Sunday, July 27, 2014

Butts

Finn started walking at about 10 months, while Edie didn't start until she was exactly one year.  Edie's got a vocabulary that would put many of my peers from the Penn State School of Communications (I'm looking at you, football team) to shame, whereas I don't remember Finn having this many words until he was well beyond two.

But there's one thing that they're pretty much exactly aligned on:  looking adorable naked in backyards.

Finn - Summer 2009


Edie - Summer 2014

Not pictured:  Edie immediately topping her brother by pooping on the lawn, followed by Kitty chasing her around with a little blue plastic bag.  

Not because I didn't want to picture it - I was just too busy laughing to frame the shot.

Ah, summertime.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Delinquent

I think I've figured out why Edie's such a tyrant and why she's so quick to resort to fisticuffs.


Yes, she drinks too much.

At least she does when Mommy leaves me and the kids alone for the weekend to head off to some hifalutin birthday party in Sonoma.  What else are we gonna do, but lay around the house drinking Tecate and peeing in our pants?  It's fun for the whole family!

Less fun for the whole family is when Mommy comes back to Seattle with a crippling cold.  Nothing like the giddy anticipation of some parental help after single parenting for a weekend, following immediately by the crushing realization that you're now parenting three little babies instead of two.

Looks like we'll need more Tecate...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Black Eye

From the moment Finn's junk emerged from the grainy depths of the ultrasound machine, I knew that it was only a matter of time before he and I came to blows.  I mean, it's a story as old as time itself - the son grows up and eventually seeks to assert himself against his terribly handsome, witty and charming father.  Who has great hair.  And used to drive a really cool van.

So I've been waiting.  Waiting for that moment when Finn would square off against me... ensuring that only one of us would walk away from the encounter on our feet.  By which, of course, I mean me.  While he lay rolling around on the ground on accounta the fact that I kicked him square in the testicles.  With age, comes wisdom.  Punk.

But as it turns out, that wasn't to be the first familial throw down.  No, we male Parkers are a loveable bunch.   We give hugs, we don't fight.  Not like the female Parkers.  They're the physical ones.  At least one of them is.  It turns out that the smallest female Parker REALLY, REALLY hates it when you try to take the iPhone out of her hand.  You know when you hate something so much, that you would practically throw it in your mother's face?

Yeah.  That happened.  She was so mad at me for trying to take back the iPhone, that she threw it directly into her mother's face.  This is what it looked like immediately after.  I'd show you what it looks like now, but I prefer the actual visible blood in this shot:




Isn't that awesome?  Of course, we all feel bad for Kitty, but that is some amazing damage done by a seventeen month old.   I can't wait to see what she does when she turns thirteen.  Poor Kitty.

If only she had testicles to kick...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Adorable

I don't remember Finn being half as adorable as Edie is right now.  Maybe it's because she's a girl (it's
definitely because she's a girl), but pretty much everything she says makes my bottom lip tremble as a Fatherly tear runs down my face.

Hearing her say "shoes" or "elbow" digs right through your ears and directly into your chest like a tiny little baby Kevin-Bacon-Tremors-worm.  It's like listening to the most adorable Mötley Crüe song ever written, times ten.  You guys cry when you hear "Kickstart My Heart" too, right?  Right.  Well imagine ten Vince Neils and ten Tommy Lees surfing ten drum kits on ten rainbows while ten Mick Marses and ten Nikki Sixxes brood in the corner like ten little miniature unicorns and you're starting to get the idea.  Plus Jon Bon Jovi is also there.

In other words, I'm pretty smitten right now.

Also adorable?  Her older brother, but in a slightly different way - the way that's less about how cutely you mispronounce words and more about how awesomely you're learning to punch people in the face.  Acceptably.

Finn just completed the Leap of Faith program, which is a really cool kids program focused ostensibly on self-defense, but really on building confidence - something that my awesome son, who has unfortunately inherited my shyness, can use.  Through teaching kids how to use all of their "powers", like seeing power, feeling power, voice power and more, it sets them up to focus not on the things that could hurt them in the world, but rather on how they're setup to be safe, happy & healthy.  In other words:  not what they can't do, but what they can.

It was inspiring watching Finn punch a 6' 5" dude in the face during the graduation ceremony to demonstrate how he'd escape from someone grabbing him.  But it's even more inspiring watching him walk more confidently across the street and generally be more comfortable in his skin.  It's not like he's a completely different person, but there's a stronger vibe in the air.  Of course, a large part of that is that Kitty and I have also been coached on respecting boundaries as part of giving him the ability to put them up.  As much as I dislike the fact that I am no longer supposed to hold him down over his pleas and cries and tickle him to death, I can certainly take the long view on this one.

But perhaps the greatest improvement we've seen?  He now loves getting his picture taken.  I'm not sure this is due to the program - causation/correlation blah blah blah - but still... we needed more pictures of Finn.  Otherwise, we'd only have pictures of adorable Edie.

And I'm pretty sure that would explode all of your brains & eyeballs.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Speaking of money...

...guess who got all excited & started negotiating Tooth Fairy rates and then completely forgot to check under his pillow in the morning, ignoring all hints, until Kitty basically told him to go look under his pillow for his cash?

Yep, this guy.



* Sniff *  My prone-to-weird-face-scratches little boy is getting all growed up.

I don't like this one bit.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Money, Money, Money

It is an immense disappointment to both Kitty and me that the tool that we are most successful in wielding to motivate those around us in our lives to do the right thing is completely useless against Finn.  We can't do a lot of things, but one thing that we can do very well, and the people seem to respond to?  Pay.  Pay a lot.  Pay the #%$@ out of everything.

Typically, works like a charm.  Everyone loves money, right?  Money's awesome!  

Unfortunately, Finn The Hippie doesn't care about money.  This would be an arguably admirable trait in grown-up.  It's incredibly frustrating in a child that you are trying to motivate.

We've tried allowance.  Nothing.  We've tried insisting that he has to pay for his treats/toys.  Nothing.  We've tried kidnapping his stuffed animals and demanding insane ransoms to save them from the horror that is the washing machine.  Nothing.

I wish I could say that I was a good enough parent that I could shrug this off and simply change tactics - pick another tool from the toolbox.  Unfortunately, the only toolbox I own is my wallet.  I'm screwed.

The other day, Finn and I were chatting about collections and how some people like the collect things.  This is an interesting topic to him because I recently showed him my pocket knife collection from when I was a kid and he almost peed his pants in excitement.  Of course he asked if he could have it, and I promised it to him when he got a little bit older.  I asked him if he was interested in collecting something slightly less stabby & cutty in the meantime and he decided that he wanted to collect "everything".

I explained that that wasn't how collecting worked; that's called hoarding.  Collecting requires that you kind narrow in on something specific.   He decided that he wanted to collect a new iPad.  Also unacceptable.  I explained that even if he had an iPad, he would still need a credit card to pay for the apps that he wants.

He seemed very concerned about this and got real quiet.  All of a sudden, out of nowhere, he jumped up as the lightbulb in his head went off.  In all sincerity, he emphatically exclaimed, "I've got it!  I can collect money!"

Now we're getting somewhere.  Looks like I need to dust off the old toolbox.  It's time for some "parenting".

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Participation

The best part about having a kid in private school for someone as lazy as I am?  My parental participation in my son's education is safely accomplished through the act of writing a check each month.

You say that the children love it when adult volunteers come into the classroom to help them read?  I'd love to help.  Where's my checkbook?

Help delivered from the comfort of my own couch.  I feel so fulfilled.

Alas, with Finn's transition to his new public school next year, my participation toolbox is going to need some new tools.  Kitty has dived right in and signed us up as charter PTA members and started actively meeting parents, volunteering for school events and generally being an extremely good person.

I have joined the charge by reluctantly signing up for the email list and actively complaining about the volume of email that I now receive as I delete it without reading.

It's exhausting.

But then Finn's school scheduled a big fundraising event, which got me really excited.  Who knew that public schools needed money too!  I thought Joe Taxpayer took care of footing the education bill.  You say that doesn't cover actual human teacher salaries and/or chairs in the new classrooms?  No problem, I know how to do this part!

Before I could whip out the checkbook, however, Kitty informed me that we would be helping by actually chipping in this time around.  She was going to man one of the craft stations and I was to help her cut out 3000 falcon masks and colorful bird feathers for the masks in preparation.

This is not what I signed up for.  By my scientific calculations, cutting a mask out of card stock takes nine more muscles than signing a check.  And that's nine muscles I just don't have.  The event was a huge success and Finn and I got to watch a special Raptor presentation from the nice lady from the Woodland Park Zoo, but I've gotta tell you, my mask-making-scissor-fingers are really sore.

This public school thing is hard.