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Fifty more reasons this father is thankful today

These two make every second of every day an adventure. Photo by Jenny Waring.
These two make every second of every day an adventure. Photo by Jenny Waring.
  • East County
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There have been multiple occasions in the car with my two young children when I’ve turned to my wife and told her the only thing I wanted for Christmas, my birthday or Father’s Day is that limousine window that separates the driver from the back seat.

Behind the wheel, I can feel my blood pressure rising with every whine or cry that emanates from my 3-year-old son, Lyric, and 22-month-old daughter, Aria. They’re distracting — and absolutely do not care that Daddy is going 70 mph on Interstate 75. They need that book, that toy, that cup of water that has fallen (read: been thrown) onto the floor.

Even more dangerous than driving while texting: driving while parenting.

However, as frustrating as my rugrats are in the car on most days, every so often, an exchange will take place that makes me grateful I can hear their banter. Such was the case last weekend as we left a mall parking lot. A bird was perched on the hood of the car parked next to us.

As we pulled away, Aria exclaimed: “What do birdies say? ‘Tweet tweet!’”

Of course, Aria is never right.

“No!” Lyric retorted. “Birdies say, ‘Chirp chirp!’”

“No!” Aria argued. “Tweet tweet!”

“Chirp CHIRP!”

My wife turned around.

“Birdies say ‘tweet tweet’ and ‘chirp chirp,’” she reasoned. “They even say ‘tweet chirp’ and ‘chirp tweet.’”

Lyric was quiet for a minute, digesting that breaking news. But Aria just couldn’t help herself.

“Birdies say, ‘TWEET TWEET!’”

In a time when unemployment rates, alleged sex scandals and the entire Occupy movement grabs headlines, it was nice to spend just a few minutes considering this most pressing debate between my children.

Last year, I shared 50 reasons why I, as a father, am thankful. This year, with my children a year older and my wrinkles and gray hairs significantly more prevalent, I offer 50 more.

1. The way Aria turns every mealtime into a game of cat and mouse.
2. Lyric is potty trained!
3. When Aria breaks out into song all by herself: “Twinkle, Twinkle A B C!”
4. When Lyric’s mind is churning too fast for his mouth, and all that comes out is gibberish.
5. Coming home from work and getting jumped on by both kids at the same time.
6. Cheerios!
7. Going into Lyric’s room and finding his PJ top unbuttoned. His explanation: “My shirt fell off.”
8. Aria’s ticklish chin.
9. Tousling Lyric’s hair.
10. Bedtime. Not bedtime as in the time the kids are in bed. Rather, bedtime as in when both kids finally give in and pass out.
11. Kissing Aria right on the top of her head.
12. How Lyric always hugs Aria when we drop her off in her classroom at school.
13. The way Aria pronounces chocolate: “chock-it.”
14. The fact that Lyric would rather build something out of his blocks than watch TV.
15. Minivans! (A repeat but worth mentioning again.)
16. When Aria walks up to me and asks what I’m doing. “What doonin?”
17. Watching Lyric write his name.
18. When Aria is trying her hardest not to laugh — but inevitably fails.
19. How no matter what Aria is holding — a ball, a stuffed animal, literally a piece of trash — Lyric just has to have it.
20. When both kids nap at the same time.
21. How Lyric always reminds us to pray before meals.
22. Crayons and coloring books at restaurants.
23. When Lyric puts on my shoes, grabs his toy camera and pretends to be me.
24. Hearing the words, “I love you,” come out of either one of their mouths.
25. When neither child naps when they’re supposed to.
26. How Aria looks perfect in every color.
27. Whenever a toy breaks, Lyric says, “It’s OK. It just needs batteries.”
28. How Aria considers every truck on the road a fire truck.
29. Watching Lyric work a jigsaw puzzle.
30. Watching Aria dance.
31. Holding each of their hands as we walk to the car in the morning.
32. Grandma’s house.
33. The blue moons when dinnertime is successful.
34. Watching one of the kids pick up a stray raisin off the floor and shovel it into his or her mouth before I can stop them. That was a raisin, right?
35. Reading bedtime stories to both children.
36. Finding a random bouncy ball in my work bag.
37. Watching Aria carefully set herself down on the floor in preparation for her in-the-moment meltdown.
38. Our failed attempts at trying to teach Lyric how to blow out with his nose.
39. The fact that Aria’s most prized possession is a purple Little Tikes screwdriver. Or, as she says, “Skoo-bopper.”
40. The ear thermometer.
41. That the world is so much simpler, and in many ways, makes much more sense through our childen’s eyes.
42. The way Aria’s belly sticks out.
43. The freckle on Lyric’s ear.
44. Aria’s independence and self-confidence. No matter what you say, Lyric, birds say “tweet, tweet.”
45. The good, old days when Time Out worked.
46. How the kids have perfected spilling the no-spill sippy cups.
47. The weird way Aria’s hair grows straight down from the back of her head into her eyes.
48. Lyric’s honesty. “Lyric, you have to love your sister.” Lyric’s reply: “But I don’t LIKE her!”
49. Daydreaming about all the fun we’re going to have in the future.
50. Having my wife to help me both enjoy and endure these two blessings.

From all of us at the East County Observer, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!


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