Spare the rod, spoil the child…hell no!

July 8, 2011

Recently my 85 year old mother visited me and my gang. You see I’m a do-it-again dad. We now have a 9 year old son, and twin daughters aged 7. The difference between her generation and mine with regard to child discipline is apparent.

In our house spanking is a definite no no. Children are treated with respect. Sure there is some yelling and fighting but with five individuals including three young ones, there are bound to be conflicts.

Mother gets taut like a spring just watching my active boy have fun. You can sense the urge to step in and bring him to heel. You can cut the tension. Heck he is just being a kid.

Proudly relates this little story to me whenever she visits,

Seems one time when I was a 6 year old kid back in the 1950’s there was I time when I didn’t come when I was called, too busy playing I guess. She came to get me with a flyswatter. She tells how she flicked my ass with it all the way home and boy did that ever make me listen. The point being the next time I was called I came.

Frankly I find this tale a disgusting example of the child discipline of the 1950’s. Talk about lack of respect for a child.
Much as I love my mother I am beginning to realize why I have so much deep seeded anger within my psyche.


Never Say Never

April 7, 2008

I learned an invaluable lesson over the years – never say never.

When my first marriage failed and I became single again I said that I would never marry again, ever! This went on for my 14 years of single-again living. I also said that I would never have children again.

Well here I am married again with children again. What happened you’ll say? Well I learned that talking and living by the”never say never” rule severely limits life’s possibilities. Life needs to be lived one day at a time. Most of all happiness needs to me taken wherever it can be found. Take advantage of life’s opportunities as they arise.

When I met the love-of-my life, who happened to be twenty years younger than me, I could easily have said no way, but I would have lost my soulmate and the happiness that goes along with that. I also could have listened to others who judge and told me she is too young for you. It is OK to listen to others, but the only person who can decide what is best for you is you. I am so glad I made my own decision based on what was best for my wife and I.

My younger wife wanted children, I really didn’t think I needed anymore. Again I could have run and lost her. Instead I chose to make her happiness and mine the priority. Many others thought I was crazy. I listened, but in the end made the decision to have children with her. This has resulted in more happiness than I thought possible. If I had decided based on the opinions of others I would be very lonely and unfulfilled in my life today.

The moral to this story is never say never! Always consider all the possibilities and never rule any of them out. Make the final decision based on what will make you and those you care about deeply truly happy. I’m sure glad I did.


Travels with the Gang: Are We There Yet? God I Hope So.

March 21, 2008

cindykids2008.jpg

My Loving and understanding wife with the gang. 

Our family is used to traveling in our Dodge Caravan minivan. There are five of us. Two adults, a 6 year old boy, and twin girls 4 years old. We love to travel, but five persons in the van is getting unmanageable. Road-tripping is Mom and Dad’s favorite thing to do, that is, move from place to place seeing the country. The kids don’t mind staying in one place, but I want to show them various attractions in Canada and the United States. Well we bought a motorhome this year and hope to use it to explore this summer and in the future. This should give the kids more room to play games, watch TV, or read books as we travel. It’s got to be better than our typical travel day in the van.

We get up after a night at the hotel, usually in an uncomfortable bed, and rush downstairs to take advantage of the “continental breakfast” offered by most chains now. To their credit, these are now more than just danishes and toast. Cereal, fruit, waffles, muffins, and even eggs are now provided.

After breakfast I start packing the luggage down to the van, making sure to remember teddy bears and other stuffed friends. This usually takes a couple of trips.

It’s time to head out for the day. Before leaving we make sure the movie players are loaded with the selected entertainment. This is decided after a heated debate amongst the viewers. By this time Dad is ready to head back to the room and let them take off by themselves. However, with a large coffee in hand, provided by a loving wife, I am trying hard to ignore the sounds of open warfare coming from the rear of the van. Thank God for Ritalin!

The next major point of contention is the choice of cuisine for lunch. Which choke and puke should we stop at? Let’s see,McDonalds has terrible food for adults, but does have Kid’s Meals with a toy for the little ones and a play area to tire them out. It takes Mom and Dad all of ten seconds to wheel into McDonalds. We get a table, order the food, and the kids head for the play area. My wife and I actually get to talk to each other one on one for a few minutes. After some downtime we take the kid’s food with us, they don’t eat in the restaurant because they’re too busy playing. They eat in the van. Oh by the way this gourmet meal costs around $30-$40 for the five of us. But hey, the kids burned off some energy and have “food” to eat, Mom and Dad had conversation, but the downside is my stomach now feels like a garburator.

Finally as the day draws to a close, we start looking for a hotel. It has to have a pool and continental breakfast. This way I can take the kids to the pool to tire them out and give Mom a break. Because generally we don’t know where we will end up, reservations have not been made. Luckily finding a room isn’t too hard if we stop a little early. I manage a workout session consisting of unloading the van and manhandling the luggage into the hotel and up the elevator, or sometimes the stairs. I can’t believe that some of these places don’t have an elevator. It’s clear to me that the designer never had to pack the luggage for five people up to his room at the end of a long day.

Next we find a fast food or family restaurant and take the desparados for supper. If you’ve never taken three little ones to a restaurant, you haven’t lived. First we wait for a table, then wait for our order to be taken, then wait for the food to come, and then wait for our bill. All this time the kids are amusing, and I use that term loosely, the patrons and staff with screaming, throwing things, and running wildly from table to table. I’m sure that as soon as we leave the manager calls all the other restaurants in his chain and warns them of our approach. That must be why they always ask where we are headed.

To close out the day the kids get ready for bed and watch TV in the room. Never have I appreciated the power of the boob-tube, than at this time. Finally we all go to sleep ready for another day in the jungle of fast food, paved interstates, and hotel/motel accomodation.

The motorhome just has to be better than this. Come back soon for another episode in travels with the gang.


Do-It-Again Dad – Stupid Things People Say

March 12, 2008

I am soon to be 59 years young. My first marriage failed, but not until I had two wonderful daughters. Then I was single-again for 14 years. During this time I had a blast, but there was always something missing. I had a hole in my heart.

Then I met the love of my life, my true soulmate. It didn’t matter to either of us that she was 20 years younger than me. She had been married before and also needed to find her soulmate.

She had always wanted children and although I didn’t feel that need, I loved her deeply and her happiness was the most important thing to me. We now have a six-year old son, and four-year old twin daughters. I can’t imagine my life without these new little ones. Unfortunately, many well-intentioned people like to toss out offhanded remarks. Now I’m sure these are not intended to be cruel, but they do grate on us. Here are some things that others, who have absolutely no concept of my life situation, like to say,

Comment: You just did this to stay young?
Answer: NO I did not, and what is it to you anyway.

Comment: Oh yeah you robbed the cradle with your young wife.
Answer: No I didn’t go looking for a younger woman. The point is we got married because in this life you only get so many chances at love and when you find happiness you grab it. By the way don’t ever let my wife hear you say this.

Comment: Sure glad it’s you and not me with three young kids at your age.
Answer: You know you’re right – I’m glad its me and not you too.
(My wife and I consider this to be the stupidest comment we get.)

Comment: How do you manage at your age? It will lead you to an early grave.
Answer: So what, I have more love in my life now that I’ve ever had before.

Cindy, my wife, is beautiful in every way and my true partner in this life. My children from my previous marriage and the little ones I have now bring me joy and love. The best legacy a person can leave behind is his or her children.

Cindy if you are reading this, I love you with all my heart and all my soul. Forever and always.


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