Monday, February 4, 2013

Check Yo Self

It's not easy for a guy like me to empathize with the daily life and routine of Ice Cube, but we still have some similarities. 
We go way back.

Unlike Mr. Cube,  (I call him Ice) I don't drop bombs on ya moms, have intercourse with car alarms, do foul crime, have the indo, sit in a house of pain, headbutt ya, or have people call me Doughboy.  So what do we have in common?  We both have to check ourselves.

I've mentioned before how these little ones of ours listen to everything we say, even if they don't do what we mean.  Now, it would seem they are comprehending everything we say, and deliberately not doing what we say.

You might be asking yourself
How can you know what a three year old comprehend and what they don't?
Simple.  When (notice I did say "when", and not "if") I do something I've told them not to do, they call me on it.

Just a few examples from the last week.

Proper usage of a chair:

The girls have been told countless times when they sit on a chair they are to sit on their bottoms at all times.  The ceilings in our house are 11.5 feet high.  In the kitchen, the cabinets go almost all the way to the top.  As tall as I am, I still cannot reach the top shelves.

As I look for a vase to put some flowers in, I realize the perfect one is on the top shelf (more to come on this at a later date).  The girls are eating, so I pull my chair over, step up on it, step to the counter, and reach for the vase.  Yes, even I have to stand on the counter to reach things.  As I start my descent, Brynne asks me a question:
"Papa, are we supposed to stand on chairs?"
I reply
"You are not allowed to stand on a chair, but Papa can" 
She then asks me
"Why?"
I won't get into the rest of the conversation that took place.  I never made it to the point of using the age-old parenting response

"Because I said so"
but I was close.

Footwear:

Inside our house, as we've done for a long time, we don't wear shoes.  Mama says it has something to do with germs and dirt, or something like that, so we don't.  The girls are very good about taking their shoes off as soon as they come in.  Occasionally, they'll wander off the rug and have to be called back.  This typically sounds like
"Hadley...shoes."
As I said in my last post, the house is almost 150 years old.  Back then, they didn't dig out the basement, pour a concrete foundation, put up drywall and lights, and make it into a den or playroom.  They simply dug out enough room to create a cellar and allow for air circulation.  Our basement floor is dirt.  The walls are bare brick, and although there are three distinct rooms, in only a small part of it can anyone actually stand up.

It does contain everything you'd typically find in a newer home:  electrical panel, copper pipes that run from nowhere to nowhere, boiler, mostly disintegrated bath mat of unknown age or origin, hot water heater, pump for the well (which hasn't been used for thirty years), water sanitizer (which hasn't been hooked up for thirty years, but amazingly still had some of the nastiest water in it you'd ever seen - ironic since it's sole function is to clean the water), water softener (common theme - not hooked up for a long time, but full of salt, which has fused together to form one huge salt block), bins for storing coal, and a toilet brush from 1950.  All pretty common if you ask me. 

Hmmm, where was I going?  Oh, right. 
If these are the stairs you were imagining, you are slightly off.  The house isn't that old.

You can access the basement by stairs on the inside of the house or by going through the cellar door from the outside.  On a particularly frigid day, I had been working outside and intended to do some work in the basement.  As I opened the external cellar door and headed down the steps, I realized I hadn't unlocked the door to the basement from inside, and wouldn't be able to actually get into the basement. 

I went around to the front door and headed in.  I actually contemplated taking off my shoes before crossing the 15 feet to get to the inside basement door.  Because I had on several layers of clothes, I thought it would just be easier to leave my shoes on as opposed to taking off the layers, then the shoes, then putting them all back on before I went downstairs.

Since Mama was not in sight, I decided to make the walk through the house wearing shoes.  They were clean enough, and really, it was only eight steps.

About the time I took my sixth step I heard a little voice from behind me saying
"PAPA...SHOES"
When I looked back, I found Hadley there with a huge grin on her face.  I said "OOPS!" and finished my walk of shame to the basement. 

Oops is now one of her favorite words.

When I was growing up I never really understood the concept that parents were allowed to do things children weren't.  Because I "insert the appropriate phrase here" (said so/am the grown up/am bigger than you/pay the bills) never stopped me from trying to do everything grown ups did. 

I am realizing my girls may have picked that up from me.

1 comment:

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Quite a while ago, I came up with the idea that "different people sometimes have different rules".

I think it started with our cat. She can walk on the back of the couch, but we can't. It's OK...Sasha has different rules than we do.

I use that phrase when we see a child drinking a soda in a restaurant, or not wearing a helmet in the neighborhood...sometimes different people have different rules.

That doesn't exactly help when I slip the 4 steps inside the door -- WEARING SHOES -- to grab my sunglasses from the counter...but it does come in handy quite a bit. ;)