My wife and I have three kids. The oldest is a freshman in high school. The next oldest is in 8th grade. The youngest is in 1st grade. It’s pretty wild having the youngest one so much younger than the oldest two. For seven years our family consisted of two boys spaced about 17 months apart. Our youngest son was the “baby” all those years until his little sister came along and ruined all that. Now our family feels like we have two oldest (since the boys are so close in age) and a baby.
Anyway, I have a weird sense of humor. Things just pop into my head. I think most of them are funny (you may not). Here are some of those things:
• I told my three kids that I would love two of them and it was up to them to decide which two it was. Let the competition begin.
• When our oldest son was around 4 years old, he was sitting at the table, eating breakfast one day. He spotted a bird in the tree in the backyard and said, “Look at that bird with the red hair. He’s banging on the tree with his lips.”
• Once when our oldest was about to start Kindergarten, my family was asking him questions. They asked if he was ready to go to school. His answer: “We don’t need to be teached.”
• A couple of years ago, the water main busted and our water from the faucet was brownish. Later that night when I was putting the kids to bed, I asked the boys if they had touched any of the brown water. They said yes. I acted alarmed and said hastily, “OH MAN! GET UP NOW! I HAVE TO TAKE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL!” (I was joking of course.)
• Overall, my daughter is much more loving than her brothers. The usual bedtime routine is for my wife to read to our daughter, say a prayer, and tuck her in. Recently, my wife and my daughter have been praying for the kids in her yearbook. One night when I prayed with my daughter, she took out her yearbook, found her place, got her pen, and started putting little checkmarks by each kids’ name that she was going to pray for that night. Her prayer went something like this:
“Dear God, please be with [naming each kid on her list]. Please protect them. Help them to be nice. Help them to love you and you love them back. Jesus’ name, Amen.”
• One time at the grocery store, my daughter grabbed a bunch of boxes of Jello Pudding and asked, “Can we get these? They’re only fifty-ten!”
• YESTERDAY, my wife and I took our daughter to a dance store to get her some new tights. While there, my daughter fell in love with this white cover-up that looks like a fancy sweat jacket. She wanted it badly. I looked at the price tag. THIRTY-FIVE DOLLARS! I said no. My wife agreed. My daughter threw a fit. She said, “WHY CAN’T I GET EVERYTHING I WANT? WHY DOES EVERYTHING COST SO MUCH?” Welcome to the real world, my dear.
• A couple of years ago, my oldest son wanted some Abercrombie jeans. My wife and I agreed to pay as much as a pair of Levis cost and if he wanted to get the Abercrombie jeans, he would have to pay the difference. He agreed. We went to the store and he got his jeans. I think HIS portion was around $35. When we got home, our oldest son was telling our youngest son that he should go get himself some Abercrombie jeans. When my youngest son found out how much of his own money he would have to spend, he told his brother, “NO WAY! I’m not spending that much of my own money on jeans. I’ll take the Levis. You’re crazy!” Funny how two kids from the same family can be so different.
• To me, the most frustrating thing about parenting is the feeling that you never do anything right. I don’t know how many times I have told my wife, “Sometimes, I think God gave me children just so I can mess them up.” I might have used more colorful language. It’s when I hear them interact with their elders either in person or on the phone that gives me a sense of hope.
• One time my youngest son and I were walking into Target just as a man was walking out, pushing a basket with a 3 or 4-year old girl who was throwing an absolute tantrum. She was screaming and slamming the basket really hard. My son looked at me and said, “That’s just not right.” He evidently had forgotten the times he was punished for such behavior and was not happy with the punishment.
• Finally, if you’re not yet a parent and you see a kid acting up in public, don’t ever say, “My kid will never act like that…” Those words WILL ALWAYS come back to bite you in the butt. Trust me on this one.