It's amazing the range of emotions and experience you get as a parent each and every day, especially in a big family. It can be both maddening, and exhilarating. A sampling from yesterday:
Sami comes up and sits by me (Brent) on the couch. She looks over at me and says nonchalantly, "Daddy, you take up a lot of space."
Now, I might be dumb, but I aint's that dumb. She just called me fat! Even after knowing English for only six months, she discovered a delicate, politically correct way to let me know I need to lose some weight.
On a scale from one to ten, with "one" being a yawner, here's how that ranked:
Score - Emotion(4), Joy(0), Additional Hair Loss(4), Need for Comfort Food(10)
[Pic: our great friends, the Bakers, brought some dress up fun back from a trip to New Orleans]
Score - Emotion(6), Joy(0), Additional Hair Loss(4), Need for Comfort Food(4)
Abby was as energetic this weekend as she has been in many months. A remarkable fact given that we were concerned for her survival just a week ago. Along with her renewed energy, the "four year old" came out in her too: she was unkind to Landis and Sami a couple of times, backtalked Momma and was slow to obey Dad once or twice. Now, to her defense, she really has not had the CHANCE to "act up" in a long time, so she hasn't had a lot of parental discipline because she simply has not needed it. The better part of the last 8 months she has spent lying around too tired and too nauseated to even get up.
We decided the week she got sick that we would not allow her to become an "indulged monster" which happens once in a while with pediatric cancer patients whose parents mistakenly feel so sorry for their kids they quit being parents. We LOVE Abby SO much, that we will never stop parenting her, no matter WHAT the circumstance. It does her no good to survive cancer only to become a demanding, spoiled brat.
Even when she is in the hospital, feeling miserable, she is required to be polite, ask please, say thank you, and be reasonably kind and UNdemanding. In return, we shower her with comfort and care. However, this weekend, we had to get on to her, even threaten to give her a swat for misbehaving (which we wouldn't in her condition, but she doesn't know that).
But... and yes, this is a true story (my wife will kill me for telling you this).... there is nothing quite so funny as a kid with their nose in the "naughty corner" standing next to their I.V. pole! Sick humor, I know... but it was absolutely screamin' funny.
It was a JOY to see Abby feeling so well she could actually get in trouble for being not being nice to her brother. How's that for some sort of backwards parenting?
Score - Emotion(4), Joy(7), Additional Hair Loss(0), Need for Comfort Food(0)
Landis is so much fun, except for potty training. He is getting better every day, but when he doesn't care, he doesn't care.
"Landis, you need to go potty?"
"Go anyway..." So I march him in, put him on the toilet and make him sit there for a few minutes. NOTHING.
"Okay son, don't you poop or pee in you spideyunderwear, or you'll be in big trouble".
Of course you know where this is going. In the time it took to walk from the bathroom to the living room, he had dumped a load in his britches and soaked everything. Not thirty seconds after being on the potty...
Score - Emotion(4), Joy(0), Additional Hair Loss(2), Need for Comfort Food(0, I was changing pooped-in-underwear)
We had a birthday party for Michelle. My Mom and Dad drove down. The kids were all feeling well. Abby was doing great. The clothes I bought Michelle actually fit. The teenagers didn't whine or gripe about anything. Landis used the potty. I whupped the snot out of my Dad in a game of cards.
Score - Emotion(8), Joy(8), Additional Hair Loss(0), Need for Comfort Food(8, we had bought a new cake by then)
I love, and hate, and love, how any single day in our big family is a rollercoaster of experience, emotion, heartache, laughter, tears of joy, tears of stress, disappointment, fulfillment, aggravation and amazement.
They call that "life" and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love my wife. I love you Michelle. I love you dearly with all my heart. I would not be "living life" if it was lived without you.
Score - Emotion(10), Joy(10)
How about you? Do you love life?
Some more "life" pictures from our weekend:
SpideyLandis stops for a moment of silence to pity a
poor piece of chocolate that is about to meet it's Maker.
Abby gets a hug from her Bubba. She is particularly
attached to Garrett who spends a lot of time with her.
SpideyLandis gets a kiss from Abby as they show off their
matching head scarfs. Abby loves "baby" (as she calls him).
SpideyLandis had competition now as Abby dons her superhero outfit
which was sent to her by one of our blogging friends.
A new spideybottle brings a smile.
Abby opens her Valentine's card from Daddy while
wearing her new Valentine's head scarf.
Sami shows off her Valentine's cand box from Dad.
This was Sami's first sweetheart day with a "Dad" in her life.
Ah, Cheri... your eyes are like caramel. Your skin is like milk chocolate.
How shall I eat thee and make a mess? Let me count the ways....