Boone’s growing like a weed. It seems like just last week he was a helpless infant, incapable of performing tasks more complicated than crapping his own diapers, and now… well, if his ability to get into places he’s not supposed to is any indication, he’s got a very successful career as a burglar ahead of him.
I think we’ve got things under control. Nalani and I learned a lot about childproofing when Byrd was a toddler, and all the nifty gadgets we collected for locking cabinets, plugging electrical outlets, and generally making one’s home safe for a tiny human with an undeveloped sense of self-preservation have been coming in really handy for keeping Boone alive.
Boone’s turning out to be a pretty smart kid, though, so part of our strategy for keeping him out of dangerous places involves distracting him as often as possible so he doesn’t have enough time to figure out how to bypass our security measures. Given a few minutes to focus, I have no doubt that Boone could figure out how to crack a bank safe if he thought it might contain a bottle of antifreeze, live electrical wires, or two pots he could bang together.
Then there’s Byrd. Don’t get me wrong; she’s smart as hell and a real chip off her dad’s geeky ol’ block. However, I think there may be a short in one of her logic circuits. Recently, for example, she has decided to identify as a fuzzy green grizzly bear. We’d bought her the suit as a costume last Halloween, but now she refuses to wear anything else. For the last week she has been wearing the bear suit 24 hours a day, including while sleeping or at school, and has been speaking to us in grunts, roars, and mostly incomprehensible paw waves.
I’m all for letting my kid exercise her imagination and explore the underaged furry lifestyle, but I do have some concerns for her future. Phases like this pass eventually, right? She’s not going to be wearing this suit forever? Surely, she’ll let us wash it at some point? It’s starting to smell like something crawled into a Teletubby’s armpit and died.
Frankly, having to deal with the constant antics of two young kids can be exhausting. Between chasing Boone all over the house to make sure he doesn’t destroy himself or anything else, and trying to convince a bear that refuses to speak English that, in the world she lives in, people bathe and wear clothes, is sometimes a real test of a parent’s patience.
Each crisis individually really isn’t a big deal; it’s just the ceaseless progression of one thing to deal with after another that makes it so tiring. I dearly love my children, quirky and strange and certifiably insane though they may be, but sometimes I really wish I could take a day off. Maybe a week. A month sounds so luxurious.
I knew the job was dangerous when I took it, though. Parenting is a full-time occupation and I’m seeing this thing through until they’re old enough to kick out of the house, and then all bets are off. Until then, I’ll settle for the occasional night like tonight where we call for backup in the form of a babysitter, and Nalani and I get a little time alone via a tactical maneuver we call “date night.”
It’s only a temporary solution, but it has kept us sane so far, and that’s a good thing for everyone.