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, May 24, 2015

The Part When Daddy's In Charge

What a difference time in a child's world makes. 

One minute they're bubbly molten lava: "I don't want to go anywhere!"

And the next, they're outside happily staring down a moth resting on the house.

The Mama had gone to visit a friend and Daddy was in charge. The idea was for the girls and I to pull ourselves together after playing iPad games consisting of baking cupcakes, dressing princesses, and riding horses, all the while watching the Mother Goose Club recently discovered on Netflix.

This old man, he plays two
He plays knick knack on my shoe
With a knick knack paddy wack
Give a dog a bone
This old man comes rolling home


I, of course, wasn't baking cupcakes or singing nursery rhymes, but rather, doing a few house nips and tucks that had been on my honey-do list for weeks. Then came the time to wrangle the B's and buzz them out the door to the park for fresh air and outdoor playtime.

Unless you're a full-time daddy, mommies are the ones who usually wrangle the kids, wrap them in clothes and wrestle them out the door -- day after day after day. Yes, there are those of us in the daddy realm who help with the child rearing, but mommies know the subtleties and the score when it comes to inspiring the lovely spawn.

Beatrice isn't a problem anymore to get out the door. Socks and shoes loaded, she was ready to go. Unfortunately Bryce was not. She launched into a passive-aggressive tirade about what she wanted and didn't want to do. 

"I don't want to go anywhere! I want to go somewhere!"

Then flip to me with the gruff daddy to positive parenting to gruff to positive slingshot approach. Here we go again: a battle of pure impulse, temper tantrums and reactive wills. I tried to get Bryce's socks on while she kicked away at my chest. 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 (again).

I gave up. "Bryce, Bea and I will be playing out front and you're welcome to join us when you're ready."

"I don't want to go anywhere! I want to go somewhere!"

We went outside and one of Bea's kindergarten classmates rode up on her bike with her parents in tow on their bikes.

I explained we were waiting for Bryce to simmer down so we could go to the park and play, and they of course commiserated with me. While we talked, their daughter, Bea's best friend and a sweet friend to Bryce too, snuck up on our front porch for some quick playtime with the girls. 

I went to investigate. The three girls stood together fixated on something on the side of our house. It was a big brown moth. Bryce's meltdown gone, she ran to retrieve her bug catcher from the backyard and then somehow got the moth into it without mutilating it. All was well again with the world of B-hive power. Hey, don't look at me -- I only work here. I had nothing to do with it.

After that, getting them to the park was a breeze, where it actually was way too breezy to play for very long, but Bryce did release the moth safely again into the wild while we were there. Afterwards I took the girls to get a rainbow sherbet cone, or "rainbow sugar" as Bryce likes to call it. Meltdown behind us (for now at least), we came back home to play, and play, and play some more.

And make a big friggin' mess. Yep, the part when the Daddy's in charge. Right on.

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