Tired, Son?

Busy day today with the kittens…

As Daddy’s summer vacation winds down it seems the two little ones have found renewed energy and discovered new ways to challenge their ever-older old man. On a side note, how is it they always seem to know exactly how to nail me right where it hurts?

Today we spent the morning cleaning. I should say, I spent the morning cleaning. I’ve ben trying really hard not to use the TV as a babysitter. Don’t ask. It’s just that I’ve noticed my son paying less and less attention to me lately. I’m not needy. I just think it would be nice to have a conversation with someone where you don’t have to physically turn the TV off in order to gain their gaze. But today was a little different. Having finished their pool lessons, we decided to sleep in a bit.

I should say, I decided to sleep in a bit. Miss Rita had other plans. I had woken up early for some reason. I went to the family room, sat down, pulled a blanket up over myself, and flipped on the news. I knew I’d fall back asleep. What I didn’t expect was to be awakened twenty minutes later. At precisely 7:05, my beautiful daughter stood before me. She slapped my face. Hard. “Ouch!” I said. “Daddy?” she replied in the softest, sweetest voice. I opened my eyes to see her face. How could I be upset. “What is it, sugar plum?” I asked. “My want to lie with you,” she said. That was sweet. She climbed under the blanket, placed my arm around her, and went back to sleep. Hell, that was easy.

Not too much longer later, though, and the day began proper. By about 8:30 they had both had breakfast. I had coffee. It’s how I roll sometimes. And that pile of laundry I had started tackling the night before — that same pile that was on the bed begging to be folded, that same pile my wife grew angry at me because I hadn’t yet folded it — the pile of laundry still needed my attention. We decided to play a little game. I should say, I decided to play a little game. It’s called “help Daddy sort the laundry”. It’s a fun game. My kids had other plans. “Ben? Ben? BEN! Is this Daddy’s shirt? or Benny’s?” I asked. “Ben? BEN!!! Look at me!” Ultimately I decided that, even though I hadn’t actually worn and dirtied three quarters of the clothes before me (as I told the young ones), I would be a nice guy and fold them. Throughout the course of the morning I had several loads going in and out of the machines. The end result was several neat piles of sorted, folded clothes on the freshly made bed in my room. I can be domestic when I choose to be.

Next it was on to the floors. The tiled floors in our kitchen and bathrooms have been needing serious care from me in the cleaning department for a while. I didn’t even think to ask the kids for their help on this one. Instead, I put a Veggie Tales DVD on for them. It’s wholesome, funny, and it keeps their attention. They didn’t even notice my grunts of agony from bending over that Swiffer contraption that supposedly doubles as a mop, scrubbing the floors with everything I had. Whatever. They’re clean now (at least for the moment).

But the real fun came in the early afternoon. Granny met us at the pool with three of my kids’ cousins! Fun times. Except that it’s 110 degrees today and even a pool can’t really help you there. On our way into the pool complex I asked my daughter, whom I was carrying in my arms, if she wanted to get down and walk. “Sweetheart? You wanna’ walk?” I said in a soft, sweet voice. “NO Daddy! ARGHGAHHHAHH!!!” I was just about to ask where that had come from when she nailed me with her foot right in the man parts. It almost didn’t matter whether she wanted to walk at this point because she very nearly got tossed out of my arms as I practically fell to the pavement. What on earth?! I guess she wanted to be held.

Two hours later we were relieved to hear the lifeguard’s whistle blow signaling a break. I should say, I was relieved to hear the whistle… You can see where this is going. We packed our rapidly wilting children up into the rockin’ Town and Country and headed home. Did they fall asleep on the ride as they so often do? Are you out of your mind? The rest of the evening was spent dealing with the typical fodder and fare of your average small family. Rita forgot she was practically potty trained. Clean up in the living room. Ben wanted to nap but then didn’t. Mommy decided to take Ben out to the store with her where they also stopped for ice cream. I stayed with little Miss and we had tons of fun playing “find the pacifier”. It’s a game we play where I take her pacifier and hide it and she laughs at the outrageous places I put it. Tonight, it was in a bag of Fritos. “Rita? It’s so sad you can’t find your paci. Would you like a chip?” I’m still laughing at her reaction.

And then it was off to bed. She went down easily. He struggled a bit.

Oh, remember all that laundry I folded? Yeah, I knew it was a lost cause.

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