Posts tagged the lass

Being the Bad Guy


We had a really nice evening, the kids and I. Putting them to bed was an entirely different matter.

With the lass at dance, the boy only had a couple of things we wanted him to do. One was to study his spelling words. The other was to put aways laundry. Given those two things, he was allowed to play Clash of Clans for awhile. Not all of the laundry was done and it was taking forever to dry the towels. So he put away his clothes that were folded, studied his spelling and then I let him play his game.

He and I discussed different strategies and how we liked to approach different aspects of the game. He liked to completely destroy other villages. I like to raid them for loot so I can afford to upgrade my own village. He likes to attack one way, I like to attack a different way. Mostly, I think he enjoys having the game in common with me as something to share.

We picked up his sister and came home to have a little dinner. The lass helped by getting the silverware and dishes out for dinner and the boy finished playing his game. After dinner, the lass cleaned up while the boy learned how to fold towels. I was able to put the final load of laundry in the dryer.

We played a couple of games and I let them turn on an episode of Scooby Doo on Netflix. While the watched that, I kept tabs on the clothes in the dryer. Things timed out reasonably well with their episode ending and the clothes completed drying right around their bed time. I sent them both upstairs with folded clothes to put away. Then, it was in to bed.

I could hear them yelling at one another from downstairs. The lass screamed at one point and someone either kicked or threw the laundry basket. After the past 2 weeks where every morning we have to listen to them snipe at one another, I’d had enough. I went upstairs and informed them they had both lost game privileges for tomorrow. The boy would not be playing Clash of Clans and the lass would not be allowed on the computer. I informed them I was tired of their inability to control themselves and their mouths and they were going to start paying for it.

That was bad guy, Part 1.

Bad guy, Part 2 was much worse and arrived only a couple minutes later.

After I went back downstairs, my expectation was they would finish putting their clothes away and get into bed without any more incidents. It wasn’t more than a minute later that the screaming and sniping started anew.

I didn’t go flying off the handle, but I was more than a little upset by the time I got back upstairs. To make sure I got their attention, I kicked the laundry basket. I then stated my disbelief at how I could have just punished them both for the exact same behavior they were currently engaging in. I stormed through one room and then the other. I went on for a few minutes and ended with the dire warning “God help you both if you do this tomorrow morning…” By the time I’d finished, both of them were sniffling and trying to hide tears.

On the one hand, I hate doing that. I take no pleasure in the yelling. I take no pleasure in punishing them. Every time I’ve done it, I replay the whole thing in my head wondering if my actions fit their crime. Tonight was no different. I’m still doing it as I write this post.

On the other hand, I firmly believe there are moments where a clear point has to be made. Where a line has to be drawn with florescent marker so they know the time has come that they have to start accounting for their behavior, and change it.

Sometimes, that requires a bad guy.

April Fools Paranoia


The lass got April Fools off to a start today when she told the Wife to look at all the birds out in the back yard. The Wife went to look and the lass declared “April Fools!” I think we can let the Wife slide since she was only on cup of coffee number one.

No, it wasn’t exactly epic.

The boy spent the day paranoid. He was certain that anything out of the ordinary was a prank. So when a classmate jumped up and declared that the writers of Minecraft would be deleting the game, he sniffed it out. When we tried to fool him about dinner, he sniffed it out. When we told him there was no Pack committee meeting tonight, he sniffed it out…

Wait. There was no committee meeting tonight. However, we’ve typically had our meetings on the first Tuesday of the month. The boy was hoping a friend would come over for the meeting, and when we told him there was no meeting tonight, but tomorrow night, he decided that we were pulling a fast one on him. Nothing the Wife or I could say would convince him otherwise, so we dropped it. It seemed likely he would figure things out eventually.

Around 7:30, the boy looked around a blurted out “When’s everyone showing up for the meeting?” Apparently, he hadn’t figure it out. Even then we couldn’t convince him there was no meeting.

Suffice it to say, things ended with the boy mad. Now, he was upset there wasn’t an April Fools prank.

Guess there’s no satisfying some kids.

Eggs Aren’t Always Good for You


The lass had a meltdown this morning, over eggs. Actually, it’s probably fair to say that everyone but the boy had a meltdown over eggs this morning. Ironically, he’s the only one who didn’t at least try to have eggs this morning.

She started with the best of intentions. She wanted to make eggs for herself and the Wife. She planned on making them scrambled with some ham and cheese on them, which the Wife has a fondness for. Eggs are easy enough to cook up and we let both kids prepare them all the time and they’re actually fairly decent at it anymore.

Trouble started brewing shortly after she started cooking them. She’d scrambled 4 eggs and she became convinced that 4 eggs weren’t going to be enough for her and the Wife. She started to protest that she should make more. The Wife tried to assuage her fears and said that what she had would be plenty.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t good enough. Somehow, the situation deteriorated quickly into a shouting match. The lass HAD to make more eggs, if she didn’t she wouldn’t have enough for herself. The Wife was insisting it was all fine. The lass stomped off, leaving the eggs cooking. The Wife got up in a huff, incredulous that the lass just left everything there. She finished cooking the eggs and prepared a couple of plates, at which point the lass returned.

And immediately made the situation worse.

Now, she was upset because she had meant to serve the Wife her eggs. Her mood became darker. With a great “harrumph” she folded her arms across her chest and stared at her eggs. I think she was trying to burn them, but I can’t be sure. The Wife tried to calm her down and get her to eat. They got as far as sitting down with the plate in front of her. But she refused to eat her eggs.

At which point, I finally got involved. And not for the better.

The lass bellowed about how her breakfast was ruined. The Wife bellowed back that she was being ridiculous and that there was nothing wrong with her eggs and all she had to do was eat. I bellowed above them both. The lass started crying. The dogs were cowering. The boy was somewhere else on the planet. I think the bird were staring in slack-beaked amazement the train-wreck before them. The cat was, well, where the hell the cat was.

Since she was refusing to eat the eggs, I grabbed her plate and started eating them myself. Now she cried harder because she suddenly really wanted the eggs. The Wife got smart and walked away from the whole thing. I continued to eat the eggs and told the lass I didn’t want to hear anything else from her until she’d eaten something. So she got up and prepared herself a bowl of cereal, which is probably what she should have done from the get go.

It will probably be a few mornings before she has eggs again.

Hockey Season is Over


The season ended at opposite ends of the spectrum for the boy and the lass where hockey is concerned. Where as a couple of seasons ago, the boy was ready to say “Goodbye” to hockey and never play it again, he’ll be looking forward to next season for the remainder of the off season. The lass, on the other hand, is glad to be done with it for now.

The lass’ ended a tough league season with two straight playoff losses. This despite the lass’ best efforts through both games. Unfortunately, they just didn’t have the horses this season to get much done.

The boy’s season ended on the highest of notes, with his team hoisting the league championship trophy. The won a close 1-0 contest yesterday, as I noted earlier, and then won in a blowout in the championship game today, 8-1. The boy didn’t score any goals today, but he got a different kind of reward. The coaches had him sub in on the A-line when, once again, one of the A-line players had to leave the game early today. It was a nice vote of confidence for him at the end of a season where he really started to come into his own with hockey. He’s not a star player at this point, but he established himself as a quality player that the coaches relied on to help win games and get good effort and quality minutes from for the 2nd half of the season.

If he ever decides to really take the game seriously, there’s no telling how far he could go.

For the record, I also note that when the teams were assigned back at the beginning of the year, the boy was convinced they would be the worst team. He didn’t recognize any of the players names and all the good players he did know were on other teams. Just like a 4th grader to declare that he knows how everything was going to turn out without even playing the game. One of the nice things about his team’s success is he can never again play the “I never win at anything” self-pity card. There’s no telling where his sports will take him or how far he’ll choose to go, but winning a championship at any level is a special thing. Most importantly because once it’s won, it can’t be taken away.

Ice Is Slippery


Even for kids.

Our driveway has a large sheet of ice on it.  It’s the logical outcome of all the snow we’ve had.  I couldn’t remove it all with the snow thrower, so the snow that is left behind gets crushed and compacted by the cars.  Throw in a couple warm spells with some rain and everything is there to turn the snow pack into ice.

The state is, literally, out of salt.  I’ve tried several hardware stores on multiple occasions and they have none and further, they don’t know when more is arriving.  So the only option at this stage is sand, which I finally did after an infuriatingly embarassing spectacle I made of myself while trying to get our car up the driveway earlier this week.

It snowed a bit last night.  Not much- a good coating is all.  But that amount of snow on top of ice is like throwing ball bearings down on a marble floor.

I’ve told the kids not to run down the driveway on the ice so many times now that I don’t bother anymore.  So when we were walking down from the bus dropping them off after school, their usual shenanigans barely registered.  The lass paused for a moment and the boy and I continued towards the house.

I heard the lass start to sing a happy little jingle as she started to skip.

Then I heard the unmistakable sound of a food slipping, followed by the thud of the lass hitting the ground.  I have to admit, I was a little surprised.

I turned and there she was, on her side.  A little whimper popped out of her as the pain from the impact began to register.  She had fallen on her hip.  Not badly though, as when she got up to clean herself off, there were no holes in her stockings and there were also no blood stains from nicks or scrapes.

Nonetheless, she continued to whimper.

I consider it an “I told you so” moment but did’t say anything other than to ask if she was going to make it.  She answered by nodding while continuing to whimper.

We made it to the house and she went to her room to change and assess her injuries.  She came downstairs and showed me a slightly dinged knee, followed by telling me that she had all these scrapes on the side of her leg.  I asked her if they were bleeding and she replied “No, but they are all red.”  I told her if they weren’t bleeding then they didn’t count.  The look on her face was enough to let me know she wasn’t buying that.

But if nothing else, she knows now that ice is slippery.



At last night’s Blue and Gold Banquet, there was an appetizer table with a variety of food stuff from Rice Krispy Squares to pretzels to carrots.  We held the kids off from the table for as long as we could, then allowed the stampede to begin.

The lass had a bunch of cookies to start.  Then, she went and had an equal number of carrots.

She said the carrots were to balance out the cookies.




The Wife, the boy and I are currently watching National Treasure. We were looking for something fun to watch for a movie tonight and, since it’s Saturday, the kids get a little leeway on their bedtimes. The Wife and I figured this was a fun movie to watch since it was a mystery-puzzle type movie with a little action and nothing overly objectionable for a younger crowd.

Perhaps you noticed someone is missing from that list of viewers.

The lass wanted nothing to do with it. She doesn’t like mystery movies. She doesn’t like puzzle movies. She huffed. She puffed. She pouted. She harrumphed.

And when the movie went in the Blue Ray player, she left the room.

She went into another room with a couch and laid down with a blanket and did… nothing.

After the movie had been on awhile, I went in to check her. The blanket was wrapped around her head and laid across her body. She was facing the back of the couch with her arms crossed. She was fast, asleep.

I left her there in the room and turned the light off. Best to let sleeping monsters lie.

A 6 Day Weekend


The lass has been sleeping on top of her covers (and backwards) now for a couple months. Can you guess why?

So we got the call early this morning around 5AM that school was cancelled. The boy woke up when he heard the phone and turned off his alarm. The lass, sleeping reversed on her bed and on top of her covers, was oblivious to everything. I shut her alarm off for her.

This particular weekend was already scheduled to be a long one. They have both Monday and Tuesday of next week off for a Winter break. I’ll be making up some extra homework for them to work on so they don’t go completely stale. I find it remarkable that after 4 years of school with the two of them, neither has had any weekend homework assignments. I don’t get that.

Aside from a few more chores, today’s main accomplishment was shoveling the deck. After the bulk of the snow came down yesterday, we got some freezing rain late in the night into the morning. I hadn’t shoveled the deck yesterday and there was pre-existing snow from some of the previous storms. All told, there was about 16 to 18 inches of wet snow sitting on the deck, which was more weight than I thought was prudent. It took me a couple hours to ease the burden significantly.

Oh, and we’re supposed to get more snow tomorrow.

The kids got to watch a little more Olympic action tonight, watching the woman’s skeleton. They asked what the “skeleton” was and I said it’s basically sledding on your belly down a sheet of ice. The cheered on the two American competitors and were bummed out when the one was bumped out of the medals, and then bummed a bit when the other was bumped from gold to silver. But they got to see her excited reaction, so it all worked out.

So now we prepare for a weekend of hockey and martial arts. The boy has a technical review for his junior black belt this weekend, as well as his hockey game on Sunday. He won’t be at practice tomorrow. The lass, on the other hand, will be attending all of her hockey.

Of everyone, the storm hit the Wife the hardest. She was on a business trip and was supposed to return yesterday. The storm blew that out of the water and after jumping through hoops to rearrange things, she was supposed to be home earlier this evening. That too got blown out of the water because another storm delayed her flight from taking off and she missed her connector. She’s now waiting for her flight to take off in another hour or so and she’ll be home some time after midnight. But, she’ll be home and that’s the main thing.

As for my my opening question for this post, the reason the lass sleeps on top of her covers is that way she doesn’t have to make her bed in the morning. She stopped sleeping under the covers the after we cleaned her sheets and she’d remade her bed. She hates it that much.

Learning Something New


“Dad, what does ‘U’, ‘R’, ‘A’ spell?” the lass asked me.

She was staring at a piece of candy. One of those soft sugar kinds that melts in the mouth. These also have little notes written on them.

“Does it have any other words on it?” I asked.

“Yeah, it has ‘STAR’ on it. But what does ‘U’, ‘R’, ‘A’ spell? I don’t get that..” she trailed off.

How best to get her to see the light?

“Read it again,” I told her.

“Letter ‘U’, letter ‘R’, letter ‘A’, STAR,” she said.


Should have known it wouldn’t be that easy. But perhaps with just a little more coaxing…

“Read it again without saying ‘letter’ before each letter,” I said.

“‘U’ ‘R’ ‘A’ STAR,” she read.

She then stared at the candy for a moment and said “Oh.”

Or perhaps it was ‘O”.

The Lass’ Day


The lass’ day started with an early rise to go to breakfast with Mom. Mom does this with each kid exactly once each year. She had to have her lunch packed and ready to go because the arrival time back at home is tough to predict. Today, they got home with plenty of time to spare and she even got to watch some cartoons before we headed off to school.

Rather than dropping them off at the school door, today I was bringing them in the front door. I had to drop off a snack that the Wife and the lass worked on together last night. It’s something that the Wife and her Mom used to make together. I’m not sure what to call it, but it’s a combination of chocolate cake and chocolate pudding with M&M’s for a topping. There’s not a lot to dislike there, especially if you’re a kid.

The force of habit is a strong one and I whiffed when we arrived at school. I actually proceeded to the normal drop off point. The lass pointed out my error, so I had to execute a circle to re-enter the parking lot and then park so I could drop off the kids and the snack.

The afternoon was spent in preparation of the lass’ dinner. She wanted stromboli. In fact, she wanted 2: one with pepperoni and cheese and the other with ham, pineapple and cheese. I wasn’t totally keen on either, so I through a third one in there for the meat lovers at the table made with sausage, hamburg and cheese. So I had to prep 3 batches of dough with plenty of rise time for them.

The kids arrived home at he usual time in the usual way. Although, the lass was missing something as she trotted down the driveway. She informed me that in her excitement to get home she’d forgotten the tray with the treats on it. No biggie though, since I’m sure she’ll remember it tomorrow.

Shortly after the kids got home, the Grandparents arrived. That was a surprise for the lass. And then a little after the Grandparents arrived the Aunt arrived. That wasn’t a surprise for the lass since she had called to invite her over. I was busy completing the stromboli so I had the kids greet them at the door as well as take care of the dogs. The rest of the evening was pleasant as her Grandparents visited, ate, watched her open presents and then had some sundae’s for dessert.

The lass was high on the attention from the day. Her brother was a good sport today as well. He didn’t pull any jealous routines and was willing to let the lass bask in her glory for the day. There was one hiccup in the evening when they went at each other’s throats. I just attributed that to coming down from the sugar high from dessert. Either way, things settled down as quickly as they had flared up.

From that point it was a short trip to bed time. The Grandparents and Aunt had left by then and everyone was settling in from the bustle of the early evening. The kids had exercised a few of the goodies the lass had received. Done with that, they went upstairs and got ready for bed. The lass went to sleep a happy camper. She’d very much enjoyed her day.

A Lesson in Hustle


Neither the Wife nor I have ever tried to force the kids to do sports they don’t like. The furthest we’ve pushed them is to complete seasons. We take the approach that if they sign on to something, they need to see it through. If they really didn’t like it, they don’t have to sign up for the next year.

The one thing the Wife and I both stress is effort. We want them both to give their best effort when they are out there. Where hockey is concerned, it’s pretty easy to tell when they are doing that.

This past weekend was the first time where they both gave the kind of effort we’d like to see from them all the time. The lass was rewarded with a breakaway goal in her game. It was well earned for her. She’d skated hard the whole game and was really good with her positioning. Rather than crowding her teammates when they had the puck, she’d position herself in front of the goal in hopes of a pass. She was close a bunch of times. Her breakaway was well earned.

The boy’s reward was less tangible, and I had to explain it to him afterwards.

First, it was obvious he was tired by the end of the game. He was taking breaks when he could get away with it and during faceoffs, he would hunch way over and rest his elbows on his knees. His line was shorthanded and playing 4-on-4 on full-length ice will sap the energy out of the youngest legs.

The game was tied going into the final 2 shifts. The boy’s line started with 3 minutes to go and they had their back against the wall the whole 1:30 they were on the ice. They played in their defensive zone pretty much the entire time. With about 10 seconds to go on their shift, the puck squirted out from the corner across the goal mouth where an opposing player picked it up and skated across the goal mouth, with only the goalie in front of him.

I was sure it was going to be a goal.

I was so sure, I didn’t notice the boy had been busy chasing him down. The player was taking his time for the shot and it ended up being a moment too long. The boy caught up to him and from the backside, stripped the puck and flicked it into the corner. A few seconds later, the buzzer sounded ending their shift and they’d escaped. His team’s final shift went out and scored a game winning goal with a minute left.

The boy wasn’t aware of how his hustle had paid off until after I’d explained to him how it looked. I’d witnessed the whole thing from right behind the net. He still tries to count things in terms of assists and goals. Hustle plays like the one he’d perpetrated he just doesn’t pay attention to.

I was happy to let him know about it though.

Trust Issues


With the Wife away until late this evening, well after the kids were done with school, the lass had to make an important decision: what would she wear to school?

She’d been planning to wear a “cat” outfit consisting of a favorite shirt a cat necklace and cat earrings. The problem was she isn’t proficient enough yet at putting in her own earrings. With the Wife away, that meant she’d have to entrust me with putting her earrings in.

She opted for a different outfit today.

Shockingly, I’m not too offended she didn’t trust me with her earrings.

Th Difference a Week Makes


After last week’s shenanigans involving the lass, I thought it worth noting that this week is a complete 180 degree turn. She’s been eagerly doing her homework. She hasn’t been complaining or particularly disagreeable. She hasn’t been fighting with the Wife. She’s basically been a model child.

Next week is gonna suck.

The Lass’ Difficult Week (So Far)


Perhaps it’s because it’s the first full week back from Christmas vacation. Perhaps it’s because it’s been so cold. Perhaps it’s because there’s not enough snow on the ground.

Whatever the reason, the lass has been a royal pain in the ass this week.

It begins with complaining about “nothing to eat for breakfast.” This is after she eliminates eggs, sausage, waffles, bread, peanut butter and cereal. Perhaps our morning selection is a bit thin by restaurant standards, but she’s complaining to a guy that’s been eating eggs and sausage for breakfast every day for the past 15 months or so. I’m not terribly sympathetic and at 6:30 in the morning, neither is the Wife.

It continues with complaining about all the personal hygiene stuff. She doesn’t want to comb her hair. She doesn’t want to brush her teeth. She doesn’t want to do anything that she deems as inconvenient, which can be anything depending on which direction the wind is blowing that morning.

Life doesn’t get easier when she returns from school. She doesn’t want to do her homework. It’s stupid and boring, or boring and stupid for a variation. She doesn’t like practicing her math. She doesn’t like to do her reading and the writing is dumb. Come dinner time, she typically hates whatever it is.

So yesterday, she returned home from school with her brother whom sat down and started playing with his laptop. The lass immediately began hanging all over him. I let it slide initially, but then the two of them started yelling at each other while I was on the phone and I had to interrupt my phone conversation to shut them down. The women on the other end, when I resumed our conversation, said “Wait until their teenagers.” I retorted “They may not make it that far.”

Shortly after I got off the phone, there was more bickering. Fed up, I looked over and once again the lass was hanging all over her brother while he was trying to work on his computer. I told her to get away from him and go find something to do. She huffily planted her fanny on the couch, put on a grimace and growled “I don’t want to do anything else.”

“If I have to separate you again, you’ll go spend time in the corner, then the rest of the evening in your room,” was my reply. I turned my attention back to what I had been working on and left her there on the couch.

Less than 30 seconds later, the boy is screaming at her to get off of him. I looked over and sure enough, she’s literally sitting on top of him again.

“Alright,” I announced. The lass whirled around at me, eyes wide and went immediately to the couch. “I guess you thought I was joking, so now I have to show that I meant it.” She started crying as I took her to the corner.

I completed what I had been doing and then started working to get some dinner going. I kept tabs on the lass to make sure she wasn’t cheating on her stint in the corner. After about 15 minutes, I sent her to her room. She stomped upstairs.

She came back down for dinner where she frowned at what I put in front of her. She ate it though, without any comments. After she finished, she grabbed some reading and went back upstairs.

I checked in with her a bit later and her general attitude was much improved. I tried to talk to her about what’s been bugging her. There was no illumination to be had, she simply rehashed that she though everything at school was boring. Before I left, she offered me her math flash cards and I went through them with her. As I left, she asked “Dad, can I come downstairs for a little while?”

I softened my tone, but was unyielding “I’d like to kiddo, but I told you what would happen and I meant it. I don’t know why you insist on being so difficult this week, but its finally caught up with you tonight.”

She then tried to blame her brother for whining and getting her in trouble. I knew this was coming and was ready for it. “Your brother did not make you come and sit on top of him. I did not warn your brother about consequences- I warned you, clearly. You either forgot them or chose to ignore them. It’s one thing if you had been standing behind him, not even touching him. You were literally sitting in his lap. The only one at fault here is you.”

She was silent at that. No comebacks. No arguing. No “but but but’s.” I left her there in her room.

The lass came downstairs this morning. She put her lunch together. She made her mother breakfast (eggs) and herself breakfast. Cereal with strawberries. She got dressed without complaint, brushed her teeth without being told and combed her hair without complaining. She even emptied the dishwasher without having been asked.

Newly reformed? Or rebounding from her low last night?

I know which way I’m betting.

The Bat Who Couldn’t Fly


The following is a short story the lass wrote for homework today. As always, I have endeavored to reproduce the story in it’s original form as written by the lass.

Once there was a bat named Bruce who was scared to fly because he was afraid of heights. One day his mother said Bruce had to fly to find his own food because he was old enough. He didn’t want to but his mom had some advice for him. She told him not to look down. Bruce went to the entrance of the cave that night. He ran, then jumped and then flapped his wings hard to fly! From that day on, he never looked down again.

The Lass Breaks Through


Let the record show that on this day, the 26th of December in the year 2013 of our Lord, the lass finished her first chapter book. It was a kid’s version of Frozen, the current Disney movie out in theatres and was about 125 pages long.

After her victory, she did not declare that she’d be going to Disneyworld. She did ask when she could see the movie though.

Painting Penguins



Painting has never been my strong suit.  Actually, this sort of art in general has never been my strong suit.  Mom and the Sister both had that talent in spades, not myself.  My talents lie elsewhere.

As for the Wife, the lass and the boy I submit these to make your own assessment.  The Wife signed them up for an art class at a local gallery.  The class focused on teaching the mechanics of painting the penguin.  I imagine if enough of these classes were taken, a given person could become fairly proficient at creating these paintings.

Perhaps even me.




The boy and the lass built this fella yesterday afternoon when they got home from school.  It originally stood as tall as the boy, now it is about 6 inches shorter.  He looked a lot happier yesterday as well.  After today and tomorrow though, there may not be much of him left. 

The lass named him Olaf.  I think that is from the story Frozen which the lass is reading before she can see.

The boy was disappointed that Olaf had melted so much.  Guess he was hoping it would last so Santa could see him.  As if Santa doesn’t see enough snow stuff as it is.

Kids Being Kids


The Wife had a holiday night out with friends tonight. That left me with the kids. Fortunately, that’s a position I’m comfortable with by this point.

Tonight, they were split up for awhile. The lass had dance lessons again, now that her leg is fully healed. The boy had to take a karate class tonight to make sure he got his two nights per week in. I needed to get some paperwork for Scouts signed somewhere in the middle of all that.

As luck would have it, I ran into the fellow I needed to sign my paperwork at the karate school. Turns out, he handles the custom shirts for the school and we just happened to cross paths tonight. Fortunately, I had the papers with me so that took care of one burden.

The boy finished up his lesson and was hungry. He asked me if I knew what I wanted to do for dinner. In truth, I didn’t. It was going to be 6:30 by the time we got home, not leaving much time to throw anything together. I was strongly leaning towards dinner out.

I suspect the boy can sense these things, because he cheerily offered a local restaurant that we hadn’t been to in awhile. A little Mexican food place that he and the lass both liked. At that point, I didn’t need much convincing. We left to get the lass at her dance school. She was pleased at the news we’d be eating out tonight.

This place is a bit different when ordering food. It’s like a mix of takeout and sit down. We order the food at the register, then go and seat ourselves and wait for them to bring it out. The lass wasn’t sure what she wanted, so I ordered for her. The boy and I both ordered our usual meals- he gets a steak burrito and I get a taco salad with chipotle Ranch dressing. They both got bottled water to drink.

We hadn’t been sitting more than 30 seconds when the boy started wondering when they were going to bring the food out. “What’s taking them so long?” he complained. It’s one of those things I remember doing and am now ashamed of. I can only hope he’ll look back on his moments like these with a critical eye as well. He opened his bottle of water by breaking the plastic cap seal and took a drink. I’m not sure if the lass is more patient than her brother, or is just content to let him speak for the both of them. Whatever she might have been thinking, she remained quiet.

I had been zoning, looking out the window when I noticed the boy busying himself with something. I started to observe him and he was whapping a piece of the plastic cap around our table with another piece of the plastic cap. He’d push the piece in one direction, then double it back and bring it back in the other direction.

Then I realized, he was “playing” hockey.

I continued watching him. The lass wasn’t interested at this point. After a bit, I said “How’s the hockey game?”

He smiled a bit and said it was going fine. Then he put his off arm on the table and cupped his hand and started “shooting” the puck at his hand with the other piece.

When the lass heard mention of hockey, she turned and saw what her brother was doing. She was instantly ready to participate and formed her own hands into a goal. She implored her brother several times to start shooting the puck at her goal, but the boy ignored her. As she continued to watch him, she lamented “I want to play hockey…”

She then glanced at her bottle. The plastic piece that had come off of it wasn’t on the table. She looked on the floor, and there, lying next to her, was the little piece of blue plastic. She bent down to pick it up and I could see her beginning to ponder how she’d turn this into an object of entertainment.

Alas, it was not meant to be. Right then, the food arrived and all the hockey games ended in favor of eating dinner.

Pajama Day


Growing up, we didn’t have any of these silly days that the kids now have at school. There are silly hat days and twin days and comfy-cozy days and other days that I’ve forgotten. Today was pajama day at the school.

The lass came downstairs and remained in her pajamas all morning, just like her brother did. By “all morning” I’m merely referring to the time period from when they got up to when it was time to go to school. If she’d managed the real “all morning” then I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this post.

The kids were basically all ready for school and I told them it was time to go. That was when the lass got a serious case of cold feet.

She started complaining that her teacher wouldn’t know that today was pajama day and she would get in trouble for wearing pajamas. Suffice it to say, this reasoning made no sense. The boy knew what day it was, there was no conceivable way that a teacher wouldn’t as well.

She stuck to her guns and slowly worked herself into tearful frenzy over the issue. Seeing that things were hitting “ridiculous”, I quietly went outside to the car to start warming it up and left it up to her if she wanted to change. The only thing was, she had to choose quickly because we couldn’t wait forever or they would be late for school.

While the boy and I sat out in the car while it warmed up, the Wife stuck her head out the door and gave us some kind of signal. I figured the lass was changing clothes and she just needed another minute or two. Sure enough, the lass emerged from the door a short time later wearing black clothing- something the Wife had chosen for her.

The boy wanted to make a big deal, but I told him to knock it off and reminded him that it was fine if she didn’t want to wear her pajamas to school. There is no requirement to participate in this stuff.

As to what was really going on in the lass’ head, only she knows that. She’s stuck to her guns regarding her irrationality. In the end, it turned out she was the only one in her class that didn’t wear pajamas, but that didn’t seem to bother her much. I guess she gets credit for that, anyway.

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