Wednesday, January 6, 2016

This Year I Resolve to Be:

About 45 minutes after he was born and
seconds before our parenting ruined his life.
What's a new year without resolutions?

I've got mine and I'm not sharing them so that, when I fail, my shame remains my own. I've no need to bare that for public consumption, such as it is on this humble blog of mine. (100 regular readers and holding strong. Another shoutout to my reader in Belarus!!!)

So, in lieu of my resolutions and the resulting shortfall that you might delight in observing, I'm instead offering up some resolutions I'd like to see embraced by those nearest and dearest to me.

First, I'll start with my brand new baby boy.

You are ridiculously cute, so don't change that. Instead, I'll ask that you immediately conjure up the cognitive wherewithal and language skills necessary to understand what your parents are saying to you and then to promptly respond to our commands.

Exhibit A.
For instance, when your mother tells you that you're alright and that you'll be fed in just a moment, you can reduce your panicked cries to your normal low growl.

It's difficult to execute even the most mundane tasks with your formidable cries ringing through our heads so, any help you could provide is appreciated.

Do this, or please proceed with the normal infantile development track taken by 99.99 percent of kids. That'd be cool too.

To my wife. Please for the love of God at least once a day, stop in front of a mirror look square into your big, beautiful eyes and remind yourself that you're not a terrible mother. Tell yourself that each and every instant in which you're with your kids isn't a referendum on your parenting.

Remind yourself that we're building toward a lifetime here and that, so far, you're doing great. You've got one healthy baby and one happy and healthy three-year old.

If I might be so bold, be like me. Care less and be self satisfied too easily.

To my mom. Please see the above, change the ages of the kids to coordinate with your three grown men, and follow accordingly.

To that three-year old I mentioned above, while we appreciate the ingenuity which inspires you to move furniture so that you might reach things we'd prefer you not reach, please listen to your parents.

We're trying not to say "No," all the time, we really are. Instead of saying, "don't stand on the edge of the bathtub and jump in" or instructing you "not to use your drumsticks on the glass lamp" we opt for a positive interpretation.
He smiles too!

Positive as in, "Hey buddy, you're a great jumper but, it's better to step into the slippery tub." Or, "Hey pal, your mom and I love that lamp and if you don't beat the hell out of it, we can keep it longer."

We're not just trying to kill your fun; there are some real consequences we want to avoid. If you can remember that and trust that we want you to have fun, but also stay safe, everybody's life gets easier.

With that last request I'm reminded of literally hundreds of conversations I had with my parents in which they used calm, reasoned logic with me to no avail.

Now, upon further review, it rings a bit hollow if I'm making these resolutions for my family yet offering none of my own.

So, knowing full well that many of these will fail and also acknowledging that some of these seem particularly modest, I'll go ahead and offer my resolutions for myself.

So, here goes. For the record, for comic fodder and for the love of God:

The boy's resolution? No eating half-pound peanut butter
cups before bedtime. Again, there's nothing
wrong with modest goals.  

First, I'm going to drink beer on just three occasions in the month of January. (I said some of these were modest.) So far, so good on this one.

I'm going to lose 10 pounds of fat this year. (The first one should help me with this.)

I'm going to compile and arrange family pictures into gift albums for at least two family members. I have 32 gigabytes of photos to sift through so there's a lot of work to do here.

No sports for the month of July. That means I'm not going to read or watch sports for that month. Should be easy as it's only baseball but, regardless, I want to try it for one month and see what I do with that time.

I'm going to brew my own beer at least once this year. Come to think of it, July sounds like the perfect month to try this. I think I might have some extra time on my hands.

I'm going to jog at least twice a week. I don't like jogging but, it's pretty much all that stands between me and having to buy five pairs of roomier new pants so, this will be helpful.

Alright, I've put myself out here so be kind.

Feel free to check in and hold me accountable on these but, remember: the right to judge or ridicule my efforts, successes and/or failures is exclusively reserved for those who have set and met resolutions that exceed my humble goals.

Good luck to my family. Good luck to me. And Good luck to you.

Here's to an excellent and successful 2016.

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