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.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

To Always See the Squirrels Through the Trees

“When you were young and your heart was an open book
You used to say live and let live
(You know you did, you know you did, you know you did)
But if this ever-changing world in which we live in
Makes you give in and cry
Say live and let die…”

—Paul McCartney

The world around us slowed to a near stop. Focused and fiery, we ignited the air between us.

"Do you want to go home?"

There we were: a battle of pure impulse and reactive wills. I held Bryce firmly by her shoulders after I had placed her in the shopping cart seat. Bryce held me fast with her eyes, defiant fury unleashed over and over again like rapid-fire solar flares. Shards of melting self-control rained down upon us.

"No, no, no!"

I started to lift her out of the cart and then...

Twenty minutes earlier I knew it would be a stretch with me in charge and taking both girls to Trader Joe's for our weekly shopping run. As soon as we got to the store both girls wanted the kiddie shopping cart to push around, but there was only one, which was how the fracas began. Since Thursday, the Mama has been in the classes to become a certified instructor for Kidpower, and I've been helping case for the children more than usual, especially this weekend.

For those keeping score at home, Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International, known as Kidpower for short, is a global nonprofit leader in personal safety and violence prevention education.

I'm very proud of the Mama doing this, and I of course will support and help in any way I can. But any parent responsible for the lion's share of childrearing, or any portion of it, will tell you that it's hard enough taking one young child to the grocery store (or any store that's not a toy store).

But two young children, one of whom is the Brycinator? C'mon. Lovely squirrels they are, but still.

...and then I stopped myself to channel the Mama and principles of positive discipline. Beatrice looked at me as if saying, You can do it Daddy.

Get into your child's world.

"Bryce, I know you want to go home, but why don't you help me and Bea find the Tiki Guy so you can get a sucker and Daddy will shop super fast? Then we'll go to the duck park."

"Okay."

That's when Beatrice exclaimed: "I see the Tiki Guy, there in the surfboard!"

And we were off, suckers in hand. Super fast the shopping was, and when I couldn't find something on the Mama grocery list within 20 seconds, then I quickly asked one of the friendly Trader Joe's employees. Finding the cute little stuffed Tiki Guy hidden in plain sight throughout the store is always a fun distracting pastime for kid's at Trader Joe's, and it certainly helped me. Ultimately Bryce and I survived and Beatrice was happy to help me carry some of our goods in the little shopping cart.

Yep, the part when the Daddy's in charge of the girls and grocery shopping becomes a precarious balance of emotional intelligence and a deadly race against end of times.

Plus there's always a park to play in for the aftermath. Ah, to always see the squirrels through the trees. 

"What does it matter to you?
When you got a job to do
You got to do it well
You got to give the other fellow—"

Love.



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