My Dreams Are Bursting At The Seams

It is getting late and the kids haven’t finished their homework yet, scratch that, the dark haired beauty has, but her big brother hasn’t. In a perfect world he’d be working at his desk and she wouldn’t be able to try and torture him by flaunting her freedom, be we don’t live in that perfect world.

No, we live in the one where his desk is covered in Legos, not loose pieces, but the models he has already built. So instead of being downstairs he is at the kitchen table working hard on some pre Algebra that makes my eyes roll. It is not because I can’t figure it out, because I can. Thus far I can hang with the 5th grade math, every problem I solve is correct.

The issue is that I can’t figure out how this “new math” the teacher has is using so I can’t really help him as much as he might like. I leave the room and all of a sudden I hear them screaming at each other. I don’t have to go in there to know what happened. She is singing Sexy and I know it.

He hates the song and she knows it. Can’t tell you when she learned the words or where, but I suspect it was at her friend Mikayla’s house. Good old Mikayla and her parents have funny ideas about what is appropriate for children. I am not what you call prude, but they have no discretion or judgment.

My kids are really tight with both of theirs, but I can’t have this kind of nonsense going on. This song isn’t the worst thing and frankly most of it goes over my daughter’s head, but that doesn’t fix things. I have other issues with them and we are going to have a conversation about monitoring what our children watch online and elsewhere.

I try not to be that parent but when it comes to my children I don’t care if you like me.

“I’d like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay
Awake when I’m asleep
‘Cause everything is never as it seems”

Fireflies– Owl City

Both of the kids like this song but they don’t sing it as much as they used to. I kind of miss it. Now we have all sorts of different songs coming from their mouths. They really like Paradise and have a list of requests for other artists like Simon & Garfunkel, Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. What can I say, dad likes to influence their choices.

But there are others. Some of them are things that they have heard here and others elsewhere. I do a partial rundown in my head and find Numb/Encore, Resistance, Mr. Brightside and a smattering of Lady Gaga.

I look at these songs and give it my gut check to decide if I am ok with it or not. Does it fit with the What’s In a Name  theory or am I a hypocrite for complaining about one parent’s lack of judgment while ignoring my own. Maybe yes, maybe no.

What I know for certain is that any parent who doesn’t question their parenting skills scares me. It is also different when I choose to expose my children to something that might be advanced for them. Is that rationalizing bad behavior? Again, it might be, but they call me dad and not you.

Father/Daughter Dance At The Prom

It is 4 or maybe 5 o’clock and I am sequestered in my office. I am trying to figure out what to write at Words Left Unwritten and listening to music that I think will set the mood for me. Silver Springs comes on and I close my eyes.

My daughter walks in the room, takes my hand and pulls me to my feet. She smiles, climbs on the chair and puts her arms around my neck, “time for the Father/daughter dance at the prom.”

I smile and tell her that she doesn’t want to take me to the prom. She smiles back and says we can practice for her wedding. Dark eyes stare intently at my face and I wonder what she is thinking, but I don’t say anything because she has caught me again. She is daddy’s girl and even though I know I have years to go it is hard.

Her brother was born last week and his Bar Mitzvah is next year. Since they refuse to stop growing I know that means that I only have a few months before this wedding crap might happen.  She has a million different questions and wants to know how many times I have been in love.

I look at her and shake my head. It is only a few weeks ago that she told me she didn’t want to break his heart  and now she wants to talk about my dating history. She really isn’t asking for details, just wants to a simple answer. But it throws me, I am still picturing the girl with dark eyes, freckles and braids talking to me about getting married. It is like a scene from a movie.

I could show her It Burns  and  All I Want Is You or I Had A Dream. But why would I. That is not right for her. I would certainly be that parent again except most definitely on the wrong side of the fence.

The song ends and she hugs me. “Abba, I have a question. Will you buy me an iPad?”

“Nope, not yet.”

“Please don’t make me wait until I am married. That could be a 100 thousand years from now and you’ll be dead. Don’t be dead because I’d let you use it.”

“Darling, you need to work on your sales technique a bit.”

She giggles and runs out of the room.  A deep sigh sneaks out of my body and I smile. Just as sit back up to begin work on what is certainly the greatest idea I have ever come up with I hear, “I AM SEXY AND I KNOW IT!”

It is followed by a loud roar, giggling and the sound of footsteps chasing each other. Even though I am irked by the chaos I don’t mention to either of them that I kind of appreciate their chaos. I am a big brother after all and it reminds me a bit of the kind I once caused.

Still, I can’t let this go on so I wander out and get things settled down only to find out that still can’t figure out how the teacher is solving these problems. Maybe I am not as smart as a fifth grader after all.

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9 Comments

  1. Hajra March 10, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I don’t have kids but this surely makes me miss days when daddy was the only man in our lives and he had the solution to every problem. Why did I grow up/ 🙁

  2. Jens P. Berget March 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Both my kids are on YouTube all day long, and playing with my iPad. But now, I’ve decided to go on a trip to legoland in Denmark. I need to get them to become children again 🙂

  3. Brian Meeks March 9, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I think you are doing an excellent job of parenting. Of course, I don’t have any children, so I really have no idea. You are certainly doing an excellent job of writing about parenting.

  4. bridgetstraub.com March 9, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Strange how they are born one week and 13 the next, isn’t it?

  5. Annie Andre March 9, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Jack,
    The kids do grow up so fast. It’s such a cliche but it’s so true.
    ps.
    I wonder how long before you break down and get your daughter an ipad.

    • Jack March 9, 2012 at 7:52 am

      The answer is simple. She doesn’t need one yet and I don’t have the spare cash to pick one up.

      So she’ll wait a bit but this does tie into the one “big issue” I have with the kids school.

      A lot of these kids have money and have anything/everything they want.

      We aren’t poor by a long shot but this is serious money and even if I cared about keeping up, I couldn’t.

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