Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The T2's and geothermal HazMat control. Mercy.

Pulling the cat's tail wasn't what I had in mind.

But Bea had other ideas.

The usual scenario at bedtime, until last night that is, included me or Mama taking Beatrice up to her room to read a few more books and then hit the crib hay. The other one of us would handle the lil' Bryce.

My first indication that things were going to go very wrong was when she shrieked and slapped at me unhappily in her room and then ran to ours, wanting to jump on our bed, which usually happens in the mid-mornings in her princess dress and/or a cowboy hat.

Our 300-year-old cat Chelsea curled up peacefully on the bed, her old bones --

~BOUNCE~
~BOUNCE~
~BOUNCE~

-- jarred suddenly by the bouncing Bea.

Then ~PLOP~ Bea lands right next to Chelsea's tail and starts pulling on it.

Yanking actually. Yanking and giggling.

Chelsea hissed. Bea giggled.

"Stop it, Beatrice. You're hurting the kitty."

That means nothing to a 2-year-old child. Nada. She just giggled longer and louder.

More yanking and hissing and yanking and hissing.

The thing is, I didn't want to daddy-handle her and hurt her feelings and/or unintentionally hurt her period.

But she was out of friggin' control.

"Stop it, Beatrice!"

Finally I removed the old cat from the bed and that just made Bea all the more determined to follow kitty and yank-giggle-yank.

Before Bea tried to tromp downstairs after the cat, I grabbed her arms and gently (but firmly) guided her into her room where she proceeded to dissolve into a howling and thrashing melt down.

Straight through the center of the earth, out the other side, and back again.

I had to call Mama upstairs for backup geothermal HazMat control. Mercy.

Would this be a glimpse of the T2's? The terrible unbearable tantrum 2's that can liquefy anything in its wake?

Yes, but at least I've found another calorie burner for slowing metabolisms.

Always a silver lining, you know?


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Surprising the Neigh-Neigh

Watching Bea, I had an epiphany.

Not necessarily new, since I had just read a similar sentiment recently, but connecting the dots generated enough power to light me up.

The fact that when we're young, we're more likely to try the impossible, even if elder others tell us it can't be done.

Jack-ass and destructive activities aside -- I'm talking about positive game-changing activities, like creating integrated circuitry on the head of a pin or developing the neuroscience behind emotional intelligence and teaching us to lead ourselves to a less divisive promised land.

Was Bea imaging springing herself atop the wild mustang to ride away like the wind?

I don't know. Maybe. Remember, she's 2.

It doesn't matter that we as adults know she couldn't do it. She believed she could, or whatever she was imagining.

Fellow leadership Twitterer @angelabisignano tweeted the other day:

If you want great leaders raise great kids.

And one way to do that?

Keep them surprising the neigh-neigh.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

This life's screening that we live in love


When a day

at the beach

a lucky 13

years ago

spliced with

the present

family love

of two girls

pixelated

across our

star-struck eyes

with B-rolls

precious dailies

and stills each

in a moment

we hum daily

the title track

"gettin' better

as we're older"

holding hands

at this life's

screening

that we live

in love

because

we choose

all of us

always


~Happy Anniversary Sweet Mama Love



Friday, October 8, 2010

How the eyes glued to Gabba-land lead to recovery

I glanced in the rearview mirror.

"Do you like rock and roll, sweetie?"

Bea gave me a big nod and replied, "Yeah!"

Right on, baby.

We were on our way to get Bea a flu vaccination and me a pertussis (Tdap) vaccination. Mama and Bryce had already gone earlier in the day without much of a hitch except for a fussy baby (which she was all day yesterday).

We arrived at the county building (don't get me started on the cost of our private family healthcare insurance and paying for shots out-of-pocket in the doctor's office) without a hitch ourselves, but as soon as we went inside to the front desk, the trouble started.

We were at the first front desk slot nearest the automatic sliding glass doors, and because my "big daddiness" was too close to the floor sensor, the door kept opening and closing.

And freaking her out; the fearful crying started immediately.

So that led to an immediate Yo Gabba Gabba video on my iPhone, which soothed the savage Bea'st.

Thank goodness.

I filled out a little paperwork and then we had to wait for a few minutes. I sat Bea next to me one of the waiting room chairs, her eyes glued to Gabba-land.

The receptionist called me over and I went hesitantly, wondering if I should leave her sitting there, which was only five feet away.

So I did, glancing back every other second while the receptionist asked me a few questions.

In one of the seconds in between, while I was looking away, there came a collective gasp from behind me and some "Oh, no's". It's the kind of sound you hear at a sporting event when one of the players gets hurt on the field.

I turned quickly to witness Bea finish sliding off the chair onto the floor.

Smack.

Oh, shit.

I grabbed her and held her and checked her for wounds, but all seemed intact.

Including my iPhone. Hey, baby first, then gadgetry. No worries.

We went outside to get some air and then came back in. I had Bea sit on my lap. She was still shaken up but recovering, while Devo played on the Yo Gabba Gabba super music friends show.

Yes, Devo.

We had been there for no more than 10 minutes.

The slick sweat of daddy guilt broke out on my forehead and the back of my neck.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were right about the waiting. Every few minutes, Bea would let out a weepy cry.

"Kevin and Beatrice? This way please."

The actual act of receiving the vaccinations -- the flu mist for Bea and the shot for me -- was a little anti-climatic, although she still cried right before, during and right after the spray.

Three chocolate chips and a new video later, recovery. I paid the cashier and we were off to the park to play.

Thirty-two minutes in all.

Because that's how we roll.

The ball's over here, sweetie.

video

Monday, October 4, 2010

I am thankful for birthdays; I am thankful for being.

"How about unabashedly bawling your eyes out."

I did that a few times today.

Hey, my birthday. Cry if I want to. Back off.

I am fragile and irrational. I am caring and loving. I am anchor and window. I am steely resolve.

I am exquisite contradiction.

As are we all.

I came downtown to work for a few hours at my NextSpace "space", but before I did, I attended The Clothesline Project for a bit and decorated a t-shirt in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The Clothesline Project breaks the silence about domestic violence by giving a voice to survivors, victims, and community members. The clothesline was chosen to honor women’s traditional information exchange over the backyard fences while hanging laundry out to dry.

The clothesline displays T‐shirts designed by survivors of abuse, those who have lost loved ones to it, and allies in our community. The designed shirts are displayed during the Day of Unity event on a clothesline which is held by staff/volunteers.

I am thankful for my true love and my little girls. They are my daily muses who inspire me to be a better man.

I am thankful for my family and friends -- here, there and everywhere.

I am thankful for everything I've seen and everything I've learned and everything yet to learn.

I am thankful for failure and success.

I am thankful for birthdays; I am thankful for being.

"You see George, you've really had a wonderful life."

Thank you all.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Get on those moral reminders

We would lie, cheat, steal, call each other names and then brawl.

All while playing Monopoly.

In fact, things would get so heated that sometimes one of us would throw the money and flip the board sending homes and hotels everywhere.

I would taunt her and laugh and she'd get even angrier, face red and spitting venom. A chase would ensue and we'd come to blows.

I was eight years old and my sister six.

Of course, if our mom was around, she'd fly into the room to intervene and keep the peace, passionately sharing moral reminders of self-control and honesty and decency and respecting each other as brother and sister and human beings.

No hitting. Talk it out and love one another.

Moral reminders that included faith in God during her years of experiencing physical abuse at the hands of my birth father.

I'm sharing this because of course siblings will be siblings and occasionally beat the crud out of each other.

We did, but we loved each other too, and defended the other to the end.

I'm in no way making light of domestic violence, but the spectrum of "normal" behavior growing up is also a foreshadowing of how fragile and irrational we are as adults.

And sadly how some of us succumb to emotional instability, even hate, unhappy with our realities and/or battling addictions and/or other illness, lashing out at the ones we love and hurting them badly.

Sometimes killing them.

Domestic violence does not discriminate. We should give our children and each other moral reminders that no one deserves abuse.

No one.

My sister passed on the moral reminders to her children and we'll do the same with B².

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and my friend Kim Wells' latest post gives us 10 things we can do about DV.

Kim is the Executive Director of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV), the only national nonprofit organization in the US founded by the business community to address domestic violence as a workplace issue. CAEPV currently has employer members reaching over a million employees across the US with the message that domestic violence is "Everybody's Business."

As we begin October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, people have been asking me "What can I do about domestic violence? Is there something I can do to help?" Here is a short list of ideas. Certainly you can add your ideas or additions at the end:

  1. Sign the MADE petition to get dating violence curriculum in schools. Go to http://www.loveisnotabuse.com/made
  2. Find out more about domestic violence. Go to http://www.clicktoempower.org/ and see the stories of survivors and what made the difference for them.
  3. Go to http://www.avon.com/ and buy the Women's Empowerment Necklace or Bracelet. Or go to http://www.etsy.com/listing/57724099/hotline-necklace orhttp://www.etsy.com/listing/57722070/hotline-earrings?ref=v1_other_2 and support the National Domestic Violence Hotline by purchasing these pieces by Sueanne Shirzay.
  4. Learn about how domestic violence impacts your workplace by visiting http://www.caepv.org/.
  5. Remember the National Domestic Violence Hotline Number: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or http://www.thehotline.org/. You can call to help others or yourself.
  6. Donate your old cell phone (any brand) at any Verizon Wireless store or use free mailing label www.verizonwireless.com/hopelinemailinglabel.
  7. Learn to talk to your kids about healthy relationships by downloading tip booklets from http://www.loveisnotabuse.com/.
  8. Try to understand what happens in DV and how it impacts people. Check out http://www.domesticviolenceworkplace.blogspot.com/. And comment!
  9. Don't ask "Why would that victim go back?" ask "Why would a person hit or abuse someone they love?"
  10. Be safe, healthy and happy in your own relationships. Because you matter. And you deserve it. And you are very, very precious.

Also, get involved and help other organizations like:

And one cool addendum I just found happening in Santa Cruz on Monday, October 4!


The Clothesline Project breaks the silence about domestic violence by giving a voice to survivors, victims, and community members. The clothesline was chosen to honor women’s traditional information exchange over the backyard fences while hanging laundry out to dry. The clothesline displays T‐shirts designed by survivors of abuse, those who have lost loved ones to it, and allies in our community. The designed shirts are displayed during the Day of Unity event on a clothesline which is held by staff/volunteers.

Get on those moral reminders. Remember, whatever happens out there is not God's will.

It's ours. Make it your business.