December 31, 2015
Holidays are about traditions. Every family has different ones and the big one for mine comes tomorrow late in the afternoon when my Mother stages her annual “Resolution Dinner.” This isn’t what it sounds like. At this dinner my Mother declares what resolutions her husband and children need to make for the coming year.
No one is spared during the “Resolution Dinner.” It’s what my Mother calls her one chance a year to let her feelings be known. It’s her yearly purge. Of course as far as the rest of the family is concerned not a week goes by where one of us doesn’t experience one of her well intended purges but you can’t argue with tradition. My mother has much more than two cents to offer everyone on how they can improve themselves and if you bring your feelings to the table than you’ve brought more than you need or want. This dinner has never ended without some loud yelling, a few tears and one or two individual vowing never to return for New Year’s again, yet the thought of it makes me sad to be missing it 3,000 miles away. I’ve always been a big fan of tough love and my wonderful Mom brings love like a UFC champ. The dinner table on the first day of the year is her Octagon.
(This photo serves as a metaphor for my Mother explaining to me that I need to start saving 10% of every paycheck.)
It only makes sense that I carry on this tradition with my own family. I’m not as brave as my Mom though. I’ll stick to the kids and keep my hands off my spouse. I don’t have a death wish. So, as it’s Charles and Arthur’s first New Year, I’ll sit with them tomorrow and let them know what their resolutions need to be for the coming year. I’m sure there will be tears at my dinner as well, but they’re babies so that’s natural AND it provides me with the warm feeling of being home.
Here we go. Arthur and Charles’ First Annual New Year’s Resolutions as decided by me.
#1 – Resolve to hold onto something carefully if it’s something you really like.
I’m not here to pat myself on the back but if there’s an item of great importance to me I tend to not drop it carelessly every five seconds. If you guys have a best friend in life it’s your pacifiers. Yet you seem to recklessly wave your best friend around with your hands in a frantic motion and drop it a few hundred times a day. When you can’t retrieve it the tears commence. It’s simple. If you don’t want to cry, stop doing the very thing that makes you cry. Every time you do something that makes Mommy tell me you’re geniuses you drop a pacifier and cry a moment later. It makes me doubt her.
#2 – Give me a sign if it’s just a fart.
No one likes changing diapers. It’s an annoying process. But I don’t want you guys having to go about your day to day routine with a huge dump in your pants any longer than necessary. You see how kind I am? When one of you lets one rip and it smells foul you can bet I’m going to change you. When there’s nothing in the diaper it’s like I’m in Vegas watching David Copperfield make an airplane disappear. I’m amazed briefly but then I realize I’m wasting several minutes of my life attending to a fart. I’m not sure what system we can develop to prevent unneeded changes. Maybe you guys can do what I do. If it’s just a fart, lift one leg and smile when you do it. If it’s more, grab a Sports Illustrated and start turning pages. Then I’ll know it’s time to hit the changing table.
#3 – Diaper changing time is a time to be still.
It’s great that you boys have developed motor skills allowing you to move. It gives me hope you’ll contribute to the work force and I’ll be able to get you to help around the house at some point. Feel free to display these moves in your bouncy seats, in the play area or even in your high chair if you’d like. But if you want to reside in areas more exciting than the changing table I need you to be still. It’s impressive that you can sit up and roll over but it makes changing your diaper like trying to rope a wild calf. I never wanted to be a cowboy or a farmhand so don’t think you’re giving me an experience I’ve always dreamed of. Just be still. I’ll say peek a boo 20-25 times or sing you the Herman The Worm song and before you know it, you’ll be ready for a fresh start and I won’t have burned 300 calories.
(“Are you kidding me? That was just a fart”?)
#4 – Let’s be flexible about sleep.
Do you guys always need to be up at 6am? You have zero responsibility so I’m not sure why you can’t enjoy getting some extra Zs on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Maybe I can teach you about hitting the snooze alarm. You guys like pushing buttons and the snooze is so much more satisfying than the other buttons that light up for your amusement. This button gives you nine minutes of sustained pleasure. In 2016 we’re going to teach you how to use this button and get a jump on the other babies. You’ll be the hit of pre-school!
#5 – If you need to stare at least smile.
I know all babies stare at people without a care but I expect more from you guys. I’m kind of insecure and let me just say that you guys have a stare that scares the hell out of me. On more than one occasion your stares in the morning have made me change the shirt I was going to wear to work. Your look has pretty much said, “That shirt is a little too form fitting.” You guys are 100% body fat so maybe you should do some looking in the mirror!
I guess we’ll start with those five. It’s the first year and I don’t want you guys to get a bad taste in your mouth about the “Resolution Dinner.” And when you’re old enough you can suggest resolutions for me. Between now and then I’ll be working on how to be as much like my mother as possible so the idea of giving me a resolution will frighten the hell out of you.
Least Favorite Child Results
December 26 – Least Favorite is Arthur. The day after a major holiday is always a bit depressing. Charles showed is depression properly by sleeping soundly and wearing the same pajamas all day. Arthur on the other hand didn’t feel like napping. He decided to deal with his depression by wining and making sure he had to wear three different sets of pajamas, either by drooling on them or blasting the backside of them with titanic poops.
December 27 – Least Favorite is Charles. Ever try to watch a film with someone in a bouncy seat directly in front of you jumping loudly non stop? I watched the Martian with Matt Damon, and the stress he felt trying to get off Mars was nothing compared to the stress I went though watching the film with Charles. I only stopped clenching my teeth yesterday.
December 28 – Least Favorite is Charles. His new habit is depositing a number two in his diaper five minutes after I’ve changed him in the morning. I feel guilty if I have to use the work bathroom moments after the cleaning women has spruced it up. And I clean up after myself!!
December 29 – Least Favorite is Charles. Charles is like me when it comes to solid food. First instinct should always be to assume things will taste horrible. Of course just because he’s like me doesn’t score him points. Getting food into this guy’s mouth is a thankless emotional journey.
December 30 – Least Favorite is Arthur. He have me a lot of dirty looks yesterday for some reason. I think he understands what his Mother is saying to me and resents that I haven’t taken her on a real vacation in over four years.
Total Days As Least Favorite Child
Charles – 89
Arthur – 76
Days Tied – 1
Days Since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 154
This year I resolve to let this NPH thing go. Of course 92% of resolutions fail.