I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this morning I dropped off the Twins for their first day of kindergarten.
Holy shit, you guys. Is this really happening?
Of course, I knew this day was coming, but that doesn’t lighten the blow of its actual arrival. It seems like just yesterday my son was calling me (or Chuck Norris) “Dada” for the first time, or my daughter was playing air guitar while breastfeeding, or my son was giving my wife a fecal soul patch, or my daughter was still sucking her thumb through thunderstorms and animatronic pirate encounters. But the timestamps are right there on photos and videos. There’s no arguing with the date I see on the calendar. Whether I want it to or not, time relentlessly sprints forward.
Five years ago, while reflecting on the first eight months of the Twins’ life, I wrote:
I’d prefer not to tritely say “They grow up so fast” (even though it’s SO true), so I hereby submit a far greater phrase for nation-sweeping candidacy: “They grow up faster than a Red-Bull-guzzling cheetah in a Lamborghini on the Autobahn with his pregnant, twin-carrying cheetah wife going into labor.”
Go ahead, picture that for a minute. Man. Now that’s fast.
As I read this today (and just barely remember writing it), I’d like to give my past self a high five because this just about nails it.
Here’s what really gets me. For the first three years of the Twins’ lives I was a stay-at-home dad, and for the remaining two and a half years I’ve worked from home. Aside from the fantastic childcare help we’ve gotten from my mother, sister-in-law, various preschools, and the rest of our “village,” I’ve pretty much been around the whole time. I’ve had more hours with the Twins than anyone else. Yet, now that they’re entering kindergarten, I still can’t help feeling like I “missed” stuff–that I somehow should have been around EVEN MORE. The rational part of me prescribes a chill pill, but the emotional side is like, “nuh-uh.”
Parent Guilt is a real thing, you guys. Continue reading
1. Two minutes before his swimming lesson starts.
2. When we should already have left the house 15 minutes ago.
3. In the middle of an amusement park ride.
4. Every time we walk into Target.
5. Just as our doctor enters the room for a check-up after we’ve been waiting 45 minutes.
6. At the beach.
7. When a server is about to take our orders at a restaurant.
8. The moment our food arrives at a restaurant.
9. On our way out of a restaurant.
10. Anyone’s house but ours.
11. At the park.
12. While I am sitting on the only available toilet.
13. While his sister is sitting on the only available toilet.
14. Three minutes after insisting he did not have to go while we were all in the public family restroom at the mall and each of his sisters dutifully utilized the toilet and changing table, but now we’re almost to the Disney Store on the other side of the mall.
15. While waiting in the McDonald’s drive-through line.
16. When he is on his bike five blocks from the house and claims to need to go too badly to pedal himself home and starts flipping the f*ck out and I somehow have to get his f*cking bike, his twin sister who is just too tired to pedal and her f*cking bike, and his baby sister and her stroller back home. Also, it is hot out. Continue reading
Additional Twinfamy Comics exist.
1. Telling them, “Okay, it’s time to go. Kids, please get your shoes on.”
2. Adding, “Kids. Get your shoes on.”
3. Acknowledging that, yes, I KNOW they’re drawing pictures, but like I said, it’s time to go. Like right now.
4. Yes. Right now. This very instant. This moment in time. NOW.
5. Telling them to stop claiming they don’t know how to put their shoes on.
6. Telling them Santa is watching.
7. Reminding them that our Elf on the Shelf is right over there. See?
8. Saying that I’m sure the Easter Bunny is taking notes, too.
9. Telling them, no, Easter is not for a few months, but the important part is getting their f*cking shoes on.
10. Reminding them that Jesus is watching, too. Surely Jesus would get HIS shoes on.
11. Telling them that Big Brother is also watching, and realizing that it is a reference they will not understand, and explaining that, no, they do not have another brother, but that they DO have…to put their f*cking shoes on.
12. Saying I’m leaving without them.
13. Telling them no, no, no, of course I would never leave without them…as long as they put their f*cking shoes on.
14. Asking them to stop crying, I’m seriously not leaving without you. But now that I have your attention, please put your f*cking shoes on.
15. Telling them their shoes are hungry for feet. Look! Their tongues are sticking out! Continue reading
The Twins first got their Nabi tablets about two years ago. We’re conscious of limiting their screen time, but I think anyone with kids can agree that anything that keeps them busy for more than 30 seconds can be a win for everyone at least once in a while. Lately, with both of the Twins sick with colds (and my son somehow contracting a mild case of pneumonia in the over-100-degree Arizona heat), the Nabis have been a fantastic distraction for them while they rest and leave Mommy and Daddy alone for five freaking minutes–maybe six If we’re lucky.
We recently added the YouTube Kids app to their playscape, and they absolutely adore being able to watch videos of grown adults opening toys and ill-conceived animated songs whenever they want, and Mommy and Daddy can rest easy knowing it has an excellent kid-friendly filter. My daughter’s favorite function of the app is the ability to search for videos with voice commands. Like most newfangled contraptions nowadays, she can simply press the microphone-shaped icon, vocally request what her heart desires, and through modern sorcery, the videos magically appear before her eyes.
As my wife and I had the pleasure of taking turns with two snot-nosed four-year-olds (and their boogery six-month-old sister) all week, I decided to compile a list of some of my very favorite YouTube searches I overheard my daughter barking at her Nabi. Feel free to search them yourself, but a fair warning: What you find may numb your mind, bore you to tears, or even disgust you (especially if you’re NOT using that YouTube Kids filter).
Here they are, in no particular order. As you’ll soon see, my daughter has VERY specific tastes.
1. “Superman and Batman costumes with people inside them wearing them singing songs”
Because it is important to clarify that there are people inside the costumes.
2. “Plain Hello Kitty surprise eggs with nothing on them”
When asked I her for clarification, she replied, “I don’t want the eggs to have any pictures on them, but I want them to have Hello Kitty toys in them.” (For those who don’t know, surprise eggs are exactly what they sound like. Think those Easter eggs that you can put stuff in. You’d be amazed how many of YouTube’s servers are filled with people opening f*cking toy eggs.) Continue reading