Friday, February 03, 2006


Day 50 OT

***DISCLAIMER***The following journal entry contains graphic language and imagery. It is most likely not suitable for minors, anyone who is squeamish, or anyone with a penis who has never given birth. Please read at your own risk.

I am a terrible parent. Obviously, I got cocky after the chocolate sauce episode, and seeing that shiny white tooth come out of Kendrie’s mouth. Cocky and overconfident. All that came crashing down. Twice -- not once, but twice -- in the past 24 hours I have been reminded that Blaine is actually a much better parent than me. I’m not sure why, but he is. In fact, I should hope he doesn’t file for divorce anytime soon because not only would he be granted sole custody of our children, I wouldn’t even get unsupervised visitation.

First, it was the basketball episode last night. Kellen’s team, undefeated (or “undefeatable”, as he liked to say) for the season, lost their first game. It was one of those extremely painful losses, where your team is only behind by one point with ten seconds left and you actually have a chance to sink a shot and win, and then someone on the other team steals the ball and makes a long, lucky shot and then you’re behind by three points with eight seconds to go and you know its hopeless. Painful like that. And even though they are only seven years old, and it was by no means the Final Four Championship Game, they took it pretty hard. Kellen wasn't the only team member with a quivering lip at the end.

It’s about a twenty minute drive home from the gym and Kellen was very upset. I ran the gamut of unsolicited parenting advice: “Son, losing is a part of life … at some point in time you’re going to lose homework, a job, even a girlfriend (I stole that from his coach’s talk) and there’s no reason to be upset. As long as you did your best and had fun, that’s all that matters.”

That didn’t work, so I tried a new tactic: “Kellen, it’s ok to feel sad and disappointed because you didn’t win, but it’s not OK to be a quitter” (This was after he informed me he hated basketball and never wanted to play another game.) New, cheerleader attempt: “Kellen, you’ll get ‘em next time!” but nothing was working. We got home, he went straight to his bed, pulled the covers over his head and cried for twenty minutes.

So Blaine went in the room and shut the door. Ten minutes later, Kellen came out, if not SMILING, at least markedly less depressed. I asked Blaine, “What did you say to him?” and Blaine replied, “I just told him losing was a part of life, and it happens to everyone and it’s ok to feel sad and the next game will be better.”

Um, ok. And *what* was it I had been saying the entire drive home? But obviously it worked better coming from Blaine. Episode #1, proving he is a better parent than me. I’m still not sure how or why, but chalk one up for Blaine.

Then, this morning at breakfast, we somehow got on the subject of the kids when they were babies, and newly born. My kids, like many others (I can only assume) love hearing details about their births and subsequent first year of life ….. “Who was the fattest when they were born? Who had the most hair? Which kid was it that pooped on you the first time you gave her a bath?” Those sorts of things. (PS. Kellen, Kellen, and Brayden, in that order.)

Somehow, this morning’s conversation started with Kellen commenting that all boys come out of the stomach (he was a c-section baby) and all girls come out of the pee-pees. Let me just reiterate the conversation for you, so you can form your own opinions:

Kellen: “Boy babies come out of the stomachs and girl babies come out of the pee-pees.”

Kendrie: “That’s not true. Some boy babies come out of the baginas.”

Kellen: “Well, I’m glad *I* didn’t come out of a vagina!!!”

(At this point, the giggling has started in earnest. I suppose when you’re in elementary school, “Vagina” is the funniest word on the planet.)

Kendrie: “Well, I came out of a bagina and it was fun!”

Kellen: “Fun??"

Kendrie: “Yeah, it was fun!”

Brayden: “Oh, like you really remember?”

Kendrie: “Yeah! It was like a roller coaster ride!”

(even the adults are giggling at this point)

Kendrie: “Yup, it’s a good thing I had my seat belt on!” and she proceeded to throw her arms up in the air like she was going down a big hill. “Wheeeeeeeeee!!!”

All five of us are laughing now at how silly she is being, and I see what I think is the perfect opportunity to redeem my lackluster parenting episode of last night by furthering the frivolity at the breakfast table. I say to Blaine, “Hey, hand me the salad tongs” and then I hold them up and wave them around, saying, “Yep, but at the last minute you wouldn’t get OFF the roller coaster, so the doctor took a pair of these and pulled you out this way!” (me, smiling, thinking all the kids would think that was sooooooo funny)

Instead, total silence.

Kendrie, with a horrified look on her face: “That’s not true. That didn’t happen.”

Kristie, still laughing and thinking we were all having big-fun: “Yes, it is. Your head got stuck so they grabbed hold of it with a big pair of tongs and pulled you out that way.”

At which point Kendrie renders an earth-shattering scream, runs from the table, and throws herself on her bed, crying hysterically.

And once again, I’m left sitting there, thinking, “What the hell did I do wrong? I thought we were having fun.”

Blaine looks over at me: “Smooth. Real smooth”

So he goes into her bedroom, talks to her for five minutes, and then she comes back out, giggling once again, and points to Kellen, “Yeah, but Dad says when you born, you were blue!” which she finds hysterical. (Never mind that it’s not even true.)

My point is, everything I say is wrong and everything Blaine says is right. Why is this so? I mean, *I* was the one with a baby’s head stuck in my bagina, why is she upset with me for pointing it out???

Obviously I need to re-take Parenting 101 and brush up on the chapter on age-appropriate information. Otherwise none of them are going to want to talk to me about ANYTHING! Of course, with the birds and the bees conversation coming up in a few years, maybe that’s not a bad thing. The way things are going, Blaine will be better at dispensing *those* golden nuggets of wisdom, anyway. Knowing me, I’ll just brandish salad tongs and traumatize them further.

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