I’m driving my 8-year-old son to the train station to pick up his mother after work at the train station. He’s telling me about a kid that bothered him in school last year.
Him: Dad, he made me very upset. He really pushes my buttons.
Me: Well, try not to get worked up. If you lose your temper you’ll be in trouble.
Him: Yeah but he really pushes my buttons, you know? He really does push my buttons.
Me: When did you start saying “pushes my buttons”??
Him: I heard you say it today.
I was working from home that day and had to deal with another fine example of social darwinism. Later on while speaking to someone I said that phrase and my son picked it up.
Little kids do not miss a thing. Good thing he didn’t hear the more acerbic comments I sometimes make…
The things kids say. On the radio this morning me and the kids heard about that public announcement someone aired in a Walmart. Some jerk used the PA system to make a racist comment.
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP/ 1010 WINS) — An announcement at a Walmart store in New Jersey ordering black people to leave brought chagrin and apologies Wednesday from leaders of the company, which has built a fragile trust among minority communities.
A male voice came over the public-address system Sunday evening at a store in Washington Township in southern New Jersey and calmly announced: “Attention Walmart customers: All black people leave the store now.”
via Announcement At NJ Wal-Mart: ‘All Black People Leave Store Now’ – 1010WINS.com .
There are always an available pool of morons in any public place, and I seriously doubt that Walmart had anything to do with that. And now Walmart is locking down the PA system at least in that store.
But what struck me was what my 8 year old said when he heard that.
Him: I hope they don’t bring back segregation.
Me: How do you know about segregation??
Him: Dad. We learned about that during Black History month.
I should not be surprised at all, and I’m glad that my kids school teaches about that. But at 6 AM on a Saturday morning, I’m not ready to hear things like that from my kid’s mouth.
My family and I have been living in our house for over 5 years now. During that time, I have cleaned up my junk in the basement a couple of times. Our kids? Not once. Our basement looked like an organized mess. All of their toys (mostly broken) were piled up against the wall.
That changed today. This morning Lily and I started small and just kept going. We ended up throwing out eight 45 gallon bags (I could have sworn we bought 55 gallon drum liners but they weren’t). The kids helped too, so no hysterics.
What made me a little depressed was that the 1/144 HG Gundam models that my son made were damaged and had parts missing, so he decided to toss them out. Not all of them, but the four that he tossed were ones that I was proud of him working on.
Here is the models he tossed today.
It’s not really a big deal, and each one was broken. But I was a little sad at them being tossed out so casually.
The deal with my son is that if we clean out the old stuff, I’ll get him a Lionel O gauge set. Right now he has an HO scale set but with all the space we cleaned out, we can get another folding table and set up a bigger set.
Geez, I really am getting old and sentimental. You are supposed to get attached to people and not things. That is something I am trying to teach both my children so I can’t really be unhappy about them letting go of things.
So Lily put the kids to bed and was complaining that they were fighting.
Me: They like to compete with each other. That’s why they fight.
Lily: After a while it drives me crazy.
Me: Did you ever compete with your brother?
Lily: There was no need.
Today we observed the anniversary of a close relative’s death by visiting the cemetery and leaving offerings (Chinese family members). It’s very respectful and Lily and I want our children to understand the reasons for this.
But my five year old girl is sick and the place we were going to is very cold. She would have gotten much worse so we left her at home. After the visit the whole family went to Flushing to eat, did some shopping and we came home around 4 P.M.
She was still upset about it. I once again explained that where we went was very cold and she would have been miserable. I promised that next time we go, she will come too (if she is not sick again).
She: It was very cold?
Me: Yes, windy and freezing.
She: Let’s go to a different cemetery. Once that has heating.
What could I say to that?
Hot and muggy summer weather does not bother me. I once dragged Lily through Washington D.C. in 101 degree weather and did not realize she was suffering, I was fine. Summer in Las Vegas was great with it being over 100 and no humidity.
Autumn is very cool and New York winter never gave me a problem. I’m not saying Minnesota winter would not wipe me out, but even with cold snaps I can’t get into too much trouble weather wise. Our winters here are just mild and lately getting milder.
The transitions are a pain. This is damp but not wet, colder but not cold. One day it’s summertime and spring like the next. Then back to hot followed by cool evenings.
This weather is “in between” and it always bugs me. For the next few weeks until fall settles in, I’ll be irritated by Mother Nature’s lack of making a decision. The changes give me headaches and my muscles hurt. I’ll be more cranky than usual.
Sigh, I’ll have to deal with it by playing with the kids more. The girl just started kindergarten and claims she is not happy. She likes the bus ride, that’s very cool. But she says she does not like the work (it’s her second week).
For 3 years she attended half day pre-k and knew everyone. There were not many girls in her school and she was treated like a princess. Once she told me she was going to marry one of the boys in her class. When I asked about another boy, she said she’d marry that one later.
I wonder if we are raising the next Liz Taylor?
At her new school she’s just one of hundreds of kids. It’s good for her but she needs to adjust. She will learn to make new friends and enjoy being in class. She’ll be cranky and we’ll deal with her maudlin behavior. For now she’s just in between.
This morning Lily was going to head to LaGuardia airport and catch a plane to Detroit. I was going to head to the office at my regular time and put in a fully productive day at the office.
The person who was going to pick her up forgot. I ended up getting dressed in record time and driving her to the airport. She was running late and had to leave NOW.
She made the flight but it was close. I headed back home and called my boss to apologize for the last minute change in my schedule. If I headed to the office I’d have gotten into the city almost 2 hours late and I was not sure if I had any conference calls. I don’t like making changes to my work schedule all off a sudden. Do it too often and it’s abusive.
The day worked out but the high point was my being on a call with my 6 year old son stage whispering “Daddy, can I play with the Nintendo DS?” and me pantomiming the reply of “LEAVE NOW OR FACE THE AWESOME WRATH OF DAD”. All this while replying to people on the call with “Sure, that change should work. Let’s do it Friday after hours”.
Sign language is a parenting tool.
With Lily not coming back until the evening, I had to bathe both kids. I need to install a power washer; did you know that little girls need hair conditioner? Boys are much easier. Ivory soap can double as shampoo and no one ever notices on a boy.
Later on it was her turn to play a game but she kept giving the game to her brother. She also complained often that he’s not letting her play. This is a life lesson for my son: watch out for girls. That she just gave him the game did not stop her from trying to get him in trouble.
I’m really glad Lily came back today.
All packed up and ready to go. We are all looking forward to this and we’ll be a week in Walt Disney World. The kids have been talking about this for weeks.
We wont be gone that long but two grown ups and two kids means lots of luggage.
I plan to take lots of pictures and post them on Flickr, so I’m going to carry on all the camera equipment. The kids insist that I bring their cameras as well and if they take any really good shots I’ll post those as well.