Friday, June 27, 2008

I like the Video Games...

Sunday night Kathleen was off somewhere (probably on a bender, or possibly looking into our apartment building) and the kids and I decided to stay up and watch a movie.  The movie was "My Neighbor Totorro," a strange Japanese animated film that my kids love. 

Since we were watching a movie, I decided to make some popcorn.  Since regular butter is so greasy, sometimes we use "buttery topping", which is this buttery seasoning which comes in a spice jar and is a fine sticky powder.

I disappear downstairs for a minute or two to check on a conversion job my computer was doing.  Suddenly, I here Anna's voice through the floor.  "Dad?  You better come back up here and see this."

I run upstairs.  Sam has taken the top off the buttery seasoning and dumped it all over the TV room carpet.  The sticky powder is everywhere.  I start yelling, and take Sam and send him up to his room.  We get the mess cleaned up.  Its close to bedtime now anyway, so the remaining two kids got to watch the movie for a few more minutes before it was time for bed.

Finally I get everyone in their pajamas and into bed. I am saying goodnight to Sam, and talking to him about his misbehavior.

"Sam, You know when you behave badly like that, it makes me sad."

"That's okay Dad, because I really don't like you."

"What?"

"Except for the part that likes video games.  Other than that part, I really just don't like you."

"Well, I'm sorry about that Sam, because I love you."  I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing until I got downstairs.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

a Wednesday Night without School or Anna

PJ had a tooth pulled at the dentist today.  Surprisingly, he got the novocaine, had his toothe pulled and it was no big deal.  He is such a sensitive little guy, he can be surprisingly tough and it always catches me off guard.  Sam, on the other hand, is much more thick skinned, even now.

PJ, brought home his tooth in a special plastic box from the dentist, and he was very excited about leaving it for the tooth fairy.  Sam got into the box while it was left alone for a moment, and dropped it on the kitchen floor, where it promptly dissapeared.  "Oh, sorry!"  Sam said, and raised his arms in the air.  Sam does that about forty times a day now.  Its infuriating.

We could not find the tooth.  PJ was very upset by this.  I told PJ he just needed to write a note to the tooth fairy, which he did, in his scrawling, left handed letters.  He drew a small stick figure on the right hand side of the note.  "What is that?"  I asked him.

"That's me with a sad face."  He told me, his shoulders slumped. 

"Its okay PJ."  I told him.  "Here, I'll sign the note too so the Tooth Fairy will know to believe you." 

Anna was gone for all this, sleeping over at a friends house for the second night in a row.  Despite her grating personality, she always manages to find lots of friends to play with, perhaps through force of will alone. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Lies we tell Kids

I only rarely link to external articles, but this one struck a chord with me.

Kathleen says that I have almost zero credibility with my children. They never no whether I am telling the truth or not. Consciously or not, I think that I ever wanted them to grow up trusting anything I say at face value. I want them to question me, question everything I say, question the world around them. Look for truth but expect lies at every corner.

Mostly, when I lie to my kids it is with a wink. I say to Sam, "Sam, come here I want to tell you something." and when he gets near I tickle him.

I tell PJ that there are dinosaurs at the national zoo. He knew I was wrong. I tell Anna that New York was settled before Virginia. She later finds out I was wrong. It's just a game to them. Sometime, lots of times, dad doesn't tell the truth, so listen carefully and be careful.

Its like the X-Files. Trust no one. The truth is out there.

EDIT --------------------------
(In response to Gagi's comment) To clarify -- I don't just outright lie to the kids about things that matter. For instance I wouldn't say that it's okay to cross the street without looking, or that homework doesn't matter, or its okay to hit your brother. Yes, its more to make a point, if they ask me a question I'll either answer it outright, or say something wrong, hopefully with enough information so that they can tell that its wrong. And usually I end up saying what is correct anyway.

The whole point of the article was, I think, that may times parents lie to their children without thinking about the reason for it, or that sometimes it is unnecessary. My thinking is that its important to get your kids to question everything they see and hear around them, including you.
That said, I guess its not that simple after all. It never is, is it? You need to have trust in the first place in order to play games with the truth. Hopefully Anna and PJ and Sam know to trust me. They can always ask their mom, she never lies. :^)