Happy Day (an Acrostic Poem)

Being there when you came into this world

I remember thinking how tiny you were

Red and screaming about being rudely ripped from your motherly home

The planet has come full circle around our star

Here I am encircled around your little finger

Day after day I watch your amazing metamorphosis

As you grow up so very fast

Yet you will always be my baby girl

My Little Angel

Ever hold an angel, wondering if every breath might be her last?

Ever hold an angel, marveling at her ability to touch hearts?

Ever hold an angel, struggling to communicate?

Ever hold an angel, smiling because of her infectious laugh?

Ever hold an angel that loved to fly so high?

Ever hold an angel that slipped away in your arms?

I was blessed enough to do so, and now my angel flies on her own.

I love you Angela.

Cos She Knows Better

The two wizards stood at opposite edges of a pentagram drawn inside a large circle where the points of the pentagram almost pierced the circle’s edge.  They had eyes only for each other, not noticing the gathering crowd waiting to watch the spectacle that was about to commence.

Eric of the Purple Cloak waved his arms in a rotated figure eight, summoning the spirits of his dead ancestors to give him strength in the coming ordeal.  Luscious of the Red Order laughed before striking his staff into the ground, calling upon the life blood of the earth to pour into his magic.

The two wizards kept perfectly still, daring the other one to show weakness and be the first to attack.  The crowd began to get anxious.  They wanted to see what the two robed men were about to do, but it was cold out and the entertainment factor was quickly running out.  The crowd began to disperse with murmurs of idiots and cross dressing clowns.

This angered Eric.  He turned to address the haters.  Unfortunately for Eric, this was seen as an act of aggression for Luscious, and Luscious cast his attack spell, summing an elemental of earth to crush Eric’s legs.  Eric had to swallow his words and spin to defend himself, jumping into the air with gangly dexterity to avoid the perceived hands from accomplishing their mission.

Snickers rose from the crowd, but Luscious ignored their snide remarks.  He unleashed his next spell firing a ball of negative energy spinning toward Eric’s midsection.  Eric landed on the ground and managed to get his magically enhanced hands in front of him.  Eric caught the ball of energy in his hands, and with a brief squishing of the ball, he managed to flash it out of existence.  Eric then flung his arms forward and a howling filled Luscious’ ears as Luscious saw a spirit wolf fly through the air, saliva dripping from its ghostly jaws.  Luscious brought his arm up to fend off the ghostly beast, but the wolf sunk its translucent teeth into Luscious’ elbow causing Luscious to howl.

A little girl in the crowd pulled on her daddy’s arm.  “Daddy, what are those two men doing?”

Her daddy bent over.  “Those are cos players,” her daddy said.  “They dress up as someone else.  These two are acting out a battle.”

“But I don’t see them fighting,” she said.

“They are pretending,” her daddy said.

Just then Luscious managed to land a spell into the leg of Eric causing him to fall to his side.  Luscious wasn’t able to follow through since he appeared winded.

“Then I’ve got this,” replied the little girl.  Before her dad could say a word, the little girl moved to the front of the crowd and pointed her hands in the shape of guns at the two cos players.  “Bang bang.  You guys are dead, and I win,” she said.

The two cos players smiled, then gave their best dramatic death throws before collapsing to the ground amid applause from the crowd.  The little girl turned back to her dad and smiled triumphantly.  “See, Daddy?” she asked.

Her daddy nodded but just then two Robocop knockoffs rode up on Segways.  “Little girl, you are under arrest,” said the left knockoff in a metallic monotone.

The little girl put her hands on her hips.  “Why?” she asked defiantly.

The second knockoff got off the Segway.  “Killing wizards is a capital offense,” he said, almost keeping a straight face monotone throughout.

The little girl thought for a minute, then pantomimed putting her guns away.  “I’m a little girl.  I think it is a lower case offense,” she said.

That was it.  The two knockoffs started laughing and that infected the rest of the crowd, including the dead wizards.  Her daddy shook his head.  “And I was worried you would be weirded out by all the costumes,” he said.

“Remember daddy,” the little girl said, “I play dress up all the time.”

Her daddy rubbed the top of her head.  “You amaze me my little princess,” he said.

“Of course I do,” the little girl said.  “Now can we get an ice cream cone?”

Her daddy called out in a loud voice.  “Make way for my princess.  She desires the ice of cream.”

As the crowd separated to let them through, the little girl patted her daddy’s arm.  “And I’m not a princess,” she said.  “I’m the queen.”

Her daddy smiled.  “Don’t grow up too fast kid.  Pretend you’re a little girl for a bit more.”

The little girl grabbed onto her daddy’s hand.  “Okay Daddy, but I still want chocolate ice cream.”

Top Ten Superhero Powers for Parents

I always have wanted to be a superhero.  I’ve always wanted to be a super parent.  Is in honor of New York City Comicon, I bring you the top ten superpowers every parent wishes they had, or if they have them, gloats mercilessly at every party they go to.  To those parents I have just one thing to say, I double dipped in the punch bowl.  So without further ado, here is my top ten super powers every parent wishes they had.

 

10)  Teleportation – My kids are too young for this to really factor in, but I talk to other parents and they would give their, and their kid’s, eyeteeth to be able to transport kids to and from various events, sports, and the dreaded dates without breaking out their pimped out minivan.  Me, I would use it to kill my one and a half hour commute one way to work.  Oh, and I do not live in Los Angeles.  Yeah, you read that right.  Oh, and then when my kids were old enough I could teleport the boyfriends to Alaska and my girls to a convent.  Just don’t tell my girls that.

9) Cleaning dervish – My house looks like 2.4 million people live here.  Okay, four girls and two parents, but that must add up to 2.4 million.  The cleaning dervish power would allow me to keep my house so clean that Martha Stewart would bring people over for dinner parties ON MY FLOOR!  That’s right, tables and chairs would not be needed for a black tie affair because my floor would be more than adequate.

8) Demon banisher – I dread that middle of the night wakeup from my girls about the bad dream they had.  Getting them calmed down and back to sleep is my duty, but I am human.  I think about the job I need to get to on time in the morning and wonder what it would take to get them back to sleep as soon as possible.  If I had this super power it would be with a snap of my fingers.  Then we both could go back to dream of pink ponies flying airplanes through strawberry milkshakes.  What you say you never have dreams like that?  I feel so sorry for you.

7) 360 degree vision – We all want to have eyes in the back of our head.  Some people seem to actually do so.  Are they aliens or superheroes?  This should be a competition in the Olympics or something.  Have little ones try to take cookies from the cookie jar, and the mom who could detect this from farthest away would get the gold.  That, and a free examination from that guy on the Discovery Channel with the crazy hair that loves his aliens.

6) Healer – No parent wants to see their child hurt, and we all pretend to kiss the booboo away.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if it really worked?  I would give a lot for this power.  I would then volunteer to be Gwyneth Paltrow’s personal healer.  It would be a job, but a job I could get behind, after my jaw was reset after my wife was done.

5) Cloning – How many more of me would it take to make sure everything gets done each day.  I can guarantee you more than one.  I have a feeling it would be more than two.  If you asked me my honest guess it would be 17.6 clones, but I would round up to 18 since 0.6 clones would be yucky.

4) Commanding voice – I have this every once in a while, but if I had it all the time… Of course I wouldn’t have to work or earn a living and I would be a horrible human being.  That being said, there is not a single parent that would give for this power at one time or another, or every day.  I would give a lot just to be able to get what I ordered when I go through drive thru.  I mean, seriously, how hard is it to get my order right?  I did it twenty five years ago.  I mean fifteen years ago.  Okay, I wish on that last one.  Man I’m getting old.

3) Sleep inducer – This is one I really need to work on.  My wife and I are night owls.  Unfortunately we have passed this down to our children.  If anyone knows how to claim this super power without the use of alcohol please let me know.  Of course that would mean I was able to get my own stuff done, so this power without the cloning might not be as handy.  Then again…

2) Produce food from thin air – It amazes me when I am able to pull this off.  I have four children vying for my attention, not to mention my wife, but still everyday food appears on the table at some time in the evening, and most of the time it is not coming out of paper bags.  I love to cook, but if I could just wave my arms and have nutritious, delicious food appear, my days would be so much easier.  Oh, and with the way food prices are going, I would be a lot richer.

1) Love fountain – Needs no explanation.  This is the one superpower that almost every parent has, and one that is the most important in raising children.

Does your top ten differ?  Let me know in the comments below.  I dare you.  :>)

Oh, and be super for your children!

100 Word Story #8 Pressure Bomb

Time was not on Bruce’s side.  The bomb could go off any minute.  He tried to go over his training.  Keep it simple.  Use your checklist.  Don’t panic.  The bomb is able to sense your panic.

Bruce blanked on the checklist.  He knew it just moments ago.  How much time did he have left?  Was he starting to panic?  Maybe he could move it to a new location.  Bruce nervously picked up the bomb.

Warning sirens sprang up.  Come on, think.  That’s when it hit him, change the diaper, feed, then burp.  Too bad the baby had exploded into screaming.

 

The Dreaded Walmart Question

I took my kids to Walmart the other day.  As we walked back and forth along the aisles I observed a new behavior not seen out of my children before.  It sent chills down my spine.  My daughters were insisting on putting things back where they belonged on the shelves.  This amazed me, especially coming from the redhead who NEVER wants to pick up.  After about the fifth time of ‘Daddy, can we put X back’ I had to ask if they were feeling okay.

My oldest responded, “Why did you ask that?”

I told her that they didn’t want to pick up at home, so why start in a place where the people were actually paid to do so.  We then discussed what was different about being at Walmart and being at home.  Since my oldest is still only eight I did not get constructive answers from them.  It did make me wonder what I could do to help foster this behavior.  I came up with the most obvious choice, one that will be painful to transition to, but should solve the whole pick up problem.  I am officially requesting that Walmart open a small location here in my house.  It doesn’t have to be staffed since my kids will help stock the shelves.  I know, you are thinking how brilliant this parenting spin is, and I can only agree.  Next on my list, getting them doing lawn work by opening a small “flower shop”.  I just hope Walmart doesn’t mind the competition on its front doorstep.

Banshee Ain’t Got Nothing On That

Lifting her voice to near jet engine levels, my five month daughter lets me know with subtle nuance that she is currently unhappy.  To my fatigued brain I begin down my checklist.  Is it time for my wife to stick a breast in my daughter’s mouth?  While that would shut me up, my daughter only cares about when she is hungry, and she ate just an hour ago.  Let’s see if we can distract her with a toy.  Nope, that jet engine now has nothing on her.  Maybe it’s a wet diaper.  Off to change her.  Nope it’s dry.  What is next on the list?  My daughter shoves her pacifier in her mouth and the world begins to right itself on its axis.  Oops, that was just a temporary reprieve as the aural attack commences.  I roll my saving throw and fail, receiving 4d8 mental damage.  I walk around the house and share her boisterous malcontent with the neighbors in attempt to earn sympathy points for why my lawn isn’t mowed yet. As she reaches for yet another gear I try to remember the next item on the list?  Maybe she has gas.  I try to burp her while simultaneously giving her gas drops.  While the gas drops are a hit, the sound of my eardrum trying to cleave itself in two emanates from my daughter once again.  What can I do?  This screaming is turning what little brain I have left into a liquid mass threatening to pour through that split eardrum.  Suddenly a sonic boom burp tears through the air and the world is at peace.  I breathe a sigh of relief as I look into her angelic face.  She is such a perfect little baby.  At least until I try to put her down…

Complimentary Sisters

I find it interesting how I react to my children when they are in public.  Growing up going to school you learn social norms that help society move along its merry way.  My kids are homeschooled and some of those norms are not infused into their daily behavior.  Now before you scream they need socialization I want to ask you a question.  When was the last time you were complimented by a total stranger, and they mean it?

My kids make it a habit of not only saying hello to most people they meet, or just walk by, they also try to give a compliment to the person they are talking to.  The compliment might be about the clothes the person is wearing or the way their hair looks.  People seem to be taken aback when this happens, but they soon recover since the comment was given by an innocent child who doesn’t have an alternative motive behind the use of flattery.  My kids honestly want you to feel happy.

Initially I would be embarrassed that they would do this.  People just don’t compliment others out of the blue, well except when it comes to children.  What would happen if we were allowed to honestly give a compliment to a person we know, much less one that we have just met?  In my job as a professor I would be worried that I would face harassment if I complimented a female student on her hair.  For that matter I could see it happening with a male student as well with the same exact hair compliment.  I would complain that we have lost a little bit as a society because of this.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand how it could be perverted, and has been for a large number of years.  I am just saddened that we have allowed the poison to kill what could be such an uplifting.

While I try to point out to my children what is socially good behavior, this little bastion of good will I will not dissuade.  It reminds me of what could be, and maybe will be with the help of more innocence and good will.

Five girls, five lessons

I am the father of five daughters, four of which are under the age of eight.  I have learned many lessons from each and every one of my children.  Now I realize not everyone has been blessed as I am with a multitude of children, so I have decided to record a top five list of lessons learned so those of you looking to have children can be prepared, and those of you that have children can laugh and nod your heads.

Lesson #1:  Nothing will strike fear in your heart than when you see your baby concentrate then the fountain erupts.  I purposely left this more to imagination, because it can rain and pour out of every orifice, sometimes all at once.  It escalates when done in public, especially when you have forgotten the quintessential backup outfit.  Or even better, it happens when you have already called in the relief outfit.  How do you protect the car seat?  What about the stroller?  Do you have enough baby wipes to handle it all?  I promise you, it can wake you up from a dead sleep dripping in sweat when you have that nightmare.  Oh, and you will have that nightmare.

Lesson #2:  You will hear that one child is hard, two children even harder, but three is easier, and four is even easier, unless there are multiples.  Okay, this is mostly true, but there will be days where this rule is a BIG FAT LIE.  There are times when all four explode at once, and with only two adults possible in the mix there is no way to deal with all the fires at once.  You might have to put one in a room and let them scream while dealing with another, while allowing the third to just go outside, and have the fourth getting a snack to keep them quiet.  And if that works, you are a ROCK STAR.  Most of the time you will be found in a fetal position waiting for the crying/yelling/craziness to stop.  Like I said, this will not happen often, but be prepared for when it does and try to have a plan in case, like a favorite video or ice cream.  It will not make you less a parent, and it will help with your coping skills.

Lesson #3:  Each child is a wonderful, complex, maddening puzzle.  The best part of all of this, they will know how to game you, get away with things, before you figure out how to game them, get them to do what you want them to do.  In the beginning you are the master of your domain.  They cannot lie well.  They are eager to please you.  They listen to what you say.  Then on day two they unlearn all of that.  Oh and now they have figured out your buttons, all of them.  I try to get my six year old not to hit her sister.  I have tried showing her proper ways to handle her anger.  I have talked about her triggers.  I have gotten her to self-identify what is causing her to get angry.  I have tried swatting.  Now I have a girl how when she hurts her sister has a story to tell, most of the time the truth, and tells me what triggers it and what she should have done to stop it.  Notice I did not once say she didn’t hurt her sister.  She is just better at knowing the why, the how, and what should be done next time.  Like I said, she knows all my buttons.

Lesson #4:  Adding a baby to the fix is giving permission to your other children to treat her as 1) a puppy, 2) a doll, and 3) a mostly deaf and mostly blind person moving into your house.  The amount of time patting her on the head, moving her arms every which way, and singing which sounds like screaming at her while pushing toys and any other object within arm’s reach into her face amazes me.  I feel sorry for the little one as she must be overstimulated by the cacophony.  The good thing is the baby has a great self-defense mechanism, the shriek.  This will cause the other children to run off looking for a bomb shelter since the London blitz must have been resurrected in my house.  This gets the added bonus of a parent flying in for a rescue of the infant, much to the detriment of getting things like laundry or food preparation done.

Lesson #5:  This one is specific to my circumstance of having girls.  I didn’t think of the notion that ‘unless you see it yourself it cannot really exist’ was so important in my girls’ lives.  I have to accept things sight unseen with respect to my job as a physicist, but that does not come naturally to my girls.  I could talk about the why question, but I have a different concern here.  I always tell my daughters that they can do whatever they want, except easily peeing standing up and probably playing linebacker in the NFL.  They always agreed with me and seemed to accept this at face value.  Then one night, while watching TV we saw a woman in a profession.  I wish I had written this down sooner to remember exactly what it was.  It really isn’t too important, but what my oldest said next saddened me a bit and made me understand a bit more being a privileged white male in society.  She turned to me and said, “Daddy, girls can be X?”  I told her yes, of course and I reiterated my quote about peeing and linebackers.  She nodded, but I could see that seeing it on TV allowed that one possibility to be more real than just dad’s platitudes.  It made me more aware of what having role models in the world’s workplaces really means.

Do you have more wisdom to share?  Leave me a blurb in the comments.  Together we can help the next generation of parents, or at least maybe curb population growth.