October 21, 2016
I vividly recall one particular morning when I was five years old. My seven year old brother and myself where getting ready for school when he discovered he didn’t have a clean pair of underwear. He bellowed to my Mother, who I’m sure was desperately drinking coffee in the kitchen praying for the next 15 minutes to pass when her four kids would be out of the house and she would have peace until roughly 3pm, when the Mike Douglas talk show began.
(This fun and breezy talk show signaled the end of my Mother’s daily tranquility)
I could hear my Mother’s footsteps as she approached our room and she tossed my brother a clean pair of skivvies to wear. She was quick and efficient in her delivery. The only issue for my brother was that the clean underwear he was given didn’t belong to… his collection. They belonged to one of our sister’s. That’s right, my Mother heard my brother’s problem, discovered another problem along the way, and dealt with it as best she could. My brother was speechless for a few moments until the devastated cries ensued. While he loudly protested I saw his possible future instantly.
My Mom’s reply to my brother was calm and succinct. “They’re good enough, damn it.” And with her simple answer he resigned himself to a day he’d spend in fear and confusion. It didn’t help that as a five year old armed with juicy gossip that we shared the same bus to school. I held my secret for almost two full bus stops before the entire bus knew that my brother was wearing girls’ underpants. I’m pretty sure my mother didn’t count on my lack of discretion as part of her, “They’re good enough, damn it!” reasoning. The good news is that my brother had regained a reputation of good standing by third grade. Of course he became quite a worrier at a young age and developed ulcerative colitis a few years down the road. Is this my fault or my Mom’s? We’ll never know for sure but I KNOW the roots of his issues started with “They’re good enough, damn it!”
I thought of that story last week when my wife traveled for business for several days and left me alone with the boys. Of course, she didn’t arm me with a lot of important information that a sole caregiver needs. Most notably that Charles likes to use the second half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as hair gel. But I realized that I’ve already reached the “It’s good enough, damn it!” stage of parenting. I’m lazy so this was inevitable. The first entry into this thinking was their day one outfit.
I knew that the camo shorts weren’t going to be a hit with my wife, but when you’re trying to find any outfit that matches for twins, the “It’s good enough, damn it!” thinking sinks in rapidly. At least their fashion DON’T was a match. Good enough, right?
On day two, Arthur wore two different shoes. There was one left foot, and one right, so that always gets things done. Good enough, damn it! For dinner that night I forgot to pick up yogurt for their dessert. Yogurt that night became a few cookies. Good enough, damn it!
Bath night? I’ve seen the work that goes into that. You know what makes an 18 month old child look like they’ve had a bath? Applying 15-20 wet wipes to various parts of their body. As far as I’m concerned we live in a world of perception which means looking clean if far more important that actually being clean. Good enough, damn it.
Sure, it looks like an adorable process but the aftermath of bathing two small children is devastating.
(We have an animated bathroom in our home)
And here’s a little secret that I haven’t told my wife. While she’s going to great lengths engaging them and keeping them entertained, I’ve discovered how to do this AND watch my shows. It’s a little item known as an empty 7-11 coffee cup.
As long as you don’t mind putting the lid back on this thing periodically to keep your kid happy, you’re good for 2-3 hours. That’s MORE than good enough, damn it!
I’ve embraced the “good enough, damn it” phase of parenting and because of my mother I’ve even learned where to draw the line.
Of course one of them could grow up to identify as a person who wants to wear this style of underpants. And then I’ll have to be supportive. At least I’ll get a blog post out of it and that’s good enough damn it.
Least Favorite Child Results
October 15 – Least Favorite is Charles. People always talk about the terrible twos. Unfortunately we weren’t prepared for Charles to hit the terrible twos at 18 months. Let’s just say you don’t want to be in the room when you take away his 7-11 cup. I’m the same way if you take away my coffee cup but that’s because there’s actually coffee in it.
October 16 – Least Favorite is Charles. He wouldn’t go to sleep until I walked down the street and got an empty 7-11 coffee cup to give him. I’ve given him his first unhealthy addiction.
October 17 – Least Favorite is Arthur. The down side of having a baby monitor in your bedroom is listening to one of your kids in their bedroom whining from 5:30am to 7am. He wasn’t crying. Just whining. In other words, not enough to get up and see what’s wrong, but just enough to keep you awake during the best sleeping time.
October 18 – Least Favorite is Charles. Some nights you work hard to make a dinner your sons will love. Some times those are the same nights one of them decides they give that dinner to the dog.
October 19 – Least Favorite is Arthur. Some night you work hard to make a dinner your sons will love. Some times those are the same nights that you realize that one of your sons will keep putting food in his mouth before fully chewing the previous piece. This leads to holding regurgitated dinner in the palm of your hand.
October 20 – Least Favorite is Charles. If Arthur was holding a vile of the Zika virus in his hand, Charles would likely knock him down and take it from him, because it doesn’t matter what it is. By all rights it belong to him. What a dick.
Least Favorite Child Year One – Charles
Total Days As Least Favorite Child – Year Two
Arthur – 70
Charles – 65
Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 436