The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix LOG 

I'm in the 'Payback' stage of parenting

 

August 17, 2017 | View PDF



As most of you know, the older we get the more our priorities in life change. Such is the case with She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Made-Mad. Well, with most everyone. Although I’m pretty sure SWMNBMM would argue that I haven’t grown up, and\, because I’m a guy, I never really had priorities in the first place.

Understand, I would argue these points with her but they just don’t seem real high on my list of things to get accomplished. Plus, honestly, I’d like to wake up in the morning.

When SWMNBMM was younger (I’m not old—I tend to think of myself as stylishly classic—and SWMNBMM is definitely not old), our main focus was having enough money at the end of the week to go driving my parents’ car up and down the street of our tiny hometown with the radio blaring whatever Bon Jovi or John Mellencamp was playing. After she tricked me into getting married, we quickly found out the money we had been spending on gas had to be designated for things like diapers, milk, ear plugs and birthday parties. When you have four children, that is A LOT of diapers, milk, ear plugs and birthday parties.

As the kids got older, we reverted back to the “gas” stage because we spent a small fortune traveling to some of the most remote places—from Alaska to North Dakota to Texas and all points in between—watching them wrestle, play basketball or football or do track. For any younger parents out there, this stage will also require you to buy them more than milk as they are always hungry. Also, hang onto the ear plugs. The music doesn’t get quieter.

Since the athletics stage has passed, SWMNBMM now finds herself in a newer area of life. The grandchildren stage. Which I can assure you is much better that the children stage because even though we might help our kids buy diapers, milk and ear plugs, we do not have to change the diapers. Today I understand my father’s words from so many years ago: that he “would much rather pay for the diapers than have to change them.”

Being the honest guy that I am, I must tell you that I have changed only 1/10th diaper in my entire life. You may find that hard to believe, but it is true. ... I was the wimpy father who turned green and gagged like he had swallowed a frog a few days after my wife brought Whitney home. Thankfully, after I had popped the tab on one side of the diaper, SWMNBMM rushed in and saved my life. Before you pass judgment, you need to know that Whitney was a pooping machine. I’m pretty sure we could have thrown one of her bombs into North Korea and they would all come running out begging for mercy. She may well be responsible for climate change or, at least, the reason no grass grows in some spots on Beluga Court in Homer or Belmont Point in Nome.

Thankfully, Whitney’s daughter, Mallorie, didn’t inherit that ability.

Anyway, as most of us “classics” can attest, the grandchildren stage is OK. In fact, it is better than OK. Now we can spoil the kids like we never dared when they were little. This was the case on Tuesday (August 15) because that was Mallorie’s 10th birthday. SWMNBMM, dressed in her best grandmother suit, threw a real shindig for the older of our two granddaughters. Jewels, who garnered her nickname from Homer’s Jewel, is just 10 months so she doesn’t care if she has a party or not. She just enjoys the diapers her mother gets her.

To celebrate Mallorie’s birthday, I sat down and dreamed up this little ditty:

“Today, it is August 15 again,

Which means you are now 10.

My, how time has flown,

And look how much you have grown.

So be happy and eat a lot of cake—

It’s your mother who will have to stay awake.”

I’m in on this new stage in life, too, though. I’m the guy who gives them a ton of sugar and then sends then home to create more dysfunction and turmoil than Madonna at a nun convention. I’m the guy they call “Payback.”

Happy birthday, Mal! Have another piece of cake ...

(Tommy Wells is the editor of the Seward Phoenix LOG. Everything in this column is true, except for the parts that have been fabricated, exaggerated or are just plain lies.)

 

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