Posts tagged with "children"

parent time

When Karen’s at yoga, Aaron and I take turns cooking dinner and playing with Ryan and Ruby (read: keeping them occupied and out of trouble). Then we gingerly convince them to eat what they can (good days involve utensils), make sure they’re bathed, and put into bed with a story if they’ve been good. Everything is manageable as one but easier with two, especially when the simple act of getting rice into a child’s mouth can turn into an ordeal.

This is when I get to experience the joys of having children in manageable doses. That means not having to deal with diaper changes, and reading the same 30-word book only four times instead of 400.

Ryan and Ruby

The new laptops were presents from Nana and Papa at Christmas. Now they can send/receive e-mails, and blog about the awesome poop they just took.

Ryan used to be particularly excited to see his Uncle Jeff, leaving Aaron and Karen to wonder what got into him when I was around. Now that he’s a bit older, his face doesn’t carry the same glow when I arrive anymore, and he’s happier to see the marbles I brought. But Ruby is beginning that phase of enamour, and constantly clambering into my lap to involve herself in what I’m doing. Recently she started asking me to carry her (which I’m told means membership in an exclusive club consisting of her parents and me), even though she’s just learned to manage stairs by herself.

They seem to grow by inches every week, and they’ll soon be old enough to take care of themselves. I’ve learned to appreciate the little chances I have to be truly part of a family like this, especially after deciding last year against ever having kids of my own. And I don’t feel the need for children anymore cause this will always be enough.

Baby talk

One summer in my teenage years, I volunteered at a kinder camp1, and that filled a gap in my knowledge about anyone under 10. Unfortunately, that gap only spanned children between 3 and 5, and aside from that range, I knew nothing about kids.

So interacting with children who’ve yet learned to speak I found especially awkward. I never understood how to talk to someone who didn’t seem to understand what I was saying. It was like talking to a stuffed animal, which I’m pretty sure can’t be done by any sane person without feeling creepy.

Rosella in the car

 

Not to mention how phony it sounds. Why do people raise their voices, as if a child trusts them more if they sound like them2? They don’t normally talk like that.

Then I realized that I do kitty talk, with the boospy, and the schmoopsy, and the pokey of the belly. I talk to my cat all the time, a habit I’ve probably picked up from living by myself for the last three years, combined with the fact that I’m an extreme introvert and stay in my house for the majority of my time.

Which is strange because Dolly doesn’t understand anything I’m saying (though I’m sure cats are intelligent enough to evolve to talk if they believed anything a human had to say could be important). And this is after I wrote an entry seven years ago, specifically about how awkward I found it to talking to cats.

Maybe I’m comfortable enough with cats now to hold a conversation with one. Or maybe I’m going crazy.

Rosella with tongue out

 

I’m getting more comfortable with kids too. Not just talking to them, but the idea of having them myself, maybe because my friends are getting married and giving birth and I’m spending more time with a few adorable boys and girls. I can talk to them even though they only respond in monosyllables.

Jodie Foster once described having children as the most creative thing she’s ever done, and I completely understand that now. I can’t think of anything more creative than nurturing growth, curiosity, imagination, and ideas in another human being. One day, I’d like to experience it for myself.

  1. Cause I had nothing better to do. Seriously. []
  2. Though it worked for Owen Meany. []

Ryan's First Birthday

A video I shot as a Christmas present for Aaron and Karen. This was the first day I tried my “poor man’s steadycam”, and aside from a few shaky shots from fiddling around while trying to capture everything, the panning works very well.

I was thinking about saving the video for when Ryan gets married, but figured I may be dead before that happens, so I decided to give it to them now. There are so many notes in the production of the video that I feel like I need a 10-minute directors commentary to cover all the details. Alas, I’ll leave the insight up to the viewer.

How can so many people love one little boy? It seems almost impossible.

Chip Off The Old Block

I don’t know what’s worth fighting for
Or why I have to scream
I don’t know why I instigate
And say what I don’t mean
I don’t know how I got this way
I’ll never be alright
So I’m breaking the habit
I’m breaking the habit tonight

—Linkin Park, Breaking The Habit

Studies have shown that kids with divorced parents are much more likely to end up being divorced themselves. As role models, we take the way their parents treat each other and use this as a model for our own relationships. And eventually, our kids end up treating their kids the same way because that’s all they know1.

I used to take my girlfriends for granted. It could have been a way for me to distance myself to prevent getting hurt (as therapy has shown), or it may have just been what I thought relationships were like.

I can recall my parents doing the same thing to each other. They didn’t marry out of love, they married because it was the thing to do when you reached a certain age. Eventually, they merely inhabited the same house, not even sleeping in the same bed or room.

It’s a cycle, a trap. But that’s not an excuse for me.

I refuse to be like them. I refuse to end up like they did. I’m going to do my best to change that about myself.

And I will break the cycle.

  1. At least, that’s the excuse my mom uses. []