Pessimistic Optimism

Life as I see it… sort of.

Decisions To Live By

Not many things in life are as easy as being a parent.  I mean kids these days practically raise themselves.  Because my children really have it so together, I try to stay in the background as much as possible unless they need my help with something small, like: eating, drinking, dressing, or defecating.

Occasionally they do need guidance because they are only four and two and I try to expel my astuteness as succinctly as possible.  It sounds easier than it actually is because I can really drag out an explanation if I’m in my chair of wisdom.  That particular chair’s located at a friend’s house where I’ve been known to enjoy a few cocktails, and my kids are mostly at my house so they usually aren’t put through that arduous assault on their listening devices, aka ears.  Today was one of those times that a reasonable adult was needed to point my little girl in the right direction and fortunately my wife was the one that was home.  Our little angel wants a tattoo.  Yes, a freaking tattoo.  A freaking tattoo on her freaking back.

It really was a good thing that I wasn’t the one home because for a moment I thought that it’d be cool to have the only preschooler, that I know of, with a tattoo.  Her juvenile choice of ink brought me back to earth so I didn’t even try to persuade my wife.  She wants candy corn on her shoulder.  I mean, let’s be real here, that’s such a time-sensitive piece of body art.  It’d just look kind of stupid in April.  Besides, the girl’s four-years-old and everyone knows that bad life choices should wait until your at least ten or eleven.

I’m glad that I could be there for my non-branded little girl, again.  She’s very smart but my infinite guidance is always waiting in the wings if she needs it.  Lucky girl!

October 21, 2007 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting | 6 Comments

No School For You

Something just didn’t seem right when we arrived at my daughter’s school today.  There was a different vibe to the place and an odd odor floated about.  The owner of the school walked outside to speak with the mothers and me while we were swapping recipes.  This was unusual in itself on two counts.  Number one: the teacher usually greeted us; and B. the school actually has an owner.

The forty-something dictatoreducator advised us that due to a plumbing problem, class was cancelled today.  When I attended St. GiveMeYo$ I thoroughly enjoyed surprise days off because of things like snowstorms, water main breaks or faculty arrests, but my daughter reacted quite differently; she was distraught.  She couldn’t get it through her pretty little braided head that she was being denied access to HER classroom.

It took us a little while to walk back to the van because my studicious genius kept stopping to see why she had to be with Daddy and her brother instead of her school friends and teachers.  She wanted this nightmare to be over.  That’s when my sensitive side took over.

“Honey, school’s closed today.  That’s just the way it is.”

“I don’t want it to be closed,” she said.  “I’m the star of the week” (a rotating honor was bestowed upon her this week and she obviously looked forward to it).

“Me neither, beautiful, but it’s out of my control and you’ll still be the star of the week tomorrow.” 

Unfortunately the conversation didn’t end there.

“Why is my school closed?”

I figured that honesty was the best policy with a four-year-old so I explained that the toilets were broken.

“The kids won’t have to use the toilet,” she said.

Wow, that would be a solution if all the preschoolers adhered to my daughter’s proclaimation.  Unfortunately the teachers and the “owner” probably wouldn’t take her word for it so I didn’t bother making this suggestion.

“I’m sorry, big girl, but you can’t go to school today.”

That’s when the water works kicked in.  By this time we were at the van and she didn’t want to admit defeat so she refused to climb on in so I lifted her somewhat gently and tried unsuccessfully to get her seated comfortably.  She immediately ran the three feet across the van and stood in front of her now screaming brother.  I guess he already knows that old statement misery loves company.  At this point I considered joining in but decided the best thing to do was distract them and strap her in before she knew what hit her.  The hitting her’s only a figure of speech so don’t call the authorities just yet.  My “look at the hippo” stunned them just enough to give my ears a break and gave me the opportunity to strap the dejected princess in her car seat.

Her despair really set in as we drove away.

“Someone’s bringing a snack and I’m not going to eat it with my friends,” she said.

That’s when my supreme ingenuity kicked in.

“Would you like to have a special snack with your friend in the seat next to you when we get home?”

Her face lit up and she giggled. 

“Daddy, you mean my brother can be my friend and we can have a snack together?”

“Exactly.  We can pretend that he’s just your friend and you can have a snack and some juice together.”

At this point the doldrums left the vehicle and she speculated what the snack might be and so did I.  Hopefully I could meet her expectations with something out of the ordinary.  

Back at the ranch I rustled the kids into the house with promises of a fun snack.  They eagerly climbed into their chairs as I filled bowls with trail mix that had M&Ms in it and they were ecstatic.

My daughter’s passion for learning and socializing pleased me to no end, but the fact that a good snack is the only cure for her morose attitude might lead to a weight problem if we have a harsh winter with a lot of snow days this year.  Does Jenny Craig have a preschool program?

October 1, 2007 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting, preschool, school | 5 Comments