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Friday, December 16, 2011

(YKW...#3) You Know You're A Parent When...


Here’s the third, weekly installment of You Know You’re A Parent When… (YKW…). (If curious, the first two are here and here.)

You know You’re A Parent When…

Papa? Why doesn't your book make flushing noises?
·         Your favorite book was Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane, but now it’s Potty Time With Elmo by someone over at Sesame Street.

·         You’re in the kitchen and after cutting an orange for your four-year-old, you hand it to No. 1 Son who looks at the eight segments and stops to say “You’re a chef, Papa!” These four words result in you swaggering around the kitchen for more than an hour creating orange-based dishes (Spam a la Orange) all the while shouting “Bam!” like you’re Emeril on steroids.

·         At a homeschooling event, a child pops up out of nowhere to warn that the shoes of No. 1 Son are on the wrong way. Jumping in your seat, you squeak a less-than-manly “agggh!” before conspiratorially leaning over to whisper with a knowing look.

“My little guy is still learning how to do stuff like putting his shoes on, but thanks for telling me.”

The older child nods knowingly and wanders off, his job done here.

Wrong way, Papa!
Bending to fix the shoes of No. 1 Son, you think back to when the shoes went on… which is when you realize you put them on…


You’re in an elevator when No. 1 Son, who’s sitting in a shopping cart, introduces the family to a pair of strangers sharing the ride.

“This is Mama,” he proudly says, oblivious to the adults who awkwardly nod and smile at each other before looking toward the digital display to see if we’re there yet.

“This is No. 2 Son... and this,” a flourish of the hand toward you, “this is my friend.”


Later, as children are scooped up in preparation for bath and bed time, No. 1 Son burrows into your shoulder and says “I love the new house… and I like you, Papa.”

Hmm, from “friend” to “I like you, Papa” in a day… I suppose that’s a promotion, right?

·         And where would we be without a guest appearance by the Lucky Charms. Only this week, the cereal that keeps on giving has met its match.


Following weeks of flying marshmallows, you hand a new breakfast item to No. 2 Son and stand back at a safe distance to see what happens…
No. 2 Son looks at the new offering, takes a small bite, then another and you regain the ability to breathe.

Then, the Curse of the Lucky Charms strikes again!

Your 21-month-old lets out a roar and chucks his now-former breakfast off the side of the high chair. Sighing, you reach for the “Lucky Charms pan” (it used to be called a “dustpan," but whatever) and bend to clean the discarded dish.

But wait... what’s this… Instead of several hundred pieces, there’s just one large chunk.

Huh? What is this truly magically delicious item?

Cleaning is a snap and in wonder, you wander to the kitchen to read more about this thing called “BREAD.”
Wonder Bread?

And finally, you know you’re (going to be) a parent (again) when your beautiful, pregnant wife grabs the keys and decides at 9 p.m. that she wants “something simple to eat.”

Oh oh…

Driving to the little mall that could, there are four options including such fine dining establishments as “Taco Bell,” “Jack in the Box” and the one you should have bought shares in when No. 1 Son was born: “McDonalds.”

After driving by each of the afore mentioned restaurants, and feeling like a menu board stalker, (your wife’s driving,) the final decision is made: Jack in the Box.

Great, that was easy…

We order, pay the cashier and prepare to drive home.

…and then she sees Taco Bell….

We order, pay the cashier and prepare to drive home.

…and then she sees Jack in the Box… again…

We order, pay the cashier and prepare to drive home – but not before I smile and throw a reassuring wave at the worried cashier, who having served us twice in five minutes, seems about ready to press the alarm.

Making it home


my beloved wife decides she only wants Taco Bell.

Who’s going to eat the Jack in the Box food – the one we drove through twice? Not me, I’m not hungry….

“Please, I don’t want this anymore, but I don’t want the food to go to waste…please?”

And that’s how, at 9:30 on a Thursday evening, you sit down to eat a nourishing meal consisting of a double cheeseburger, curly fries and two cheesy sticks…

Uuhh, my tummy still hurts…


Lara Schiffbauer said...

Can totally relate to the swagger as a result of a child's compliment, putting shoes on wrong, and enjoying more children's books than adult books! In our house, it's Marshmallow Mateys that is the magic cereal. Great post, and I am glad to meet you!

Mark Koopmans said...

Aloha Lara,

Hey thanks for the follow, and nice to meet you, too! Oh, and mahalo for the tip about the Marshmallow Mateys.. I haven't even heard of them cereals :)

Morgan said...

Bahahaha!!!! I think I'll be laughing all morning. I love it. You are SO spot on! *laughs*

Mark Koopmans said...

@Morgan: Mahalo and I'm *so* glad I'm not alone :)

Sarah Tokeley said...

I was late getting here but I'm so glad I didn't miss this. What a perfect pick me up for a cold rainy Monday morning.

Your wife reminds me of when I was pregnant and had to have a packet of flamin' hot monster munch. (Crisps - or chips I think you call them. A potato snack anyway!) Husband came homewith six packets of pickled onion flavour because 'they were nearly the same' and I had hysterics :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh the joys of pregnancy, I'm glad you are wonderful person who takes care of your lovely wifes needs :) I hope that all is well. Good luck with what's coming :)

Joyce said...

Mark you are hilarious! I'm just now catching up on your blogs... its 3:27 am here and I'm laughing so hard (as quietly as I can to not wake the baby) that I'm crying... I hope my sister knows how lucky she is! Sending you all our love!

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