My children are my finest work. There is nothing better in my life and I will not ever be able to surpass being a father. In some ways you could say that it is my life's achievement, but at the same time it is a work in progress. I am responsible for bringing them into the world and helping to make them people of integrity and good character.

Sometimes it is really hard. I know that there are people out there who have bigger challenges and I am appreciative of that, but this is my challenge and there are moments in which I tear out large clumps of hair.

At the moment I have two kids, a 4.5 year-old boy and a daughter who is 13 months. My son has reached the point at which he has decided that he is tired of sharing attention and is working hard to garner as much of our time as he can. In this house it means that he is obstinate, insubordinate, determined, relentless and willing to accept most consequences.

Friends and family laugh because they say that he is a clone of myself, and to a certain extent that is true. I see it and I acknowledge it. My father had to deal with it because in many ways arguing with him is like yelling at the mirror. Some traits are passed along at a molecular level.

Some people have argued that corporal punishment is the way to go and that it will straighten him out. I am not sold on that. There have been moments in which he earned a swat on his tuchus, but they didn't do much good. They just pissed him off more. I am the same way. When I was five I told my father that I didn't want to be punished and challenged him to a fist fight. The story is that he laughed and whatever I was in trouble for was forgotten, but the point stands.

When I was in 9th grade a senior decided to pick on me. I got irritated and went after him and that was the end of it. In truth I was lucky. He was much larger and could have remodeled my face. I am thankful that he didn't. So what does this all mean?

It means that my son got stuck with the same wacko gene that allows us to risk life and limb and I am not about to press that button unless absolutely necessary. I have found a few other tricks that work, but they require constant monitoring. That is part of what they don't tell you about being a parent. They leave out the part about how you give up your time to make sure that they are not playing with the toy you took away or circumventing the consequences of something they did. Have to set boundaries and stick with them.

He really is a good boy and for the most part he listens well, it is just frustrating because he has endless amounts of energy with which to test me.

My daughter is capable of walking but hasn't decided to do so yet, and that is ok with me. But that hasn't stopped her from wrecking the house. I am not sure that I could do as much damage. Give her 5 minutes in a room and the shelves are bare because all of the items that had been on them have been thrown on the floor.

At 13 months she doesn't quite understand why we do not allow her free reign to roam and explore. I love her curiosity and I hope that it never disappears. She also has exceptional energy and more often than not is on the go.

I love these two, but I am tired, so very tired. Lately it feels like I have little to no time to myself and that is something that I require. I need a few minutes to restore and replenish my batteries.

I am sure that this is just a phase and that the cycle will pass, but sometimes it just wears on me a little and I find my patience to be less than it should be. I feel badly about that because I always want to be excited about playing with them. I can tell that some of this frustration is coming out because my son has a new line.

When he is frustrated he says "For Crime's Sake." I suspect that he is repeating what he thought he heard me say.

Anyway, I don't doubt that the two little ones know that I love them I just cannot help it. I want to be better and do more for them.


Unknown said...

That was very touching. I'm glad to know there are men like you in the world.

Anonymous said...

Great post. You seem like a great father. This is the type of post you want to keep on top for a little bit longer... so don't write anything else today!

Anonymous said...

My 14 month old girl is starting Gan tomorrow and I can't wait!! These advanced little souls need so much more action that we needed at that age! She has free romp of the garden and I don't want to imagine what the house would look like if she didn't ...:)

Anonymous said...

Just trying to get my link working ...

Jack Steiner said...

Thank you all, I appreciate your comments.

Anonymous said...

Once again you touch on a subject that I feel can really relate to. In fact I was just writing a story about that. My daughter IS a mini-me, though physically she only slighly resembles me, almost everything about her tastes and personality is a mirrored image. It totally freaks me out at times. Genetics is just an amazing science.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted this as a catch-up post! My daughter is 3.5 and my son is 13 months old. He's tearing up the place and starting to walk. It's nice to know that just a year and a bit ago, your kids were about my kids' ages - gives me new perspective when I read your stuff about your kids!

Jack Steiner said...

My pleasure.

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