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Where I like my kids

by John on June 6th, 2012

A very wise soul once said to me “you’ll love your kids, always, but that doesn’t mean you always have to like them,” and, well, there are moments where that rings truer than it seems possible. When a kid decides to kick away and start running when I’m half-through changing their diaper, or when the other one decides that it would sure be fun to throw food at me . . . yeah, I don’t like my kids right then. When my son decides that it’s cool to lick my shaved head as a “this will keep me awake through bedtime” gimmick, or when my daughter decides that she absolutely must wear a pair of her mother’s shoes (her mother may, in fact, have especially miniature feet, but still, her mother’s shoes are far, far too large for her), and my putting on any other pair of shoes (despite the fact that she spent the previous day showing off her pretty sparkly shoes to anyone who might look in her general direction) is an act of torture, yeah, I don’t necessarily enjoy the act of fathering my children right then.

But, I find myself, more & more, realizing that I do, in fact, like my kids more often than I don’t.

  • CJ absolutely will not allow you to give him any sort of food or treat without a second one. If you give him only one cracker, or one cookie, he’ll hold out his hand for another, saying “La!1
  • Leila cannot watch a kissing scene in any movie without coming to collect a kiss of her own. Her favorite, at the moment, is the end of Beauty and the Beast
  • Both will demand that I stop what I’m doing and sit in the recliner so that they can have prime cuddle position to watch whatever might be on the TV.
  • CJ, when it’s his turn to pick a movie to watch, will scrutinize his selection, pouring through DVD case after DVD case for just the right selection, before settling on something from the Star Wars franchise.
  • Leila will put a toy into a towel, let the toy drop the ground, and yell “Ta-Da!” as if the toy disappeared2.
  • The naked, jubilant run from the bedroom to the bathroom for bathtime is pretty freaking amazing.
  • CJ demands to “help” with most everything, whether that be folding laundry, or cooking, or grilling. This is at its height when he demands to push a laundry basket, from the top of the stairs, to the bedroom. Which he will do, pushing with all of his might. Watching a toddler try no navigate a corner is pretty freaking awesome.
  • Leila does not understand potty training, at all, which is ok, considering that she’s not yet two. However, she understands candy, and she understands that she gets candy when she uses the potty. So she’ll ask to sit on the potty — and do just that, sit, and then jump off, yell “ta-dah,” flush the toilet (she loves flushing the toilet) and then ask for her candy (CJ, it should be noted, has a very hard time accepting candy whenever he uses the potty, because he feels that he should get a piece to give to Leila – but candy is candy, and he’s not quite willing to give up candy to stand up for his druthers just yet)
  • The kids still don’t sleep through the night, but, every evening, now, they work their own way over to our bed when they wake themselves up — random cuddles at 3 in the morning sure aren’t so bad.
  • CJ still doesn’t speak a whole lot of words, but he loves to sing along. Last night, during bedtime, he decided to sing “C is for Cookie,” unprompted. So, it was “C Cookie . . . . . me / C Cookie . . . . . . me / C Cookie . . . . . me / Cookie cookie cookie . . . me,” to which Leila applauded.
  • Leila will ask every person in the room, whether she knows that person or not, to read her a book. And, only after every person in the room has read her a given book, will she pick out another book and then continue her circuit.
  • There is no greater motivator to get my kids out of the house than to imply that there may be cake wherever it is that we’re going. Of course, informing them of the possibility of cake means that, at our destination, either child will ask, every 30 seconds, if it’s time for cake yet.

My kids are growing – almost frustratingly fast, and are pretty, continuously, frustrating . . . but, well, I’m liking the title of “their father” a little more every day.

1 “La,” in toddler speak, is “Leila.” And, while I know I’m not supposed to give into toddler speak, I often find myself calling for “La,” when it’s time to get all of the kids out of the door.
2 This is doubly cute when she’s wearing a tutu.
  1. So CJ asks for another cookie so he can give it to his sister?
    My heart just melted.

    Ta dah!

    • Yes. When it first started, I really thought he was just being selfish, as he was asking for a cracker. I told him “finish that one and I’ll give you another,” but he stomped his foot in frustration and held out his hand. “Finish that one and I’ll give you another,” I repeated and he jumped in frustration, pointed into the other room, and yelled “La!”

      And then my heart melted.

  2. Oh hell dude, I love your kids…and that’s have little to do with them being yours.
    Thank you Instagram for giving me my fix of your two cuties.

    • Yeah, they’re pretty stinking cute, aren’t they?

      The only problem is that I’m really not well-equipped to deal with “good looking” children, and I fear that’s what I have right now . . .

  3. I understand this so much. There are times I get pushed to such a limit with my three that I wonder if I should of even had children. but then they will give me hug or will do something sweet for each other and all doubts will be erased. Our children are such miracles, blessings and yes at times they can feel like little curses. but most of the time blessings. Love this post.

    • Thanks, Amber! They certainly do know how to press our buttons . . . but they’re also experts at un-pressing them, as well.

  4. Aw.

    Just that. 😉

  5. Everything is doubly cute when a tutu is involved. Except for snakes. Snakes just can’t pull off tutus.

  6. I would absolutely love to hear CJ sing “C is for Cookie!” And Leila in a tu-tu? I’d be reading her books all day long for sure.

    My little Handsome also knows exactly what to do to wrap mama and daddy around his little finger. Lately he’s taken to giving besos (kisses) and hugs to get what he wants. His response when he still doesn’t get his way? “Oh gees!”

    • Handsome seems to be quite the character.

      My kids haven’t realized that we actually want kisses, so kisses can be used for currency for what they might want. Our issue now is that CJ will hit Leila and then immediately hug her, because we ask him to hug her every time he leaves time out from having hit her….little bugger.

  7. Did you hear those voices? Yeah. Angels are singing, man.

    I can FINALLY read AND comment on your blog from work.

    I mean, on my lunch breaks and any other scheduled break using my own personal electronic device.

    Also, those are great reasons to like your kids. 🙂


      I still can’t comment on your blog . . . but I can at least read it. There are other blogs that seem to be listed as pornography (even though they’re not remotely pornographic) that I can’t even get to from work.

      So glad to have you here 😀

  8. Godd job raising kids that share. One thing I have always liked about my kids, they are pretty decent to each other. They never hit. And they never cuss or say really awful things like other teenagers. They just say “your mean” or “why are you being rude”.

    • I wish my kids didn’t hit — but they do. I think it stems from a complete inability to communicate . . . they want to talk, they want to say what they want, but they can’t just yet, and because they can’t, they hit.

      But, there is minimal comprehension of ownership — they’re toddlers, they claim “mine” all of the time — but they’ll go from “mine” to giving to each other in a heartbeat.

  9. First off, I have to say I love these kind of posts where we gush about the cute and funny things our kids do. It really helps balance out all the moments they make us want to run from the house screaming, “STOP THE MADNESS!!!”

    Also, I learned a thing or two for when we visit with you all:
    1) Bring my reading glasses (I had Lasik in 2005 but still need them to read)
    2) Bring cake and the kids will be putty in my hands.
    3) Running naked from the bedroom to the bathroom is only cute if the little kids do it.

    Heh. 😉

    • I don’t know, I do the naked run from the bedroom to the bathroom a whole lot…

      And, yeah, if the kids weren’t cute, well, I’d possibly into selling them to the highest bidder.

  10. yes, sometimes those little bugger are quite likeable.

    Ta Da!

  11. Those are some awesome moments! Sometimes my youngest will say “No, I don’t need to potty before bed” and I’ll say “I’ll let you run down the hall naked to do it” and she tears down the hall as fast as she can. What IS it about liking to run around naked as a kid – so cute!

    • Wait, we’re supposed to stop running around naked?

      Who made this decision? Because I have not received that memo.

  12. Oh this is a favorite of mine I think. I love little peaks into the behaviors of children. And for you, someday you will be oh so happy you wrote all this quirks down!

    • Yeah, a big reason why I write posts like this is to go back & remind myself of just I was going through at a specific moment in time in this fatherhood journey.

  13. I love how simplely kids see things and how quickly they pick up on good manners, such as sharing, when we least expect it. I know the feeling of not always liking my children but it’s moments like you said which make the difficult times not so bad in the long run. Even though I am waiting for at least one day a week where I’m no tempted to eat one of my young.

    • There has not been a day in a long, long time since I haven’t wanted to sell either child to the highest bidder (assuming that I might find a bidder for a tantruming toddler).

      What’s getting me now is that the kids will not take anything, from us or each other, without saying “thank you,” and I love it.

  14. Well to be fair, La is a good nickname. We don’t do toddler speak either. But sometimes it is irresistibly cute.

    Thanks for the reminder. Not like kids sometimes=ok. Check.

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