Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Greggie and Douggie and Some of the Other Hitler Youth

So, if Der Fuhrer ever returns to power, we now know who will be donning a brown shirt along with the other brothers of Omega House . . . .

My dear husband recently came to the realization that regular bedtimes (and actual bedtime routines) are good things, allowing spouses to actually spend time together in the evenings. (Yes, our oldest is about to turn ten; Dad can be a little slow on the uptake.) Usually, I'm the only one policing this sort of thing, whereas "Mister Path of Least Resistance" is okay with the kids falling asleep sprawled in front of the television, laptops still on laps, etc. You see, it takes a lot less effort to get a child to go to sleep that way. Specifically, ZERO effort. Hence the appeal -until summer hits, the alarm clock takes a three-month vacay (well, for the kids; for mom, not so much), the daylight lingers, and the kids are wired and asking what comes on after "The Batman" at 10:30.

So Dad's in the car with both boys, and he announces that, with school just around the corner, it's time to start observing a regular bedtime, etc. The older one (AKA "The Vulcan") begins spouting details of various AMA studies, the gist being that if you wake up spontaneously without an alarm clock and do not feel tired, you are getting enough sleep. (Okay, I've read the studies, and that IS the benchmark for whether a child is getting enough sleep - but totally beside the point, because we're talking about Mom and Dad's sleep opportunities here! I can attest, though - the kid is up at 6:30, if not before, EVERY morning, fully wound and usually wanting to engage me in conversation . . . notwithstanding the fact that I am in bed, face buried in the pillow. He generally is a perceptive kid, but these context clues are ones he tends - well, chooses - to ignore.)

In the midst of the spirited debate, little brother (AKA "Rolf" - you may know him as Liesl's love interest from "The Sound of Music") pipes up with the following:

"Dad, thank you for caring enough about me to put me on a schedule."

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA? Rewind. As an only child, I have to ask: is brown-nosing a nature thing or a nurture thing with younger sibs? Either way, our little guy has got the concept DOWN PAT. Here are some of his other greatest hits:

"Mom, I would love to go to the mall with you while you try on shoes and bras."

"Mom, I am really glad that the kids' buffet only has shrimp tonight." [Note to Ridglea Country Club: SERIOUSLY? It's called a chicken nugget. You buy them in bags, shaped like dinosaurs.]

When I brought up the bedtime conversation with him and asked why he thanked his dad, he just shrugged. Then I asked him, "Parker, do you enjoy getting your brother in trouble?" And the shrug became a smirk . . . .

Eddie Haskell, party of one.

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