Domestic Abuse: The other day my wife told me, “What you does?” I said, “Huh?” She said, “I wants to known when you am going to mow the lawn.” I said, “Excuse me?” She said, “You hearded me.” I said, “I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to report you for verbal abuse.”
Married to Movie Stars: San-J and I traded man hours for ladies nights. Our wives stay home and we watch Miami vs. San Antonio at the bar. Or we stay home with the kids and watch NBA while they go out. Well, after Terry and Tracy came home from an evening in Edmonds they were ecstatic because a man at Daphne’s bought them drinks and called them “Christie Brinkley” and “Penelope Cruz.” Hey, the way we see it, whoever compliments the wives compliments the husbands.
Talking to the Kids: My wife and I were talking about our daughters and soccer and I said, “Well, Ava’s new to it, but at present she’s horrible.” Terry countered with, “Ava’s new and it’s cute.” Definitely. Still, I’m a proponent of “tough love” encouragement, although I soften my diction in front of the kids. Way I see it, when I’m cut my ire rises and can motivate. Believe me, I receive my share of insults.
Next day I’m talking with sister Sarah on Skype. Sarah’s a piano teacher and proponent of the “compliment effort not ability” school (as seconded by this - How Not to Talk to Your Kids). Specifically, don’t tell your kids, “You’re so smart.” Instead, say, “That was great effort.”
Terry intervenes and says to Sarah, “Caleb’s bringing it up because he said that Ava’s ‘horrible’ at soccer, and I told Caleb he shouldn’t think that.” Bam, there’s a wail and cry, and little Ava, nearby on the couch, starts crying: “Daddy, I heard that, you think I’m horrible.”
My heart breaks: Later I ask Ava if she wants to kick the ball around. We’re in the yard, and I apologize for what I said. I say that’s she’s doing great, and that she’s improved incredibly. Then I mention how bad I was at soccer as a kid. Ava asks, “As bad as me?” I gave her a big hug and said, “I was the worst! You’re much better than me.”
School Poetry Reading, with friends Mara and Cassidy, and Tracy in the background.