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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What’s So Lucky About Lucky Charms?

OK, I must stop here.
But, you just started…
Well, I have to stop and explain something.
Fine, but you could have waited until you’d written something more than “Aloha.”
What’s wrong with “Aloha?”
There’s nothing wrong with aloha, it’s just you picked a bad place to stop.
Stopping, right after I started?
Oh… OK, mahalo.
No worries, now where were you?
I was here, where were you?
In your head, and, by the way… who’s on first?

The above is typical of the conversations I have during the day while I run around as a stay-at-home dad – and aspiring
more like perspiring
See, it’s not that I’m going crazy
he’s not
but every now and again, when I’m alone up to my neck in sticky fingers, dirty feet and repeated requests like
Can I have the pink telephone, please, Papa?
My Office (With Reflected View!)
that I feel the need to chat with someone not called Curious George, Tickle me Elmo or Larry the Cucumber.

The other day, I was trying to get out of the house at least fifteen minutes past the time I supposed to be there
Ha! Making it anywhere on time with my two little boys… I must want to be a fiction writer.
There I stood, in the middle of the living room with three shoes, two drinks and a snack bag hanging off my pinkie, with my two Tasmanian cutie pies listening to nary a word, when I realized that this was why they don’t hand out baby manuals to new parents.
(Mowers and toasters, yes. Babies, no. As a species, we would have died out ages ago.)
But, it’s true. As a parent trying to get anything done on a schedule, it seems like there are only two ways of looking at life during the many moments of "crisis."
It may be embarrassing to stand, sobbing in a pile of expired coupons and look around the baby aisle wondering why they moved the coffee? And, where did they put the frozen quesadilla bites that I need for my picky-eating, Prince of Particular?
But, having often cried myself to sleep in the fetal position (!) I know now that I might as well laugh my way through the day.
So, I thought I’d share a couple of things that made me laugh today (Monday) as I muddled around being a parent who’s trying to write through the drama of life.

Don't Touch the Tree!!
·          Sunday, my wife, Gen, and I started to decorate the Christmas tree, but today I discovered it leaned to the right no matter what I did. So, instead of using a shiny, man-card friendly tool-kit, I went with two of the kids’ colored, wooden blocks and a Gatorade bottle filled with water to stabilize above mentioned safety hazard, er, tree. (MacGyver would have been proud.)

·         Right now, my two boys are watching Curious George, so I have twenty-two minutes to write until the snack plate gets chucked off the table, or the giant fish ball is thrown at the half-decorated Christmas tree… that, hmm, seems to be blowing in the wind.... of the air-conditioning unit... (note to self: turn A/C off until Jan. 6.)
Oh, oh, spoke too soon, the youngest, (21-month-old Corey) snuck around my blind side… I just heard a splash, which means there's a ball or a shoe in the toilet bowl. (It was the ball...)

·         I later discovered a trail of various animal crackers, Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms leading to the general vicinity of the "water boy" who stops chowing down long enough to look up as if to say “Papa, you said if we’re home, it’s OK to eat the stuff that falls on the floor.”

Ed. Note: The author of this piece recollects no such thing, and invokes the Three-Second Rule of the Fifth Amendment.
 By the way, speaking of Lucky Charms… Who are they lucky for? Chiropractors? Dyson vacuum cleaners? I’m always picking up the unlucky seventy-five percent from the Ziploc bag that once contained the marshmallow cereal thingies.
Why do they even pack oat cereal into Lucky Charms anyway? Who eats the cereal? Wouldn’t it be luckier, or more charming, to have an excess of marshmallows and less cereal?
Oh, how these and other questions swirl around my head as I run to deal with the latest issue. (Riddle me this: How do you wash the dirty, stinky towels that lay around a leaking washtub?)
However, it’s the wonderful, unscripted moments that make being a homeschooling parent, in my case, the most wonderful, exciting and amazing experience J
I think when kids hug you, they hit you up with some form of mind-numbing, forget-the-last-hours-of-drama secretion…and their kisses, oh, and their kisses are filled with a liquid solution of love mixed with a double dose of amnesia. (See below… I think…)
This morning, before my unlucky trauma began, I stumbled past the Christmas tree, giving it my best I'll-get-to-you-when-I'm-ready look. Rubbing my eyes, I headed for the kitchen, thinking about the boys’ breakfast when four-year-old Tobey sprinted past me and off he went to hug the tree.
The tree.... ahhh that's cute...... oh, wait!

No! Son, watch out for the blocks and the Gatorade bottle!
“Papa, why is there a Gatorade bottle holding up our Christmas tree?”
A highly intelligent question, one in which I deflected by offering waffles, pancakes or peanut butter sandwich?
Peanut butter won, and then came a moment of silence, a look toward the tree
Oh, oh….
followed by:
“Papa! Today is Christmas time!”
Well, that's a good way to start off a Monday :)
Then this evening, as we were about to go upstairs, the wee man came up and hugged me... for much longer than he hugged the little Noble Fir that could.
Take that, tree!
“Yes, my son.”
“Papa, thank you for putting the lights on the outside walls. I love you.”
Clears throat…

Sunset & Lights!
Today, I plan to write about how hard, and how difficult it is to be a parent…. Hmmm, where did I put my notes? What was I going to say? I can’t seem to remember…

Can you remember one of your favorite hugs? Why not share a fun memory… It’s Christmas time, and as they say over here, we wish you a Mele Kalikimaka :)


Green Monkey said...

big smile here! I like to read you because you're so real. This appeals to me. and yes, I know that inner voice well. mine tells me all sorts of silly things but mostly it reminds me about what I should write. so glad you write the simplicity of your day - it made me smile and it made me remember how special it was to be a mom to a young child.

Leigh Covington said...

Awww - this is so awesome and endearing! I love hearing from a "perspiring" dad! Kids are chaos, but worth every minute when you get an "I love you" or one of those "special hugs." Right now I really wish my 2 year old would go to sleep, but she's off chasing the dog. I don't want to know what else she's doing. Thanks for stopping by my blog! And even though it says my name is "Leigh" you probably remember me as "Abby from David's blog :)

Mark Koopmans said...

Aloha Shannon,

Mahalo for the comments and yeah, I know it is a little crazy (hence the "voices" :) but I wouldn't trade it for the world... Especially as I know one day my boys will be all grown up, living their own lives, God willing.

Mark Koopmans said...

Aloha Leigh,

Mahalo for your kind words, and could you imagine how the world would look if we could only harness the energy of a two-year-old...

(Surely, there'd be less bags under the eyes of more parents:)

Anonymous said...

I can't remember one specific hug, but like you after a long hard day when everything seems to go wrong, it's those, I love you hugs at the end of the day that make everything worth.

That or when they use words like llama, and you're pretty sure you've never taught them those words. :)

Mark Koopmans said...

Hey Mel!

That's classic, but you're right, every now and again, the boys will come out with a ramdom word and my wife and I are like, huh? (We should call them "llamaisms" :)

Mahalo for stopping by, as always!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Nice to meet you! I found you through Leigh's blog.:) Glad to meet another writer. And one from Hawaii? Jealous! :D

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