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Where I like my kids
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.