Category Archives: children

My Kids Dont Want to Stay with Me

I came home from work one night and sat down to dinner with the family.  Usual chaos, flying food, giggles, and squeals.

My wife promptly informed me that she would like to run to the store and do some shopping before the stores close.  I have no problem with this, I have the troops on a regimented bedtime routine and should be able to clean the monsters up and march them straight to bed with maybe a little prebedtime rasslin match.  No problem.

So she stands, rapidly grabs her purse and bolts for the door.  At which point my 7yr old proclaims, “your leaving us with HIM??!! Really?!”

I wasn’t sure how to take this.

The more I thought about it, the more it was clear.  It is a typical good cop, bad cop scenario in our house.  Most nights, I start calling for them to get ready for bed and they typically scurry in the general direction of mom.  I say general, because kids have no concept of straight lines unless cookies are involved.  Mom, of course cuddles and coos with them, the kids stall, I push further to start getting ready for bed and they scatter again.  However, I tend to find them again  back at mom.  Mom, of course tells them to get ready for bed, but somehow lacks the real “umph” of commitment and she cant resist the many child stall tactics of, “im thirsty”, “read us another story”, “can we cuddle”, and “I gotta cocka!”

I on the other hand tend to be the enforcer, ultimately I drag them to bed against repeated objections giving them the, “life’s not fair” speech.

It was clear, without momma around the kids would have much fewer viable stall tactics.

Maybe, I’m a little to harsh.  So I decided to use this opportunity to “soften” my image.

I gave into several of their stall tactics and even spent extra time doing one of their favorite nighttime activities, rasslin.  I sang them a song and then put them to bed.  It was a good night and we were all feeling close and loving.

As I turned out the light, the same 7yr old who had exclaimed worry about being left with me, quietly asked, “daddy, when is mommy coming home?  I want to cuddle.”

“Son, I can cuddle with you.”

“But Daddy your hard and spiky.”  He then laughed and said he was kidding…. but deep down, I don’t think he was.

No matter how “soft” i ever try to be.  I will never be mommy.

Thank goodness I don’t have to be.

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Mommy, You Said That Five “Soons” Ago! How Many More “Soons?”

My 4yr olds response when Mommy answered his “When are we leaving” question for the tenth time.

Now, he just cuts straight to the chase and asks, “How many Soons until we leave?”

The anticipations and sense of time of a child is an amazing thing.  My dad once taught me that children were the best negotiators.  They have what it takes.  Will and TIME.  These fluttering minds bouncing from thought to thought and subject to subject often seem chaotic and with no attention span, but don’t be fooled.  Once locked in, the child’s mind has deadly laser focus and devastating power of deployment.  Once they set their mind to the negotiation, they have nothing but time on their side and constant will.  You can say “no” ten thousand times yet a child only sees an opportunity to restate or re-purpose their request once again.

Here is where parent’s steely resolve is tested.  Remember, if you say no 10,000 times and cave to the child’s request on the 10,001st time.  You have only taught them that they have to ask 10,001 times, and that certainly is no problem for them.

Ultimately we parents will lose to these negotiation masters, but hopefully will hold fast when it comes to the critical battles that teach our children character and truth about our world.  Allowing them enough success for good self esteem without allowing them to run a foul without any sense of boundary or rule.

I personally want my children to push boundaries and bend the rules, but they have to firmly know the boundaries and rules as well as the consequences before this can be successfully done.

Now… I have to stop this post.  The 7yr old has asked to use the computer 20 times since I started typing and I cant hold out any further.


The Adoption Talk I Wasn’t Prepared to Have

I recently was working in the yard when my 4 year old son came to my side and declared, “My real dad was awesome.”  This of course perked my ears up.  “real dad?”  “Yeah, my real dad, you know the one before you were my dad?”  I said, “son, what are you talking about?”  He chirped up, “you know, my dad before I was adopted.”

My son then proceeded to edify his case and tell me in great detail about his life “before” he lived with me and how great his “real” mom and dad was.

As an adoptive father, I knew this conversation was coming.  My wife and I have been preparing for it ever since that fateful day we first held our two beautiful adopted boys in our arms.  As matter of fact, we have never hid our boys adoption and have always tried to talk to our boys openly about it.  Maybe that was the problem.  You see, Our adopted boys are now 9 and 7 years old.  Their four year old brother standing before me now is actually my own flesh in blood.  Looks so much like me that he once looked at an old picture of me with Santa Claus and declared that it was him.  Honestly… it vary well could have been him as he is my little clone.

I must admit, it hurt more than I expected.  I was initially stung by the words when he declared that I was not his “real dad.”  He said it so matter of factually and with a gleefulness and excitement.  How could this little man be so happy and proud to pronounce that I’m not his “real dad,”  And where in the world did he hear this anyway?

Of course I know where.  He adores his older brothers and wants to be like them in so many ways.

I have always expected and been prepared to “defend” my rightful place as “dad” with my older boys.   I stand confident in my roll as “heavy object mover”, “rasslin king” , and “professional hook baiter.”  I even occasionally turn into the terrible “Zombie Dad” from time to time that is always good for squeals of delight.  I constantly work extra hard to be at my kids school events and even volunteered to lead their Cub scouts group, and when they have an injury, I am there to wash it, tell them to suck it up and walk it off.  

I am DAD.

come to think of it…. It doesn’t really matter which of my kids want to challenge my status.  What makes me their father is the same.

I love my children.  I will always be there for them.  They can never do anything that would prevent that.

I am their DAD.

so if my biological son wants to fantasize about being adopted.  Who cares.  I know where he will always end up when he has a scrapped knee.

Probably running to his mother….

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As Some try to Capitalize on the Terrible

I’m sick to my stomach. As any decent human being would be at the cowardly assault on children.

But I’m mad at the despicable onslaught of people trying to capitalize on the issue.

the Media: for selling commercials. They should donate every penny they have made selling commercials for the past week to the people of Newtown.

Politicians: for seizing on the issue to push their agendas. Once again calling for covenants and restrictions that would likely have very little effect on criminals and would only serve to give the “illusion” of safety.

And anyone else who has even remotely profited from the fear and anxiety caused by this horrible act.

If you want a political response, how about this.
Bless our Teachers!
If any “major changes” should occur as a result of this, it should be how we treat our teachers and schools!
Instead of “beefing up security” or “putting guns in schools” or “taking guns away from everyone”, why don’t we start with praising the amazing and selfless sacrifice, love, and passion that was shown by these amazing adults in the face or pure evil.
Where are the politicians calling for a huge boost in education funding and teacher pay as a results of the remarkable job they do!?!?

you want to honor the children, then let’s EDUCATE THEM!!!


Why My Son Doesn’t Want to Sleep in His Bed.

I have 5 children.  My wife and I have seen a little of everything when it comes to raising kids, but everyday they still surprise me.  That’s the fun of kids, right?  right?  Kids are supposed to be fun, right?

I’m kidding…. a little. 🙂

Kids are amazing.  Amazingly hard, amazingly exhausting, and amazingly awesome.  Even if I do threaten to eat them on a daily basis.

Our latest battle (one of several, as the war to raise children has many fronts) is our four your old son.  Nightly, he comes to our bedroom and crawls into our bed.  We have been terribly inconsistent.  Which is the worst thing to do but, we are to tired to fight it most nights.  Some nights we take him back to is bed and others we just let him stay.  The problem really is that he is a kicker.  Squirming, nesting, kicker.  He likes to take his feet and bury them and kick them (usually under me.)  I think he probably has restless leg syndrome.  It doesn’t seem to bother him one bit, but me… no chance of sleeping.

On one particular morning, we had enough.  My wife and I decided we would do the grown up thing and “reason” with our four year old.  We are highly educated people, we can do that, right?

Had it all figured out.  I certainly could out debate and circle a four your old.  I would dismantle each of his excuses and reasons for coming to our bed and he would have NO CHOICE but to understand and stay in his own bed.

Scared of the dark? check, we would leave a night light on.

I’m thirsty? check, leave a small glass of water at his bedside.

Want to sleep with someone? check, he ha his teddy that he has always slept with just fine.

 

so, sat my son down.  Looked him straight in the eye and was ready to go.

“Son, why do you keep coming to our bed every night?”

He looked at me, calm, without an ounce of fear.  “There’s no mommy in my bed.

In a single phrase, I was stunned and horribly defeated with absolutely no response.

I stood up, looked at my wife who was looking for me to say something. “Well, I cant argue with that.”

So all three of us are sleeping together.  I really hope he out grows this…..