I sit hear typing with a Minions themed Band-Aid on my right hand’s ring finger. It is one of the most ‘parent’ moments I have encountered lately. Bandages without cartoon characters are a thing of the past. We live in a kid-centric house now and I’m just a prop used to display pictures of Bob the Minion.
There are quite a few ‘parent’ moments throughout the week. There’s deciding if telling a kid the real reason the sky is blue or blaming it on ogres that did not clean up their dishes is appropriate. There’s the choice between letting the five year pick his own clothes for the day or actually making it out of the house on time. Parenting is basically a long game of ‘would you rather’ with long term real world implications.
The single most ‘parent’ thing of my week happened every single day and often left me going “oh man, I’ve become my parents.” I could not keep my kids’ names straight. At one point my oldest asked, “dad, you know my name right?” I think he was being sarcastic (proud dad moment there), but still…at five that seems a little early.
Monday evening my oldest was calling for me. I kept responding with the toddler’s name. Kept doing it. Firstborn was angry with me for not acknowledging him, I was angry he was not just getting on with his story and then my wife calls from another room, “seriously? Wrong kid.”
Tuesday; the toddler wanted a cracker. I asked him to wait, but used the still sleeping oldest kid’s name. The toddler did not give a hoot about his brother waiting for a cracker.
Wednesday; house was full of people. My own brother was visiting. I called the toddler by my brother’s name. My brother then demanded a cracker.
Thursday, oh golly, I felt bad. Toddler climbed on the table again and again, I asked him to get down, used the wrong name and the oldest kid thought he needed to get off the floor. Context eventually keyed the oldest in, but there was a good moment of confusion.
Got a nice break on Friday as the kids stayed with grandparents, but Saturday and Sunday I kept using a combined version of their names to attract attention. They thought I was having a stroke, but I stole this move from my mom. Combine the names and both heads look your way. Then point at the one you need and hope they listen. #ParentingHack
I am fairly certain my brain is melting. Kids cause brains to melt. I totally get the premise of ‘Pete and Pete’ now. One name saves so much time (#ParentingHack). I can only hope the damage this week has done to their sense of self can be undone.