Important Life Choices

A man should always be prepared to have The Talk.

I think I already blew it with Austin. Granted it’s tough. So much of it in every store, newer, flashier, and having less and less to do with more wholesome roots. Especially since the very same filth is all over television nowadays. It becomes its own vicious circle.┬áTime to start planning ahead for Emily, I suppose. I’ll have another shot to get everything in the proper order for her.

At least I still have leverage on the rules about Potter.

Kids Fix

Some remaining Summertime kid pictures.
From August 12. Austin went to visit a friend. To milk extra time, when I was about to pick him up, the boys decided to break out the four-wheeler. Austin just had to have the giant yellow helmet. Of course.

Trying it on his own. He did really well, surprisingly enough. No fatalities.

Random shot of the little sister, running around the yard.

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I’m With Her

Jill over at Baby Rabies has a spot-on post on living with a proper, terrible-twos toddler boy. And I’m with her: there is a genetic reason children are so unbelievably cute at this age. If they weren’t, well, there’d be traumas.
Actually, my mom said the very same thing to me when I was facing off with my big toddler boy a few years back. She was right. Kid was funny as hell, and he needed to be, because those terrible twos lasted right on until about four. I jest not, it was rough.

So now Em’s in on the gig. It really seems like it happened overnight, too. Last month, got potty trained, happy as a clam, babbling on phones (calculators),

nothing but smiles and squeals of joy. Now she refuses pants, refuses the food she loved yesterday, and dare I subject her to a quick trip to the bathroom before heading out shopping? Half an hour later, I finally get her to put her pants back on. Then I forget my shopping list. [Expletive deleted].

I forgot my shopping list this very afternoon. All I had to do is refill the pantry with snacky-type foods from our favorite giant, red, circular-logoed store with two kids in tow. Rock on, they’d been good all morning, Em even putting on less of a fuss than usual to put pants on before heading out. Half an hour after saying ‘we’re leaving now’, we made it to the store less than five minutes away.

The trouble started as soon as we walked in the door. Em bolted. That little girl flat-out runs these days, and she decided today was the day to keep 10 to 100 paces in front of my cart. The lad, bless him, held out longer and tried to help. I know I run stern on him a lot, but damn he really is an amazing kid.

Eventually, though, they both were climbing in and out of unfilled shelves, and once we were picking up our final items, I was getting ‘the look’ from other parents at the store. Actually, they were all moms. One lady had four kids swarming on her, but that brood couldn’t compare to my pair doing a squat-on-the-baked-goods-shelf game.

Then comes the hardest part: it’s later than I wanted and it’s time for lunch. I pull through McDonald’s and grab food (no happy meals, eff that ripoff), hating that I was essentially rewarding their crappy behavior with fast food. But they needed to be eating while I hauled in rapidly sweating food needing refrigeration.

Back to my main point, these terrible twos are a pain to deal with, even if I can keep the perspective that the boy was so much tougher. It is hard to hold out a decent thought when you go from this:

to this:

in a matter of moments.

And of course, the dread of dreads is that this all is the tip of the teenage girl iceberg. I swear, when she’s throwing herself to the floor yelling, “Leave me alone!” I’m just waiting to her the followup, “You’re ruining my life!” At least with a smile like that, she’ll know she can get whatever she wants out of Daddy and not be too mad or sad for very long.

The boy and I are going to have some good times golfing and watching baseball out of the house.

M’s Birthday Present, Part 1

Last weekend finally saw the arrival of M’s birthday present. It has been a long time coming, and huge thanks go out to everyone who pitched in toward the gift, as well as those who wanted to, but my donation system failed (I didn’t feel like letting gift money between friends get shaved off by PayPal.)

So click on to see what greatness has arrived.

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