Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Joys of Children

People without children probably think that parents are rather weird. They give you odd looks in the grocery store as you buy 27 boxes of cereal and think that you are stocking up for armageddon. No, the kids will eat through this in under a month and I'll be back so you can laugh at me again. I thought I would put down some experiences that I have had with my kids, that parents will relate to, and non-parents will just scratch your head.

Identity theft is a real worry in today's world. So having a shredder in the house is important. And since it makes noise, and turns paper into confetti, it is a natural attractant to children. I have made the mistake of teaching my kids how to use the shredder and then letting them shred a pile of papers. The only problem comes when they have completed the pile and start seeking other things to shred. Refund checks are a prime target. As are receipts needed to get the refund. Or tax documents. Or any other document that you don't want to spend hours taping together.

Kids today grow up with technology that past generations never had. Computers, DVD players, VCRs, iPods are standard items that kids have around their house. Of course, until they are much older, none of them realize that the VCR can not be played with in the same way as the cardboard box. My son found this out when he shoved a pancake in the VCR and tried to play it. After recovering the pancake, the VCR still played videos, except it only had sound, no picture. But if you fast forwarded it, you could see the picture (just no sound).

Taking baths is something all of my kids have enjoyed. Just remember to always supervise them. I left my daughter unsupervised for a few minutes when my son crawled into the bathroom. My daughter proceeded to take cupfuls of water and throw them across the bathroom at my son. Both of them loved this and were laughing and giggling. I however was not as I mopped up the bathroom.

Knowing your law enforcement personnel is important. In fact, 1 year olds are entirely capable of dialing 911. The 911 operators are not so understanding, and then lectured my wife about keeping the phone away from the kids. Huh? You never had kids lady, did you? Maybe if your number was 7389499326893409, then my son wouldn't call you.

My other son decided to leave the house and walk across the street while visiting the grandparents. So, the cops were called, entered the house and found my wife packing up to go home upstairs, now mortified, that a police officer was in the house and our son was not.

Church is the perfect place for inappropriate comments. During a quiet, spiritual part of the meeting, I look over and my son has his hand in his pants. I very quietly whisper to him to take his hand out. He only has two voices, loud and yelling. In his loud voice he responds, "But Dad, my penis is getting bigger." I am rushing to simultaneously try to shut him up and remove his hand, and he quips again, "Really Dad, my penis is getting bigger." So much for the spiritualness of that meeting. The families around us covered their mouths and chuckled and I silently prayed that their kids would have something to say the next week.

There is nothing like going on vacation. Especially if, 4 hours into the 8 hour car ride, your youngest decides to throw up all over the car. Not to be outdone, while coming home a few days later, the second youngest pukes their guts all over the rest of the car. And then, since the car seems to really like puke, one of the kids your wife picks up for an activity chucks their cookies. If we ever sell our car, do we have to say that people barfed in it three times within 2 weeks.

Art is an important skill for children to learn. A couple days before we moved, our daughter was excited to let us know that she had drawn an airplane. She took us to see. Sure enough on the hallway wall we had just painted two days before, was a large mural of an airplane. In ballpoint pen. If you have ever tried to paint over pen, it bleeds through. Three coats of primer and two coats of paint later, the wall was back to normal. And all of the pens were hidden.

Science is something you hope your kids will learn as they get holder. Sometimes they want to start early. I was remodeling and had left a live wire hanging out of a wall. I had purposely clipped the metal to the plastic, and each of the three conductors was cut at a different length (so they wouldn't accidentally touch. My son decided it would be a good idea to touch all three wires to the bundt pan. Lots of sparks and no electricity later, he decided that he didn't want to learn about electrons that early.

Counting can be fun, especially if it involves food. We made cupcakes for a party and left them on the counter to cool. My son pushed the chair up to the counter so he could count the cupcakes. I guess he wanted to make sure he didn't double count because every one had a finger sized hole in the middle.

All this, and my kids haven't yet learned about explosives and fire!

1 comment:

  1. I was right behind you in church for that one! I was glad it was you that time and not me. Our son was getting a horsey ride in church when he was about 3 or 4 and told Grandpa that he was hurting his penis as loud as he could. Ha Ha Ha! Kids are funny!