Even Mom Gets Sick-Days

Several weeks ago I had to work out of town. Meaning, like the traveling salesman, for about a month I was only home on the weekends. Wife had the house and children all to herself. It felt like running a refugee camp without US support. To Wife’s relief, the last week of out of town work had arrived. Only one more week away from home.

Wake up you! Dad will be home soon.

Wake up you! Dad will be home soon.

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The Difficulty of #10

We really had no idea how easy-going our boys were as babies until the last seven months. And if you took the time to count back, it would be as plain as unflavored yogurt, that was when #10 made her debut. Not to say she came out with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. No, she was a screech-owl in baby clothing.

Can you hear me?

Can you hear me?

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Band-Aids Fix Everything

When the early winter flu swept through our home, it hit everyone. Thankfully, the household mostly fell ill in twos and threes. Otherwise, I suppose if we all got sick at once, you would have read about it in the obituaries. As it was, we were simply a pitiful sight of sore throats, runny noses, and headaches.

When #8 came down with it, he toddled over to my knee and touched his throat with one finger. “It horwts,” he complained.

“Does it hurt here?” I asked lightly touching his throat.

“Yeaaaah…” #8 whined. “I neeeeed Band-Aid”

Oh yes. Have you forgotten how Band-Aids fix everything at a certain age? Stubbed toes. Cut fingers. Bumped heads. Bee stings. Bruises.

No. To tell the truth, I do not remember either. But, I remember it with siblings. And now, I cannot get away from it. For the last eleven years, I have had children at that age. Whether they need it or not, they want a Band-Aid.

I knew a Band-Aid would not help #8, and told him so. He responded with a, “Noooohohohohoo, I neeeed Band-Aid.”

I realized he was at a point beyond reason, somewhere between laid-up-in-bed and too-stubborn-to-listen. So, I did the next best thing. I took him to his mother.

Wife took her little boy in her arms, laughing out loud as I told her #8’s solution to his sore throat. She kissed the top his head and said, “A Band-Aid won’t help you with your throat, silly boy. But come with me. Mom knows how to help you.”

#8 frowned, and I could almost hear him think out loud, “Why can’t Band-Aids help?”

Wife took #8 by the hand, impossible to escape. She led him to her arsenal of vitamins, oils, and all-around-will-make-you-better. The vitamin C went down easily, and #8 asked for a second. The vitamin D, which is a nastily white goo that tastes like chalk mixed with lime, was a challenge for the little boy swallow. But the purple antioxidant powder caused the most trouble, and #8 did his best to refuse it.

“Good boy,” Wife cooed once he finished swallowing. “Now I’ll get you some vinegar and honey to soothe your throat.”

Oh… why can’t Band-Aid fix everything?

School Lunches

The holiday season had passed, and the children were back to school. It was time to hit the books, learn where Oregon is, get confused by math, color INSIDE the lines, study handwriting, and learn why George Washington crossed the Delaware. Hard work for little minds. Oh, what the days ahead had in store. But first, they needed to make their lunches the night before.

making lunches

making lunches

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Brother’s Keeper

There are a lot of things you hear at the start of the Christmas season, especially with so many small children. There is always the standard excitement. Oohs and aahs when the lights were hung. Happy cries of anticipation. tree Continue reading

Of Presents and Children

As you are all aware, Christmas, and its entire season, has since passed. But, I had written little about our holiday experience, and still wanted to share. And so, like Rip Van Winkle, better to show up late than never.

Christmas gifts! Yay!

Christmas gifts! Yay!

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From the Archives: A Wife’s Story

No matter how old we become, or how many children we have, there will always be rude people in our way. I know by having a large family we wear a target. You know, the “Hey! We have a lot of under-aged children, and cannot, under any circumstances, resort to the use of bad language if you say anything rude to us,” kind of a target. But it would be nice if people did not see it so often.

Here is one about such a time. Continue reading

Of Barrels and Monkeys

This year, our Thanksgiving celebration was with my family. We had our normally large outdoor meal with most of my extended relatives. So I am talking about thirty adults and around forty children. In a phrase, it was more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

And speaking of barrels and monkeys…a barrel of monkeys Continue reading