Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Papa bear

  Tad is NOT a fan of the Berenstain Bears.  He has basically ejected all such books from our household.  He feels they do not have any value regardless of the fact that they try to focus on a variety of issues affecting children and families.  The children know this, as he has rid their bookshelves of these stories, claiming that they are the empty calories of children's literature.  I tell you this because it will become important later in this blog.

I was away last week from Wednesday through Saturday.  Tad was left in charge of the children.  As in many partnerships, Tad and I both have different strengths when it comes to running a family and a household.  When I returned from my trip, the mail sat unopened on my sewing table; there were forts set up in the living room from wall to wall; the playroom looked like an explosion might have recently happened.  BUT my children had spent the last three days with focused, loving fatherly attention.  (And actually, the dishes were done) Tad puts 100% of himself into the people he is with and the true beneficiaries of this are myself, our children, and now..his students.  I could not be more amazed by him.
Me? I'm good at organizing several thousand things at once--bills, bi-weekly house cleanings, several dozen cookies for the school bake sale, wrapping and completing the gift list for the holidays, and arranging play dates all in the span of a three-hour-period.  But as I've said before, I'm trying to get better at dropping all (most) of that and just giving my children focused attention.  I'm getting better. 
Anyway, the funny part of this story is that Tad told me how during my time away, one of the mornings he was frustrated and impatient and frankly sick of parenting by himself and he told the children that in a not-so-eloquent fashion.  After some moments of deep breathing in the kitchen, he returned to apologize to the children and tell them that his behavior was less than desirable.
After a moment's pause, Lucy looked at him and said.  "You're like the daddy in Berenstain Bears!" 
Coen's face lit up in a menacing grin. "YEAH!" he said, "You're like Papa Berenstain Bear!"
Oooh! They got him. Right below the belt!

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