Stuck in Groundhog Day

You probably wake up each morning, get out of bed and proceed with the day as a continuation of your life from all the previous days of your life.

You begin today where you left off yesterday. What happened yesterday and the day before and the month before and the year before continues into today.

And, the rules you lived by yesterday and the day before and the month before and the year before were still in effect when you got up out of bed today.

But, what if you woke up in the morning, got out of bed and proceeded with your day as if it was the first day of your life!

What happened yesterday and the day before and the month before and the year before does not have relevance for today.

The rules you lived by yesterday and the day before and the month before and the year before are not incorporated into today.

Well, that’s that way it is at is at our house. It’s like the kids’ universe starts over each day when they wake up.

Living in our house is like the plot from the movie, Groundhog Day. In the movie a self-absorbed local TV weatherman, Phil Connors played by actor Bill Murray, is annoyed because he’s assigned the job of covering the annual Groundhog Day festivities in the Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. A blizzard that Phil failed to predict suddenly hits town  and Phil and his TV crew are snowed in and must remain overnight in Punxsutawney. When Phil  wakes up the next day, it’s Groundhog Day again.

As Phil awakes each day he relives that same Groundhog Day over and over. As he repeats the events of Groundhog Day again and again he goes through numerous recurrences of bad and good behavior. When he finally comes to the realization that Groundhog Day may be his fate for eternity, Phil strives to behave in a way that will make it the best day of his life.

Sometimes I feel like I’m living in Groundhog Day with my kids.

I have to repeat the rules–every single rule it seems–all over again. Every rule. Every day.

Make your bed. Pick up your room. Put your dirty clothes in the clothes hamper.

Don’t throw trash on the floor. Don’t tease the dog. Don’t tease your brother.

Don’t tell your sister what to do. Don’t tell me what to do!

Why do I have to reiterate the same rules for life all over again each new day?

Go outside and play! Don’t go outside without your shoes on. Wipe your feet off when you come back in the house!

Brush your teeth. Rinse out the sink after you brush!

Close the door when you go to the bathroom. Flush the toilet when you finish. Get another role of toilet paper if you use it all!

Turn out the lights when you leave a room. Turn off the TV when you finish watching it.

Did the universe reboot last night while I was asleep and I didn’t know about it?

Just use a little bit of shampoo. Don’t leave the bar of soap in the bottom of the shower. Don’t leave your wet towel on the floor!

It’s time to get up. It’s time to go to bed.

Don’t eat so fast. Stop messing around. For crying out loud, quit running through the house!

It’s exhausting to have to recall and recite every rule of the universe each and every day of our lives!

For Phil Connors the endless loop of Groundhog Days finally ended when Phil evolved from his former misanthropic self into a genuine humanitarian.

Maybe the universe is trying to teach me something about my misguided parenting techniques and hasn’t yet been able to make the needed transformation.

Because I’m still stuck in Groundhog Day….





Goodbye Santa – The Sequel

I recently posted that I was feeling a little sentimental because Kenzie learned from her  friends at school that Santa Claus isn’t real (read Goodbye Santa).

Although I advised her not to tell her big brother, of course she couldn’t resist.  She later said that she told Kaleb about Santa because “she had to get it off her chest!”

Not long after Kaleb had received the news about Santa Claus from Kenzie, he had this conversation with Tami:

Kaleb: “Mom, I think I saw an elf in my room.”

Tami: (bends down and looks him straight in the eyes) “What? After what Kenzie told you?”

Kaleb: “Oh no! You mean there’s no elves either?”

When I Grow Up

Recently, I had the following conversation with the kids:

Kaleb: “Dad, when I grow up I’m going to come and see you once a week.”

Me: “That’s nice, son. Twice a week would be even better!”

Kaleb: “OK, twice a week. I’m going to come and see you twice a week!”

Me: “I’m glad because I will want to see you as often as possible. How about you, Kenzie?”

Kenzie: “I’m going to live in Utah!”

Me: “Utah!” That’s a long way from here! How are you going to be able to see me every week living in Utah? Why would you go live in Utah?”

Kenzie: “Because I’m going to be a YouTube gamer and that’s where they live!”

Me: “A YouTube gamer! As a career? I didn’t even know that was a job! Sounds more like playing than working.  Whatever happened to wanting to be a fireman or teacher or doctor when you grow up?”

Me: (muttering to myself more than talking to them): “I don’t know how you can make a living on YouTube. I suppose you get a lot of followers and then sell advertising and overpriced t-shirts and hoodies  with ‘GamerKid’ or ‘SuperDude’ or whatever virtual identity you confer upon yourself.”

Continue reading “When I Grow Up”

Goodbye Santa

Recently, Tami asked Kenzie to start thinking about what she wants Santa Claus to bring her for Christmas. Kenzie thought about it for awhile and then told Tami: “I know you buy the presents.”

That’s right.  Kenzie has learned the truth about Santa Claus. She’s reached that milestone in her life where she found out that there is no Santa Claus!

I suspect it won’t be long until she stops believing in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny as well.

What bothers me about her discovery is that she learned about Santa from her little friends at school. I didn’t even get to have “the talk” with her.

Continue reading “Goodbye Santa”

The Dad Pal

Lately I’ve been a little concerned that that the kids aren’t taking me seriously as their parent.

They seem to perceive me as one of their friends, a big playmate. It’s like I’m their Dad Pal.

If I issue a paternal command, instead of responding with   “Yes Father” or “OK Dad”, they reply with a high-five or a fist bump followed by a “Let’s go play!”

I feel like the Rodney Dangerfield of fathers, “I don’t get no respect!”

Continue reading “The Dad Pal”

The Blame Game – Redux

Nearly two years ago I published a post describing how the kids each want to blame their bad behavior on their sibling.

At the time I said the kids were going through this blame game phase. I guess I’m finding out that:


Apparently, blaming one’s own misconduct on one’s sibling is not some stage of child development they are passing through. It’s a daily routine; no, it’s a way of life!

Continue reading “The Blame Game – Redux”

You’re Fired!

I  may have to fire one of my long-time employees.  Excessive absence. Non-performance. Neglect of duty.

Unfortunately, this employee has many years of loyal and dedicated service with me. But, the poor guy just quit doing his job!

It’s not so much that my employee is incompetent. He has a strong background in his field and many years of experience for the position he now holds in my organization.

He is, in fact, well-qualified for the job.

Continue reading “You’re Fired!”