Another birthday, another day closer to death

Image courtesy of The Suburban Crab archives

Image courtesy of The Suburban Crab archives

Someone once told me that you never feel as old as when your kids celebrate another birthday.

Well, Boof just turned 15 on Friday. Imagine how I’m feeling now.

That sense of speeding toward your death doesn’t hit you those first couple of kid birthdays. You just feel joy and wonder: I can’t believe he’s turning 1! Or: She’s 2 today! She’s such a big girl!

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Don’t try this at home, kids—even if it wasn’t so last year

Image courtesy of Sam Mugraby, Photos8.com, via Wikimedia Commons

Image courtesy of Sam Mugraby, Photos8.com, via Wikimedia Commons

The cinnamon challenge. If you didn’t know about it before, no doubt you’ve heard of it by now: It’s a big YouTube phenomenon where you swallow a spoonful of cinnamon and record it for posterity so that people the world over can see what a moron you are—and then try to replicate it themselves so they, too, will go down in YouTube infamy.

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If I’m my kids’ first teacher, then my kids are in trouble

Photo from The Suburban Crab archives

Photo from The Suburban Crab archives

The other day I came home from work to find the following detailed message written on our dry-erase message board:

“Lady called Mom.”

Thankfully, Ted, who had arrived home before me, had filled in some of the details the original message-taker had not provided. He’d written, “I think it’s the same woman who called yesterday about having her thesis edited.” The woman had previously left a voicemail but had not left her phone number, simply noting she would call back.

That evening, as I was hugging Billup good night, she remembered: “Oh yeah, Mom, did you get the message? Some lady from Germany called you. She wanted you to edit some paper or something.”

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A perfect model for how not to behave

Photo from Bleacherreport.com

Photo from Bleacherreport.com

Model the behavior you want to see. Time and again, Ted and I have come back to this as one of the cornerstone philosophies for how we parent. We learned long ago that lecturing—“do as I say”—really doesn’t stick. But kids do follow what their parents do. Model the behavior you want to see in your kids, and they pretty quickly start following your behavioral lead.

Of course, the primary reason Ted and I have to come back to this thinking is because we keep straying from it. Or, more accurately: We completely forget that our “cornerstone philosophy” even exists. We are abruptly reminded of it only when one of the kids acts like kind of a jerk. Then it starts niggling at the brain how that jerkiness seems awfully reminiscent of somebody, it’s just so familiar, who are they acting like—oh yeah. They’re acting like us.

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