Monday, August 26, 2013

Love Thyself

As often happens these days, Bub and I were finishing up dinner last night together. HP had won a Bathtime Bonanza with Mommy, so that left the two of us, and a conversation quite typically bursting with WHY questions. I kept up for a while, then started to peter out. He could sense it. So I flipped it. But I wasn’t expecting this…

Bub: Why is HP taking a bath, Daddy?
Me: …
Bub: Not everything is a why question, Daddy.
Me: That’s true, Bub. But why? Why is not everything a why question?
Bub: I don’t know!
Me: Why don’t you know?
Bub: Ummm, because people are just talking.
Me: Why are people just talking?
Bub: Because people like to talk.
Me: Why do people like to talk?
Bub: People like to talk to HP and to Mommy and Daddy and Uncle Aaron.
Me: Why do people like to talk to HP and Mommy and Daddy and Uncle Aaron?
Bub: Because we just talk about stuff.
Me: Why do you talk about stuff?
Bub: Because it’s fun.
Me: Oh, good. Why is it fun?
Bub: Because I smile.
Me: Why do you smile?
Bub: Because I am happy.
Me: Oh…that’s…awesome. I’m glad you’re happy. Are you happy because you pooped in the big boy potty?
Bub: Noooooo. I’m happy because I LOVE myself.
Me: …
Bub: Are you crying, Daddy? Are you sad?
Me: No, Bub. I’m really happy.
Bub: That’s silly, Daddy. Why are you crying?
Me: Not everything’s a why question, Bub.

We spend all this time selfishly trying to get our kids to love us, wondering if they love us, encouraging and training and even bribing them to love us. Sometimes it takes a two year-old to remind us of the simplest things: Love yourself. Loving others is easy; it’s loving yourself that’s the tricky part. Some people never love themselves, while others fall truly, madly, deeply right off the bat. Bub might be one of these.

But I think for most of us, it’s a process. We finish our self’s sentences one day, then slash all of our self’s tires the next. But if you don’t, it’s never too late to learn. If you’ve forgotten, been too busy, or just flat-out ignored yourself, don’t worry. You self’s number hasn’t changed. It’s right where you left it. And it’s an equal opportunity employer. As Bub is fond of saying: “Don’t give up, Daddy. Try again, Daddy.” Thanks, Bub. I’m still trying.

Monday, August 19, 2013

House Rules

Bub was driving me batshit the other day. Disrespecting his sister, saying no, getting time-outs, and generally just being an obnoxious little bunghole. It’s not necessarily his fault; we are in a state of transition, i.e. living in my brother and his wife’s apartment with access to only about 5% of his toys. But something had to be done. So in lieu of ripping his arms off, I spontaneously came up with THE RULES. I think it’s some pretty good improv work—feel free to borrow them, if it suits your lifestyle:

Rule #1—LISTEN. Specifically to Mommy and Daddy, but just in general. Listen. The implication being that if you’re fucking up, it’s probably because in some way, shape or form, you need to refer back to this rule.

Rule #2—BE NICE. Specifically, to your sister. But also to Mommy, Daddy, kids at storytime, tiny spiders dangling over your race track and beautiful foliage outside. Except dandelions; those are weeds. This is the second big, blanket rule. Odds are if someone is crying, it’s likely because someone else has broken Rule #2.

Rule #3—SHARE. That’s it, just share.

It’s not exactly the ten commandments, or the Bill of Rights. But it’s a start. Like Miranda, Bub has been read his rights. He understands them. We went through a hands-on, interactive training seminar, followed by a short multiple choice quiz afterwards. In fact, he now knows them better than I do.

“Bub, we do not bonk your sister with the tape measure. What’s Rule #1?”
“Damnit, I meant what’s Rule #2?”
“Umm, be nice.”
“Yes, that’s the one. And what happens when we break the rules?”
“We get a timeout.”
“That’s right.”
“Umm, what’s ‘damnit,’ Daddy?”

Damn you, Rule #1. You work a little TOO well.

I’m sure at some point we’ll have to amend these a bit, add some, like We Don’t Give Urban Goats Laffy Taffy. And so on. But so far, so good, though I sense a sequel already in the making. Spoiler alert! It’s We Don’t Interrupt Daddy Ever (But Especially When He’s Operating Power Tools). It’s currently working its way through legislation, but it’s expected to pass.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Things We Say

It must be awesome to be our neighbors. To hear what goes on in this household without REALLY knowing what's going on. It's probably way more boring than it sounds. Though it sounds kind of like this:

“You have to suck it. That’s it. Now suck it harder.”
“Can you suck it for me, Mommy?”
“No, you have to suck it yourself. Come here, let me show you. Like this. Now you try.”

“Why aren’t you eating your dinner?”
“Not everything’s a why question, Mommy.”

“I’m riding Daddy’s face! You like that, Daddy?”

“Open your legs, Mommy.”
“How do we ask?”
“Can you open your legs please, Mommy?” Then, “More, Mommy—I can’t get in!”

“Daddy, HP is eating me. Don’t let her eat me!”

“I’m washing my BALLS!”

“I like babies.”
“Oh, that’s sweet. Your sister’s a baby.”
“I EAT babies.”
“We don’t eat babies, Bub.”
“I’m gonna eat HP!”
“No, we don’t eat people.”
“Why we don’t eat people?”
“Because they’re high in cholesterol.”
“Yes, we do. We DO eat people.”

“Eat me, Mommy. EAT ME! WAIT! Don’t gooooo!”
“That’s no way to talk to your mother, Bub.”
“Wanna eat me, Daddy? Why are you laughing? Eat me, Daddy. EAT ME!! I’m food.”