Thankfulness via poetic license

Buster likes to break up the monotony of family life by sharing his vast knowledge with me.

Some of his wisdom I assume he picked up in Kindergarten: “Five plus five is 10.”

Some I hope he hasn’t: “I know two bad words. Wanna hear ‘em?”

The other day he explained a hierarchy to me out of the blue: “It goes like this: baby, kid, big boy, daddy, grampa.”

“So, what will I be when you’re a daddy?” I asked.

Without hesitation: “You’ll probably die.”

Well, that’s that then, isn’t it?

Maybe not.

Since it’s Thanksgiving time, I decided I’m going to spin this episode toward Thankfulness.

You may wonder, “How exactly do you expect to manage that?”

I’m gonna tackle this blogger style – by linking to an old post. That’s how.

In this post from five years ago, Big Brother told his friend I was already dead. So you see, this new development is quite a reprieve for me. I am very thankful to have had these five years on Earth, and maybe several more, depending upon the length of Buster’s “big boy” phase.

In fact, I’m downright optimistic now. Having gained years of life between Big Brother and Buster, I expect by the time Big Man is heard I’ll be ready to live forever.

It appears I have a long life ahead of me, albeit among rotten children who anticipate my demise (joke’s on them when they see their legacies), and that, on balance, is something to be thankful for.

Amen.

The family gives thanks for Daddy’s longevity despite its predictions to the contrary.

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For Mommy

I asked Buster, “What should we get Mommy for Mother’s Day?”

“Probably something she likes,” was his reasoned reply.

“What do you think she would like?”

“I don’t know. Maybe you should ask her what she likes and then buy it for her.”

When it comes to thoughtful gift giving, Buster is a chip right off the old block.

I am old enough to have learned, without having to ask, one thing Mommy wants. That is to be told, once in a while, how much she is loved and appreciated. She isn’t told this as often as she deserves to be told. Mother’s Day is a great time to begin to make up the deficit.

This being the case, I present some words of love and appreciation for Mommy.

From BIG BROTHER

What is your Mother’s Day message for Mommy?

“Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy. I love you.”

How much do you love Mommy?

“More than bacon.”

A big heart full of big love for Mommy.

From BUSTER

What is your Mother’s Day message for Mommy?

“I love you so much, Mommy. From me.”

How much do you love Mommy?

“One hundred.”

A medium heart full of big love for Mommy.

From BIG MAN

What is your Mother’s Day message for Mommy?

“Love Mommy.”

How much do you love Mommy?

“Big much.”

A little heart full of big love for Mommy.

Daddy also loves Mommy big much, one hundred, more than bacon, and also to the moon and back. As a group, we don’t tell her we love and appreciate her as much as we should, but we do love and appreciate her always, even when we are a mob of self-absorbed hooligans.

As important as it is to tell Mommy how we feel about her on Mother’s Day, I also recognize the wisdom of youth. I took Buster up on his suggestion and asked Mommy what she would like for a present. She’s getting that too.

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a Take Your Child to Work Day that has nothing to do with the babysitter not showing up

According to the posters on the walls at work, April 27 is Take Your Child to Work Day. I guess it’s nice there’s an official day for this, but I celebrate my own Take Your Child/Children to Work Days. This is what it’s called when both parents need to be at work and there is no babysitter to be had. Fortunately, I work in a child-safe environment and have supervisors who don’t care how many members of my family it takes to do my job so long as it gets done.

Per the fliers, our official Take Your Child to Work Day festivities are intended for children aged eight and up. This year I finally have a child who is old enough to celebrate the official holiday. Even so, I think we will be celebrating Leave Your Kid in School Day on April 27.

He’s much better off in school. He might learn something useful there and he will be allowed to hold on to a childlike optimism for the future.

Once upon a time, every day was Take Your Child to Work Day. The excitement of working without safety regulations was too much for the children, so they limited it to one day a year.

I infer from the guidelines that the organizers of Take Your Child to Work Day have studied the situation carefully and determined age eight is the time when children can really begin to understand the nature of grown-up work. This is a good piece of science to know; it tells me I should never bring any of my children who have reached this threshold to work with me again.

My under-eight children are still okay to bring, unofficially, of course, because they don’t have the capacity to understand just how unexciting my work is. They still believe whatever Daddy does on his keyboard in his little cubicle sets events in motion to save the world. Small children are delusional like that. It’s cute.

My eight-year-old son is now at the point where he can detect the pedestrian nature of paperwork and feel the repetitiveness of financial reports. Many jobs have a certain amount of repetitiveness in them and I’m not saying mine is worse than any other. I’m just not sure it’s the best end result to show a 3rd grader if you want to inspire him to reach for the stars in school.

I’ve tried to think of how I could make my job seem exciting to a kid. So far, the most enticing fact I could come up with is it brings home the money that buys the Cool Ranch Doritos. I’m still working on it.

The fruit of my toil.

All around my building are buildings filled with scientists. I’m holding out hope somebody will come up with Send Your Child to Work with a Nearby Scientist Day. Then the boy could maybe see how it feels to be a scientist discovering new isotopes. The only thing I can think of that might be more inspiring to him is knowing how it feels to be a scientist who discovers new video games.

Christmas: Let’s do this thing!

Christmas observations and tips from Big Brother, Buster, and Big Man for the enjoyment of boys and girls everywhere.

Daddy didn’t run away from home on Christmas this year either. He threatened to do it two or three times like always, but we’ve been around this block before. He always acts like he’s headed for the door, but we all know he loves how exciting and noisy we make Christmas for him. Besides, he’s not going anywhere when there’s still a ham in the oven. And after dinner, he’s too fat and slow to escape.

We brothers do our best to keep Daddy engaged on Christmas. He’s says he needs a minute of peace, but we know he’s just saying that so he won’t put us to any trouble. But it’s really no trouble for us to keep things lively for him. And since he’s almost a hundred years old, it’s important to keep his mind in the game.

Keep you candy handy. You'll need all your strength to rip open these packages.

Keep your candy handy. You’ll need all your strength to rip open these packages.

Daddy gets out his camera on Christmas morning when we’re getting ready to open presents. This is kind of like his little challenge to us. If he has time to take more than five pictures before the unwrapping swirls out of control, we haven’t done our jobs. That’s why we’ve all just got to pitch in and start unwrapping stuff. Daddy tries to keep us taking turns or something, but Santa didn’t put all these present under this tree so we could sit around and talk about them. It’s every man for himself.

The best thing to do on Christmas is open up all the boxes with your new toys in them and dump everything out on the floor.  Toys come with a lot of pieces nowadays and it’s important to get all the pieces together in one big pile. That way, when you and your brothers start hounding Daddy to assemble all your play sets, he’ll have all the pieces for any of them he needs in one central location.

If you have anything that needs batteries (and you do – lots of things), make sure you bring that to your parents attention right away. It takes about 538 batteries to get through the holiday. Your parents will never learn this and will only have stocked up about 400 batteries, so you need to get as many as you can before your brothers hog them all up. Otherwise, you’ll be staring into a drawer with nothing left but those useless, rectangle batteries they used about a million years ago and Mommy and Daddy keep around for nostalgia.

This is going to need batteries - lots of batteries.

This is going to need batteries – lots of batteries.

Here’s a fun fact about Christmas dinner: it’s a complete waste of your time. Wouldn’t you rather be playing? Even if you secretly like ham, pretend it’s one of the 9 billion foods you don’t. You’ve already loaded up on candy from your stocking, and if you get a little peckish later, you’ve still got a candy cane full of ROLOs and two caramel Santas in reserve.  You don’t have time for a sit-down meal; protest it.

Christmas is a time to stay wound up as long as you can. After all, you want to make special holiday memories for Mommy and Daddy.