Saturday, May 3, 2008

My funny valen...family

Originally posted June 15, 2005

So, I was on my way toward the door to head to the office yesterday morning when the li'l munchkins lept out of bed and blocked the front door (looking rather whimsical, I must admit, with their big-big upturned eyes and dressed in their PJs -- it's also rather hard to make one's case ("Papa, stay home and play with us!") when one is tittering so).

Of course, you all know that it is impossible to reason with toddlers, right? Diane tried that tack, for form's sake: "Now, we must help Papa get to work on time!" So, after that produced none of the results we were hoping for, we tried distraction, instead -- Diane: "Let's get dressed to go swimming! YAY!" and with that, she and I raced off to the bedroom, knowing the children would follow.

But they didn't.

So, Diane said: "Maybe if we're having fun, the kids will come to see what we're doing." So, we started laughing and jumping up-and-down/up-and-down and were immediately rewarded with the sound of the pitter-patter of little feet: Elena Marie and Isabel burst into the bedroom. When Elena saw her parents holding hands and jumping up and down, she wished to do the same, so she turned to Isabel to hold hands.

Isabel still had a forward moment, which was stopped suddenly by slamming into an older sister, and then reversed when she fell, belly-first, onto the floor.

The mood changed rather quickly with Isabel wailing and screaming from surprise. Diane picked her up and put her on the bed to comfort her, and Elena Marie quickly exited, doors slamming to hide in her room.

See, Elena Marie has a very strong sense of order, and when something goes wrong, she feels it intensely ... when she realizes that SHE did something wrong, she becomes very angry with herself, losing control of her emotions.

Well, Diane had Isabel calming down, and soon laughing on the bed, so I rushed off to the children's bedroom to help Elena Marie.

The poor girl was desperately pushing against the door to keep the avenging parent from visiting a fate worse than death unto her: a scolding. But I was quick: "It's okay, Elena, both Mama and I saw you didn't mean to hurt Isabel; it was an accident: it's okay." and lifting her up into my arms rocked her (I wonder how many more years I can take this course of action to comfort my kiddies!).

This soothing action had an immediate calming effect; so much so, that she recounted the events from her perspective. I learnt that she and Isabel delayed coming because they planned on how to run to our bedroom: they would run, arm-in-arm, together into the bedroom and burst in and surprise us. And Elena Marie told me how bad she felt that Isabel fell down. So, we went back to the bedroom, and we saw Diane and Isabel on the bed laughing big belly laughs because they were rubbing noses (I guess rubbing noses beats watching a Jim Carrey movie hands down ... sorry, Jim ... but I not sure that it'd beat watching the "Big Bus"; I don't know what possibly could!). Elena Marie needed to join in, too: "I want; I want!" So we laid her down next to her little sister, and Diane rubbed noses with her, too.

As I left for work, I was followed by peals of laughter bursting forth from my darling ladies.

May your days be equally blessed.

4 comments:

ocean waller said...

Wow Douglas! I am impressed! Bill and I would have handled that situation much worse. There would have been no laughter, only tears, as Bill escaped to go to work. Your children are so fortunate to have you and Diane for their parents.

Sincerely, your dearest:) cousin, Ocean

geophf said...

Actually, I have a secret weapon: it's all Diane. Watching her raise the children with wisdom and humour has made me a better father, for I would try to match strength to strength against the children if left to my own devices -- of course I would "win", but then everyone would lose.

Diane is wise on being a mother: when the Ice Cream truck goes through the neighborhood, she says: "Oh, listen to the 'music' truck!" Isn't that smart? She lays down the law and sets limits, but when a confrontation need not be initiated, she goes in an entirely different direction than meeting a
"problem" head-on -- a kid's climbing up onto a dangerously high shaky structure, Diane doesn't say, "Come down here right this minute!" Instead she says, "Oh, would you like to help Mama water the plants in the garden?"

The end result is the same: the kid comes down, but the family harmony, instead of being a screaming, crying, slamming doors, hissy-fit, remains a joyful, playful one.

... it also helps that the management at work is VERY tolerate of my personality quirks and also allows me to saunter in and out pretty much as I please. They have "core hours", but they are also willing to turn a blind eye to the clock on some occasions ... this allows me the option to leave the house gracefully, instead of under a cloud.

*sigh* I'm so blessed!

ocean waller said...

Dear Douglas, Thank you for your response. I appreciate you complimenting yourwife. You still play a major role in working WITH your wife as opposed to demanding "your way or the highway". Keep up with whatever you are doing.

By the way, just as I was reading the line in your letter about the ice cream truck, an ice cream truck went by OUR house. (Insert Twilight Zone music).

Take care, Love, Ocean

diane said...

Again, thanks for making me look good. I was truly surprised by your opinion because I sense that you're mostly frustrated when you're with us, as if things aren't going your way. I often wish that when you're around, the girls will behave better, happier and not temperamental, active but not too loud. So I am pleased that you do see some good things happening in the time you have spent with us, whether it's due to my frequent dental appointments, HR consulting or simply a work-free weekend for you!

I will continue to work at making your experience of fatherhood and family life more peaceful and less stressful, as I've seen my own mother do for my father. (I will probably be asking about her "secret" pretty soon!) Perhaps soon we'll have time to talk about our 100-acre farm and the cluster and residual income --and its related plans, goals, and to-do lists.

I'm glad you always keep the 'itch' to move us forward. You provide the excitement and newness that I don't experience anymore due to my limited (and different) encounters. I do wonder what you expect from me (in the businesses of the farm, cluster, quixtar). I worry, probably because I don't know if I'm involved only to listen (and keep home life stress as low as possible) or to contribute substantially. I would hate to dampen your enthusiasm so I find myself participating more actively, sharing my preferences and 'solutions.' Good or bad? You tell me.

I've put a back-to-back Dora dvd for the girls to watch, turned on the imac for Elena's lessons on letters (so she can multitask), and let JoAnn sleep on clean-enough accommodations so I can think more, and voila! Just a quick google search and I've chanced upon VA's produce farms, pick-your-own fruit/veggies farms, horse boarding stables, organic/sustainable farms,
alpaca (!) farms --this one has an interesting story too, and more. I've saved bookmarks on the office imac under farm business and printed out some of them. Now I can see our farm business.

Happy Father's Day!