As is so often the case, I have so (so, so) many things on my mind that I'd love to sit down and write about, if only I had the time. Long ago, I'd write when the children would nap during the day. And then, as they grew older and went to bed at a reasonable hour, I'd write when they went down for the night.
But as they continue to grow (somewhat inconveniently) older and their bed time inches later and later (OMG it's 10:00 WHY ARE YOU STILL AWAKE?!?!?), any free time I had to myself vaporizes like water on Texas asphalt in July.
When parents of growing children say it feels like their hair is on fire, here's why ... if the hours available to parents, at this stage of life, were expressed as an equation, it might look something like this:
# of Adolescent Children x ((Soccer) + (Homework) + (Full Time Job) + (Full Time Job x 0.5) + (Scouting) + (Grocery Shopping) + (Cleaning the Kitchen x 3) + (Cooking) + (Eating) + (Laundry) + (Walking Dog) + (School Engagement) + (Personal Hygiene Efforts) + (Fellowship) + (Goal of 7-hours Sleep)) = -8.5 hour deficit each day
What that means is that I need more than 8 hours a day (or is it 32 hours?!) to get done the things that need to be done, on any given day. And what do we do with this deficit in time?? Well of course, we go sign our kids up for private soccer lessons because playing three days a week isn't enough and they love it soo much.
All of our children, we have determined, have a propensity for obsessive-compulsive behavior. I can't imagine where they get that?? It certainly isn't from me, who once when a doctor "of the mind" gently suggested I might have OCD tendencies, prompted me to reply, "I think you mean CDO tendencies, because that way it's at least in alphabetical order?" I think he also said I tend to lose focus and distract easily but I countered, "Well, I've got a lot on my plate and .... SQUIRREL!"
Point is, the kids love soccer so much they now play it four days a week.
Henry, who tends to physically, mentally, and emotionally embrace any and all things that he is currently obsessed with ... has recently changed his named to Ricardo. As in, he will not answer to anything except the name "Ricardo."
Henry's best friend's name is Juan, and Juan just moved to Texas from Mexico. His parents don't speak a word of English - but little Juan is totally bilingual. He's amazing and is the impetus for me listening to Rosetta Stone. Not only is Juan in Henry's second grade class, he is also on Henry's soccer team and he has introduced Henry to world-famous soccer players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. And now, suddenly, Henry has traded in his dinosaurs and superheroes for soccer balls, and is channeling a hispanic man named Ricardo. More specifically, Ricardo Ricky Enrique.
Enrique being a little tip of the hat to his given name of HENRY.
Not Ricky Ricardo .... as I've suggested as a tip of the hat to Lucille Ball, but Ricardo Ricky.
I can't make this stuff up.
Last night at soccer practice, his coach asked Charlie and I if it was true that Henry's real name was Ricardo? And then another adult trainer asked. And then I received an email from his school asking if I could please explain the name Ricardo?
Nope. I'm sorry, I cannot. But if you could just speak to him solely in Spanish, it might help to expeditiously revert him back to Henry.
Speaking of hispanic influences on our family....
Charlie saw a picture of himself the other day and was aghast that his white goatee made him look so old. (Forget the fact he'll be 50 this year.) And so he decided to shave it off and leave behind this little mustache:
I thought it looked awesome and told him that he reminded me of Magnum PI. All he needed was a red Ferrari!
Because he shaved at night, his idea was to surprise the children in the morning. As the kids trickled down in to the kitchen, in their groggy pre-school state, they didn't notice their father's new facial-do right away. But once they did, they all stared in wonder. I broke the silence by saying that he looked like a dashing bloke in need of a red sports car. And William replied, "I think he looks like he is Mexican in need of a guitar."*
Unless his name was Ricardo Ricky Enrique ... and then he'd just need a soccer ball.
(Post Note: Just looked it up on The Google, and sure enough, Latin American men tend to have more mustaches than any other ethnic group. Who knew? Other than William?! Is that facial profiling? I hope not...)