Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fun Times With the Little People

The "Daddy and the Kids" show is nearly three weeks old! Next week is our last week and then Mommy will be home for good.

It will be the end of our chaotic and freewheeling lifestyle. Rooms will get cleaned. We'll start eating things like vegetables again. Dessert portions (as well as random snacking during the day) will decrease. Kids will go to bed much earlier.

As I expected, Josefina has been in some ways more of a handful this summer. Without Mommy's presence to give her the right amount of discipline and pampering and whatever that secret thing is that only mothers can give, she has been sometimes a little wild and willful.

Yikes! The four year old is crying and screaming, "But I WANT to!!!" Daddy says, "No!" And the four year old says, "But I WANT to!!!" Repeat. Over and over again. I try to be "tough" with her, but I don't have Mommy's creative toughness. So she doesn't always buy it. She charms, she begs, she throws a temper tantrum. Stubborn kid. So there ends up being a lot of screaming, but she is not going to get her way.

Suddenly she has decided to develop a sense of fashion. "I don't wanna wear that!" Oh boy. I give her to one of her sisters and say, "just put anything on her." They doll her up and give her braids.

Today we had an afternoon out. We went to the local community gym, and the kids had plenty of room to roller blade (you can see from the picture that Teresa is just learning). Meanwhile, Josefina played in the toddler room, on one of those amazing plastic things with all the holes and doors and tubes and slides. She showed me all the things she could do.

Then we went out for smoothies. Our kids are not spoiled, so these kinds of treats are appreciated and remembered. I'm glad, because they cost a lot of money.

At night we said the Rosary. By then we were pretty snippy with each other. Everyone was tired. Although we're also snippy during the day, when we're not tired. Bearing with one another is the great challenge of the day. As the father, I should set the example. I usually remember this only after I have failed.

Love is patient, love is kind. Love of children involves attention, affection, encouragement, and discipline. To do all of that, and to do it patiently and kindly is a heroic task. And it is one that must be taken up again and again. Mercy begins at home. Jesus, make me merciful to my children.