“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
― Winston S. Churchill
Enter The Registrar
Yesterday Calissa and I took Hunter and Sawyer to junior kindergarten registration. It was not an emotional experience, no more than bringing them to a gymnastics class or a music class.
My heart is settled on these events in their lives with the full understanding that they are developing on a curve rather than a straight line.
I feel comfortable with the change.
The part I did feel uncomfortable with was the interview process with the teacher.
Pupil Meet Teacher
This negotiation is a subtle one.
The teacher has the rare opportunity to see what is coming down the line, and in our case, Calissa and I found out there will be three sets of twins in our cohort.
Apparently, twins are the common denominator in the area.
There is an inner comedy that occurs when the classic line emerges and someone says, “Oh, I wish I had twins.”
That phrase costs a fairy its life.
When I hear the phrase I should immediately produce a boilerplate contract.
The contract would bind the dreamers on a regular relief schedule. Actually, I should take the time to prepare such a document because I could sell it for a fortune, along with the app rights later on.
It probably wouldn’t work with triplets or quadruplets, because no matter how cute they are, it’s not rocket science to figure out that they are a ton of work.
The Gateway Drug
Twins fall into that seductive “piece of chocolate cake” category, where the temptation is so strong willpower fails, and the misguided just reach out and grab it.
Remember the consequences!
Many times I long for the days of when I was a bachelor.
The quiet nights, dreams of being a writer, complaining about my job. It’s the lies that I sometimes indulge in. I think most of the time the troubles that I experience is the best thing for me.
It’s my life and nobody can live it for you, no matter how hard it is, or unfair, it is mine to take full possession of.
Free Range Chickens
So the first thing the teachers do is give the boys free rein of the room, and then both the EA and the teacher start talking to Calissa.
It’s all good until someone loses an eyeball.
Now I’m sure they were discussing important things and watching intently out of their peripheral vision. Women do pride themselves as the masters of multi-tasking.
Fine, let them run!
The problem with twins is they inevitably go in separate directions and do not wait for adults to catch up before pulling apart whatever neatly assembled gear they can find.
The Spidey Sense
This is where I started to get nervous for my boys.
Twins are the masters of destruction.
Terror being their middle names.
On the bright side, these poor teachers don’t have a choice to take them or not, but I do feel for them. It certainly helped when Sawyer found two paint brushes stored neatly in cups of water.
What harm could water do?
I checked on Hunter, who was having fun with puppets and had moved beyond his typical silent investigation stage which often leads to a quest for the first unsecured iPhone, iPad, or laptop.
His question of the day was, “This is real Daddy, not a toy right?”
I always nod.
I forgot about Sawyer.
When I turn my attention back to the other turkey, I realize he has escalated his status from code white to code red.
Let me pause here for a moment to explain a key concept about twin parents. Young mothers complain about the symptoms of baby brain and although I am a male, I think I have grasped the concept.
With twins, my brain actually splits in half dividing the two hemispheres, which may be perceived by friends as dullness or forgetfulness.
Huh? What was that?
It’s worse than sleep deprivation. Think of it as a profound experience of unfocusing. A twin parent will never focus on a single point again.
If you have been blessed with triplets, roll yourself up in the fetal position and cry while you have a moment of free time.
Right Under Our Nose
So under the supervision of 4 adults my son managed to creatively take the “water” brush and find a source of dried black paint.
It’s not hard to imagine what happened next.
I see him painting circles on the desk, which wasn’t the end of the world due to the foresight of a black garbage bag, however, the little toy he painted first didn’t fare so well.
The teacher wasn’t concerned because I was watching her reaction closely. Did she have an internal strike counter?
Calissa and I are on the cusp of delivering our sons into the hands of strangers.
There are many phases that new parents will transition: regular or irregular feeding schedules, soft food, hard food, crawling, walking, running, talking, potty training, co-sleeping, beds, daycare, and now pre-school.
Be prepared for hell.
The life of a new parent contains thousands of changes that flash by so quickly it leads to confusion.
I believe you need an Olympic level coach to take in all this information at once. According to the standards set by a human resource department, on paper, nobody has the qualifications to take on this degree of responsibility.
Parents are an accident waiting to happen.
The Truth Be Told
It’s a rare case where a new mother or father wants to follow directly in the footsteps of their parents.
After reading a couple of books I thought I had it figured out.
Parenting isn’t a profession.
There are no university, college, or even preschool courses you can take to make you an expert. It’s one of those things best learned by total emersion.
Sink or swim.
The Wounded Vet
Being a father has changed me and I feel more like a veteran.
It gets easier to do the things I’m supposed to do, like sit my butt down on a chair and write. That’s often less stressful than separating two little boys bent on depriving each other of their latest shiny object.
It’s a pivot, and I’m confident the ecosystem is sustainable.
If an event throws me off and I react with anger, frustration or complaining — I have learned I need to recognize that these emotions are not going to solve the problem.
Offense Is The Best Defence
Hunter’s parting gift to his new principal was a parting swat on the leg.
When the shock wore off my first reaction was get angry and react irrationally.
I had to remember he was a three-year-old.
Before it escalated I took a moment to settle and refocus. The reality is my two boys are at both ends of the spectrum with how they react to new places, and new faces are so different.
Hunter is shy.
Shyness can easily transition from anxiety to aggressive behavior, and on the other hand, outgoingness can lead to grandstanding and wild impulsive behavior.
How is a parent to win?