Wednesday, February 9, 2011

REVENGE, n: Giving your neighbor's kid a drum*

You know, this is the time of the year, at least in Illinois, that you really figure out what it means to have three children.  Not to say you don't know that during 'Christmas,' meaning from Labor Day until January 15th, or during 'Birthday,' meaning from the half birthday, or birthday of a sibling, until a week after the actual birthday.  As you might imagine, having three kids means you are in a constant state of birthday or Christmas or both.  If you ever wonder how you can hear every neighborhood dog at 5am, think about the cacophony of three little people who are in a constant state of agitation, bliss, joy, anger, frustration, happiness, solicitude, boredom, contentment, disappointment, sadness, and pride.  Now, confine those emotions to a 2000 square foot house that is surrounded by the icy coffin of a Midwest winter. 

I often wonder how Abraham Lincoln and his siblings survived to adulthood in a one room cabin in the woods in Southern Indiana.  My guess it involved a lot of frost bite and shouts to 'stay out of the horse path.'  Anyway, having three kids in a one room cabin makes me wonder how the human race didn't die out a long time ago.

Below is my quick list of stuff you learn as a father of toddlers:
  • A cup is nearly mandatory.  I am not comparing the pain of nine months of pregnancy and labor to the routine of getting hit in the nads.  I am saying women are offered drugs, and women have a heads up when the pain will start in earnest.  Also, the pain stops at some point, right?  Not so with three young ones that are all exactly the right height and have a proclivity for running with their hands out everywhere they go. 
  • Your neighbors never seem to keep your kids as much as it seems your neighbors' kids are at your house.  Objectively, I know it is pretty close to even, prehaps slanted towards our kids being over there more. Subjectively, there is a lot more puking and breaking of stuff happening at our house that I don't think is happening over there.
  • Every neighborhood has a kid that could break an anvil in four minutes and yells everything in a volume just under Death Valley at kickoff and the pitch of The Nanny.  If your neighborhood doesn't have a kid like that, it is your kid and you are numb to it.
  • Your kid will bring home a toy that is designed to bring rain in the desert or make people drink heavily.  That toy is impossible to sneak out of the house.
  • Boogers, when they dry, bond very, very well to painted walls.  They are also harder than titanium.
  • That is especially true if it is a white wall in a conspicuous place.
  • The volume of the noise emitted from a child's room after bed time is directly proportional to how long after bed time it is.
  • Nothing makes a kid get loud like an adult getting on the phone.  Nothing shuts them up like asking them to say hello to someone on the phone.
  • All kids love animals. Until you get them one.
  • Children love playing by themselves and quietly until kickoff.  After kickoff, they will fight like hungery fat men going after the last donut over a broken piece of crayon.  Which will end up in 1139 pieces ground into your carpet.
  • Eye rolling begins at birth.  They work on perfecting it during childhood so they have it down pat by the time they are 12.
It is all worth it for that one minute a day when they hold onto you and say "I love you, daddy."

* From Not Your Average Dictionary


  1. As a father of six myself, I must say I needed the laugh. Well said!

  2. Thank you for the poignant look into fatherhood BIE. My husband will thank you too when he gets a cup from our kids on Father's Day.

  3. As my oldest lay sleeping soundly on my chest as a 4 month old I was sure I was the best dad since "Leave it to Beaver" was cancelled. Next thing you know there's two of them and the wife's leaving for an "afternoon to herself" and you're dropping into zone coverage hoping they don't break the tv before the game starts.

    Three sounds like insanity. SIX!!! God bless you Bulldawgy. I think I did better raising a puppy.

  4. I have four and the cup comment made me laugh out loud. My oldest is six and they all seem to know just how to get you there every time. I appreciate the post. It gave me a much needed laugh. Thanks.

  5. LOL.The question is, was this post therapeutic?

  6. Therapeutic/informational. I guess when you look at the last line, it was a good reminder that, coupled with the tax break, makes it worth it.

  7. I "only" have two, but they are 13 months apart and the oldest is two. The youngest just turned one and will one day be a NT for UGA. I say this because he is huge for his age, eats everything in site, whether it is food or not, and is the kid that can break an anvil into pieces in well under 4 minutes. It will be great on that day that he is so destructive, but when you are working on little sleep from working full time while going to school full time there are days like today that you question yourself wondering how much you could get for him on the black market. I needed the laugh from your post, thank you!

  8. Don't sleep with 3 wee ones together. Running with hands out ain't nothin' compared to solid kicks to the groin while they sleep. They wake up at the foot of the bed (under the cover) or on the floor. You wake up with bags under your eyes and a weird gate to your walk. Revenge is hearing the same tales from them when they have young'uns. One son was smart He saw his lady's 3 boys from a previous marriage through their highschool yrs and loved it. No pregnancy, no diapers, no boogers. No doubt, he's the smartest of my three.