-week old Jamie in their horse-play. I’m sure my neighbors hear it before my kids do, so naturally I get louder and louder.
This weekend our house was loud, has smelled of corned beef and cabbage and reeked of hoops. St. Patty’s Day: My favorite Irish basketball holiday. So knowing that we have taken over their TV we have allowed them to have a night in for themselves. Dinner for 2, without Mommy and Daddy (in the room). They’re having chicken fingers and apples with barbecue sauce and caramel sauce. I’m sure they’ll dip both in both. We love to have family dinners and most nights it’s pretty successful. AJ sometimes plays the teenager, especially when he says that he’s done and wants to go play in his room. Tonight, he’s happy to have his playmate to eat dinner with even though Andy’s stripped down to his diaper and steals from AJ’s plate. Sometimes we just have to let things like that slide. This worked tonight and allowed us to watch some B-ball and eat the best Reuben ever made. I’d have a picture of it but I ate it too fast. I’ll leave that to the food bloggers and the Facebook updates of those with nothing to say.
Tomorrow night we’ll return to our family dinner and dream up the next way to weasel out of it on Thursday when the madness returns. We may have to let them watch Scooby Doo in their play room. My brackets are still in good shape and the games have been awesome to watch, but Andy just turned 2— which promises to bring a whole new meaning to “March Madness.”