On Like Donkey Kong

My kids are awesome.

At least that’s what I’ve been told.

To be fair, they are good kids. I love them with all my heart, unconditionally, etc. etc. Sometimes, though, I may I may love them even a little more when they’re in separate corners.

Let me give you an example: When I can, I like to pick up my daughter from school. Once in awhile, her teacher will tell me, “(child’s name) is doing great in school. She is such a joy and a blessing.”

It takes every fiber of my being to stifle outright laughter at the “blessing” comment, but whatever.

So when she’s throwing a Hall of Fame hissyfit at home, she’s a” blessing”? Is that the word we’re going to use for that?

After The Blessing is buckled up, I go and pick up my son.

“Oh, he was just perfect today. Just perfect.”, she says.

Again, more stifling.

Yeah, he’s “perfect” when he’s at church and he has put his head in his lunchbox and zipped it up because he’s so angry with me. Just perfect.

While I’m chatting with the sitter, I let Blessing and Perfect go and get into the car. I like to call my car “The Octagon” because this is where most of the fighting happens. I’m convinced that, after lunch, both of my kids work on a fight plan for the Octagon after school. Whether I arrive at the car 5 seconds or 5 minutes after they get in, someone is crying. If it’s an especially lively day, both of them are crying. Essentially, what they’re saying to each other is: It’s on.

Like I said, I love my kids. I just have to realize that they’re usually better kids when one of them is at their grandparents’ or at their friend’s house on a play date. When that happens, it’s a win-win for my wife and I. They’re a Blessing and/or Perfect there and the other is the same at our house. Seriously. If one of them is away, whether it’s across the street or in another state, the other one is a cherub.

ME: Could you pick up your toys in the family room?

BLESSED: Sure. After that, can you get the vacuum out, daddy?

ME: Uh, sure.

BLESSED: After that, can you get out the ladder so I can clean out the gutters?

ME: Absolutely!

OK, that last part wasn’t true. The ladder was buried in the garage and I didn’t want to get it out.

But, really…how does this happen? I know they love each other. I’ve seen it and it’s documented in pictures and on video. Granted I don’t have a lot of documentation, but I do have some.

Oddly enough, my wife and I are still waiting for the perfect storm when both of them have sleepovers on the same night. I don’t know what my wife and I will do if/when that ever happens. Maybe I’ll work on getting the blood and pulled hair out of the back seat.

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