Tag Archives: life

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.


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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Doctors are Just Glorified Theatre Ushers

I’ve made this contention on several occasions and always get the same head cocked confused half nervous chuckle.  “Dr Brian, how do you figure?”

In my practice I see all ages but mainly geriatric patients.  There  is no end to the amazing diversity of discussions, questions, and odd request that I get from my patients and I attentively try to manage each and every one.  I love tackling the enigmatic diagnosis and the satisfaction of relieving someone’s acute symptoms.  The challenges of dealing with family dynamics and patient insight is always interesting.  I take special pride and honor that Patients trust me and often will call me first with problems and extremely personal issues.  They give me the most intimate insight into their lives.  A trust and honor that will always make being a doctor a most sacred of professions.  After all, doctors are the nosiest people I know.

But day in and day out, my job is pretty routine and basic.  I rarely heal people (that’s patients and nature), I just keep them busy while their bodies do all the real work.  I have thought this for a long time but have really never known how to say it just right.  However, at the blog Musings of a Dinosaur (http://dinosaurmusings.blogspot.com/) I think she said it better than I with her 1st Law:

“The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature takes its course.”

I’m always  just buying time and trying to keep the patient comfortable and calm.  Following my own personal 1st rule: DON’T PANIC.  No matter what you do, that is ALWAYS the first rule.  I believe this so much that my kids, when asked what’s the first rule will always respond in a monotone unison,” Don’t Panic, dad…”  Keep people calm and comfortable and more importantly, distracted. 🙂

I digress and must get back to the reason of this blog.  How is a doctor like a theatre usher?  All this day to day care of patients is not the most important and satisfying part of my job.  That position is firmly held by two things, Birth and Death.  Nothing in all of medicine is more fulfilling, amazing, or spiritual than helping to bring a life into the world or to leave it.  I do not mean euthanasia before anyone sends me hate mail.  I mean the process of comforting physically and emotionally the dying.  Standing there at the bedside as someone drifts to eternity and pulls the last bits of air from this world.  Due to a malicious and unreasonable malpractice system, I have been robed of delivering babies.  Something I just have to accept.  Thank heavens I’m still allowed to help the dying.  It is the greatest of honors to share in a patients death, especially when it is a good death.  Every human dies and only once.  When done well, the experience is out of this world.

So, how are doctors like theatre ushers?

My job is to usher people into the show.   Help them find their seat and to keep order and calm so they can hopefully enjoy their show.  I don’t have anything to do with what show they see.  It may be a short film or a marathon epic.  It may be a comedy, horror, or amazing love story, but in the end I just try to keep people comfortable during the show.  I cant stop them from leaving early, I cant stop others from ruining their experience.  I simply use my little flashlight to look for signs of problems and deal with them as best I can.  More importantly, when the show is over I gently show them the door and clean up the mess afterwards.  After all, we have many more showings to do.

So please remember, the doctor cant fix your life.  They can only help make it more tolerable.  They can not save your life, they can only allow you to stay till the end of the credits.  You eventually will still have to leave the theatre when the lights come up.

Enjoy it and above all…. Dont Panic.