Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stroke of Genius

Before I get to Day 2,  I was asked to post this on my blog.  If you are a FB or Google+ friend, you already know what happened and this is just the whole version.

So, I was taking the kids to one of those very rare trips to see the grandparents.  I feel bad that I don't take them there enough considering my parents live less than 30 minutes away.  (I know.  Bad son, right?)  But we were on the way over the river and through the woods when, from the back seat, my 6YO starts doing her normal thing...

"Daddy, Go SUPER fast! I want to see 3 numbers!  I want to see 100!" (I have a digital speedometer and she wanted to see it go to 3 numbers.)

I have explained to her on several occasions that going "super fast" can get me put in "super jail".  She doesn't care.  Apparently, she has an insatiable need for speed (at 6) and can't be bothered by such details as her father going to the BIG house.  To her, that's just dad taking one for the team.

Today was different, however.  SHE WOULDN'T STOP!!!  If you have children, or work with children, you know this day.  It happens every now and then.  (More now and less then.) If you are over 35, it's much like a record skipping on a song you really didn't want to hear to begin with.  If you are under 30, I probably just sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher, "WAH, WAH, WAH, WAH!".  What?   I lost you at Charlie Brown, too??? Good Grief!!!  Well... trust me...  it's not fun.  It goes a little something like this...

"Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!"

(That was the short version. This can literally go on for hours if you let it.  Their mind goes into some sort of cruise control and it takes their mouth along for the ride.)  Notice, you don't hear any of my dialog in that.  That's because when they are in this mode, there's really not reason to respond.  You just let them do their thing.  Any response, at this point, just leads to a series of "WHY?" questions.  You will be able to answer some of the WHYs but most you won't.  And that leads to more WHYs.  It's all lose/lose (like politics) from here.

This is also the moment where you realize that this form of Kiddie Verbal Viral Warfare is working!  You know you won't be able to take much more.  You are merely mortal.  Humans were only designed to take so much.  Male humans were designed to take even less.  I was about to push that little Civic to the limit and I didn't care if I got caught or not.  I was fully prepared to make an O.J. convoy 20 police cars long directly to the jailhouse just for some quiet when I was hit with a stroke of genius.

I decided to give my little one what she wanted.  My daughter wanted 3 numbers and she was going to get 3 numbers!  That's the kind of father I am!  So, I jammed my foot onto the accelerator.  I leaned back in my seat as if I was taking off in a space shuttle.  I even made a loud VROOOMMMM noise.  (That part was absolutely necessary since I drive a Civic.  No matter how hard I push the engine there's not enough power to make the engine roar.  So, sound effects are needed.)  Then, to complete the request... I pressed the "turbo" button!  Sadly, my turbo button doesn't actually make the car go any faster.  All it does is change the digital speedometer reading from Miles Per Hour to Kilometers Per Hour.  So, instantly, I was going 110! (At least that's what my display says.)

My little one was EXTREMELY excited that her father went over 100!  She could hardly contain herself.  It was great!  I managed to make her happy and not get a ticket... which made ME happy.  All of this was at the push of one button.  And that's what fatherhood comes down to.  Sometimes you are charged with making sure everyone is happy.  And all it takes is a little creativity and deception.  (You know... that point sounded a WHOLE lot better in my head.  But you get what I'm saying!)


Since I originally thought about putting this story to print, the "genius" plan has backfired on me.  Now, BOTH of my little ones loudly object when I change the speed back to mph.  So, now, I will eventually get the ticket anyway because I have NO idea how fast I'm going.  I wonder if the officer will understand.  If he's the father of young girls... he will.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Diary of a Father of a Teenage Girl - Day 1 - The Move

I knew this day would come.  I fought and fought and fought this for years.  But, alas, it was fruitless.  I didn't even get the lousy T-Shirt to prove it.  And, it's not like the wife's birthday or our wedding anniversary that sneaks up on me each year.  This was something real and had to planned for or it would have blown up in my face (kinda like the wife's birthday or our wedding anniversary.  All of my planning and preparation got me ready for the inevitable.  I am now the father of a teenage girl. Operation Protection by Destruction has commenced!  But each operation must start with a plan.  And this plan starts with The Move.

I have to move.  I'm too close to the assignment.  Being in the same house with a teenager mean ZERO planning would get done.  ZERO planning means sloppy execution.  And I only have one chance to get this right.  (That's not necessarily true since I have 2 other girls.  I could consider this a trial run.  That will be my Plan B.  If this doesn't work out I will learn, grow and buy MUCH more ammo for the next mission.  Failure is not an option... twice.)  So, moving out is the best option.

Keep in mind, this wasn't part of the original plans.  I had told myself long ago that I was not having any little girls.  I made a promise to myself and the world that I would only have 2 (maybe 3) boys and that was it.  But somewhere between promise and procreation I forgot a Y-chromosome... 3 times!  So, most of my life I was planning on raising the problem causers in the world and now I have to deal with the problem solvers.  But life goes on and plans are adjusted.  Luckily, the moving out plan was in place whether I had a boy OR a girl.  It didn't matter.  Teens are teens.

Some of you might be thinking, "But, won't your wife object?"  Well, she can't. I had this clause added to our nuptials.  Fellas!!!  You NEED to add this into the nuptials or you just end up looking like a jerk when you move out and leave the wife and kids at home.  But if it becomes part of the vows then you are just being the perfect father and husband by making sure you are man of your word.  And it's really simple too.  If you get to write your own vows then it's GOLDEN.  Just put it in the middle of golf and football.  She'll zone out at golf and come back after stop talking about football.  This is the Holy Grail of vows.  So use it wisely or you will be paying for it for the rest of your life.

If you don't get to write your own vows then you need to take this as a chance to learn stealth.  It will pay dividends later in life.  Know this going in... You are going to lose most arguments most of the time (whether you are right or wrong).  So take this chance to learn a new skill in sneakiness. (This is not deceipt or lying.  I don't condone that behavior.  But being sly is fine.)  When they get to the part that says LOVE, HONOR and (whatever new word they put in place of OBEY) you need to sneak in (under your breath), "but not necessarily in the same house."  See, this one is a little tougher because she's right there and listening.  You don't have the freedom of the Holy Grail.  You have say it low enough so she doesn't hear but loud enough for one of your boys (homies) to get it on video... as evidence during the eventual fallout of the teenage years.  Any real friend will help you accomplish this because they will expect the same at their wedding.

But, you have to lay the groundwork for this.  This will not plan itself.  And all good plans start with a good foundation.  Thus... The Move.  I have kept my family at DEFCOM  5 for a long time. But with the new development we will officially never drop below a 4 until there are no teenagers in the house.  And for those who think I will have more trouble protecting my teenage girl from the evil teenage boys, I just have 2 words for you... sniper scope.

But that's for another day.  THIS day is day 1 of the move.  I must admit, though, that I probably should have amended this rule.  It's kinda cold outside right now.  Unfortunately, when I thought this through, I didn't think about the fact that my daughter would reach her teens at winter time.  Slight oversight on my part.  Oh, well.  I won't miss anything else.  Tent - CHECK.  Canteen - CHECK.  Nearest stream - (the water bill has been paid, so...) CHECK (for now).  Bathroom - (Treeline is only a few yards behind me, so) CHECK.  Food source... well, I moved out but I'm just in the field across the street. (I have to be able to see the house for this to work.  I said I was moving out not moving away.) So, food won't be a problem.  I added that in the nuptials too. :-)

And now that I am alone and it is quiet, I have extra time to think and to write my general thoughts on the subject.

Thought #1...

The world would be a perfect place for teenage girls if there was no such thing and boys.

I guess we will see how this move thing works out.