Thursday, March 24, 2011

Parenting at its best

Having four kids, people ask me all the time if I'm crazy. That answer is yes. Next they usually ask me what I like most about having kids. My answer is how different they all are. Finally they ask if this whole question gimmick is even true or if I'm just using it as a vehicle to get this post rolling. That's about the time I change the subject.

I do, however, really enjoy how different all of my kids are (before we go any further, please recognize that I find my kids more beautiful, terrible, engaging, frustrating, and interesting than yours. Sorry. Just how it goes. I'm sure you feel the same way about your kids. If you don't, that just sort of makes my point.). It doesn't make any damned sense. They have (largely) the same genetic makeup, they live in the same house, they have the same rules, they have the same influences -- they should be pretty much carbon-copies of each other. But they aren't. 

My 10 year old is my stepson, but he has been for years and he's always been as much mine as any of my other ones. He's athletic, driven, smart, polite, and generally the sort of kid every parent wishes their kid was (naturally, with him, it's all nurture). On the weird side, he won't eat chocolate and he prefers his green beans canned to frozen (I know, right?).The only reason he won't be the next Steve Nash is because he isn't Canadian (the fact that he is probably gonna end up being 5'6" doesn't help either). This kid could seriously end up an astronaut, though.

My 4 year old boy is hell on wheels. He's smart as a whip, which would be great if he could use his powers for good instead of evil. His teachers love him, so it really breaks their hearts when they have to put him in time out. He is also absolutely hilarious, and when he tells you he loves you, you know he means it. His best case scenario is probably Lex Luthor. Worst case? Sort of a less effective Lex Luthor.

My 3 year old is super, super sweet. He'll crawl up into your lap, tell you his name is "Baby Puppy Oswald" and just sit there with the sweetest little voice ever and alternate between making baby noises and puppy noises. Like a puppy, he sometimes has rage and odor issues. And he is occasionally in a dress when I pick him up from daycare. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Finally, I have an 18 month old daughter who absolutely changed my life. She looks like her 4 year old brother (just like me, which I am loathe to admit) but in a pretty way. She lights up a room, which is good, because if she is in the room, you'll know it. You'll also know if you are doing something she doesn't like, or, more often, preventing her from doing something she likes.

So, those are my kids in a nutshell. They, like ogres, have nuances and layers and all manner of things that make them amazing and flummoxing, and I love them each to death in their own special way. And I am giving them all our highest praise, a Little Bit of Italy rating.  Way to go, guys (and girl).


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