The Blame Game


The kids are going through this phase where they want to blame their bad behavior on someone else. Usually, that someone else is their sibling.

“It’s her fault,” he says. “He made me do it,” she says.

“Kenzie made me hit her because she laughed at me!” says Kaleb.

“It’s Kaleb’s fault I pinched him because he wouldn’t stop talking!” says Kenzie.

It seems that neither accepts responsibility for their own bad behavior. It’s always the other one’s fault.

Sometimes, it’s outrageous, the blame they heap on one another.

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She Stole My Friend

stevesurprisetwohandsonfaceSome time after Diane died a lady at church stopped me in the parking lot and informed me that she was praying for a wife for me. Although I didn’t know her very well, each time I would see her she would always say the same thing, “I’m praying for a wife for you.”

I figured that she just felt sorry for me since I was now a single (grand)parent raising two young children. Or, more likely, she felt sorry for the two young children I was raising as a single (grand)parent.

She and her husband were in the same Sunday School department at church as I was. So, as I got to know her better I found out that she had lost a spouse earlier in her life and later married again and she was also raising grandchildren.

And we became good friends.

She became my confidante with whom I shared my single parenting frustrations and concerns. She had this dry sense of humor and a wit that made me laugh whenever I was overly concerned about trivial matters in the lives of the kids as they are growing up.

A few years went by and I met Tami. We got engaged. We got married. And, I suppose, my friend’s prayers were answered!

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Milestones To Maturity: Turning Off the Child Safety Locks

The kids started school this year in a new school because we moved across town and into a different school district.

Maybe I’m somewhat overprotective (in a grandparent sort of way) in trying to create a stable home for the kids. So, changes worry me, and changes at school can be a big deal for the kids.

But, the first few days at the new school have proceeded without incident and maybe “change” is really more difficult for me than it is for the kids.

I drive the kids to school each day and it is a task I enjoy doing. I like to walk them to their classes on the first day of school and greet their teacher and see where their desks will be located in their new classrooms.

Since they started attending a new school and didn’t know their way around the building, for the first few days I parked the car in the school parking lot and walked with them to their classes.

One morning during the drive to school, Kaleb informed me he wanted me to drop them off rather than walk in with them. Reluctantly, I steered the car to the student drop-off lane instead of driving into the school parking lot.

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Old Dog, New Tricks

When Tami and I got married, I brought two kids and she brought a dog into our new blended family. As you might imagine, bringing two spoiled kids and one spoiled dog together under one roof has required a lot of adjustment by all concerned–parents, kids, and especially the dog.

Chloe is a ten-year-old Pekingese with a temperament something like a cat. She owns her space and she owns whomever she allows in her space at any particular time.

She thinks it’s her duty to protect whoever is in her space and to attack whoever encroaches on her space without her permission.

Now, contrast her temperament with the temperament of the kids, who have no respect for personal space and, consequently, are always encroaching in your space!

So, this first year has been a struggle for personal space around our house. Chloe owns her space and the kids always want to be in it!

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Lately I’ve come to realize that I’m in the wrong profession. As I look back on my life, my educational background, my career decisions, it’s occurred to me that I might have missed my true vocation…

I should have been a philosopher!

It seems that I like being a thinker more than I like being a doer. I like having ideas, whether or not those ideas have any practical value or utility.

I guess you could say I like developing the action plan more than I like putting the plan into action!

But, the problem with pursuing the life of a philosopher is that it conflicts with my vocation as a parent.

Continue reading “Replication”

Let’s Make a Deal

Kaleb: “Can I watch The Dancing Hamster video on YouTube on the iPad?”
Me: “No, Kaleb, YouTube has too many bad videos.”
Kaleb: “But I will only watch The Dancing Hamster video. I won’t watch any bad ones.”
Me: “I said No, Kaleb. You can’t watch YouTube on the iPad!”
Kaleb: “How about when I’m 10, then I can watch it?”
Me: “No, Kaleb, no YouTube!”
Kaleb: “Forever?”
Me: “Yes, forever!”

Kaleb is going through a phase where he wants to argue about everything and he won’t accept “No” as an answer to his many requests. He thinks the rules can change depending on what he wants at any particular moment.

It seems like every conversation with him is “Let’s make a deal!”

I suppose it’s because I’ve let both of them talk me into things in the past. I guess I have a track record of letting them have their way.

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The Night The Tooth Fairy Almost Didn’t Come

In a previous post, Don’t Mess with the Tooth Fairy, I revealed a side to the Tooth Fairy for which you might not have been aware–austere, unyielding, punitive. Well, there’s another side to the Tooth Fairy you may not about either–unaware, oblivious, negligent!

In fact, the way the Tooth Fairy behaves around our house, it almost seems like that illusive little nymph suffers from multiple personality disorder!

The kids have reached the age when their baby teeth are coming out. And, they are quite preoccupied with the process. They are always pulling and wiggling one of their teeth and then asking to see if it’s about to come out.

The trouble is, their loose teeth never seem to be loose enough to remove at a convenient time. And, they end up pulling them at school or at night after they’ve gone to bed as I explained in the previous Tooth Fairy post.

One night after the kids had gone to bed, Tami heard one of them moving around upstairs. She went up to their bedrooms and found Kenzie standing on the bathroom cabinet looking in the mirror. Tami made Kenzie get back in bed and told her not to get out of bed again under any circumstances.

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