Our Three Kids

Andy and I have three children; Caroline, Charlotte and each other. Most mornings, I wake up, run, and shower, and then I rouse the lazy daisies. I'll spend the next hour, sometimes gently, and more often angrily, demanding that the rest of my family get ready for the day. I scurry between rooms, reminding each of my family members about their next task: "Caroline, put on your shirt. Charlotte, brush your teeth. Andy, get off of the computer and go take a shower. Caroline, NOW! Charlotte, NOW! Andy, NOW!" The pattern is almost exactly the same each day. I can count on all three of them to be incapable of getting themselves ready without my cajoling.

Yes, you're right. You're thinking that my expectations are a little high for a 5 and 1 year old. Perhaps this is true. Perhaps I'm asking too much for my kids to independently dress and prepare themselves for school. What about my big kid? Am I asking too much of Andy, the only other adult in the house, who mind you, should be equally responsible as me for getting our kids ready each morning? I'll admit that I'm exhausted by the time I get in the car for work each day; tired of physically running around and sweating about Caroline missing the bus or my late arrival to the office; tired from nagging and nagging my family to do the same thing I asked them to do the day before and the day before that. I suppose kids learn from repetition but what about adults? Is Andy too old of a dog to learn new tricks and develop better time management skills?

From inappropriate wardrobe selection, eating candy for breakfast to not being able to pick up their clothes because they are engrossed in a TV show, I can't distinguish the bad habits of my kids from those of my spouse.

I have no choice but to lump Andy in with the kids. Lord knows how he'd survive without me. He'd go to work 3 hours late every day, completely disheveled, and leave our children waiting for him after school each day because he has forgotten to pick them up. It's my job to make sure that he gets out the door on time, wears something respectable (well, I try) and that he makes sure our daughters get to and from where they need to be without us receiving too many phone calls from panicked teachers.

Remember, at the beginning of this post I mentioned that we each have three children. In many ways, I am Andy's third daughter. My own dad didn't play a particularly strong role in my upbringing and I feel in adulthood that I'm often the parent and he is still the child. Anybody who has studied psychology knows that people may look to their lovers as parents. No, I don't have an Electra complex but yes, I do think that in many ways what attracted me to Andy was his fatherly qualities. I'll never forget the night that I confessed to him that I wanted to "push the baby carriage" with him. I didn't articulate, at that time, whether the stroller had a baby in it or if he was to push me.

Andy is my rock. Like when I'm with my mom, when I am near Andy I feel comforted and at peace. Just hearing his voice relaxes me. (That's funny- I'm sure my nagging, whiny voice doesn't have the same effect on him.) When I'm having a bad day, he makes it better. He helps me solve work problems, he intervenes when Caroline and I are at odds, he protects me from anyone who wants to harm me. He makes sure I'm warm in the winter and cool in the summer. He feeds me. (He is such a good cook!)He'd rather I fall asleep on the couch at night than go to bed in our room so that I'm nearby. I'm serious, he told me that once!

Andy is my rock. I look up to him and admire him. I'm also very proud of him, even when he is plunging the toilet for me because this seems to be one of those things I just can't figure out! I'll continue to put up with him if he'll do the same for me because everybody needs a little parenting now and then.


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