I pity the fool who doesn't read this post.
One of my pet peeves is when people say something like “being with my kids is excellent birth control” or “watching my family at the grocery store will make the person behind me run to grab a pack of condoms” (never heard that last one before, but it does sound a hilarious). But you guys get the idea. Kids are kids. They will always be needing something or learning to express themselves in a socially acceptable and moral way. I know those little sayings are just jokes about how tough it is to parent. Sunday, the Megows had one of those experiences. This was an experience that some people would have categorized as excellent birth control for the people watching our family. It wasn’t hilarious in the moment, but I’ll get to that a little further down in the post.
Them Bebe's kids.
I think I’m speaking to myself because all of my friends are so pro at being positive parents. Sometimes it really can be a struggle to find the joy in a situation when EVERYONE is crying, screaming, peeing their pants, decorating the walls by gluing pictures to the drywall, getting spaghetti sauce behind their ear (how does that even happen?), etc. That's why I try to stay positive about situations. My kids are not birth control. My kids will be reason young couples want to have kids. J Yeah, they are messy, loud, and whiny at times. But they are sweet, hilarious, and kind. So are your kids (or future kids). I think in every house, there are a few traits that are highly encouraged. For some it’s being intelligence and studiousness, others it might be being active and athletic. There are so many different family traits that people try to pass onto their kids. Seeing these little things being taught and manifest within our kids is super exciting. Every family is unique and learns what traits and personality strengths they value. In our house the things I like to cultivate are kindness, faith, creativity, and humor. Those things might not translate well on a standardized test or on the football field, but I feel those four characteristics will help them succeed in anything that they choose to focus on.
Just smiling and having a sense of humor will take you far in life, at work, school, with friends and family, just pretty much any situation. However in this post let’s talk about why I encourage these traits for our house. Since I’m with my kids a lot, it just helps have little tension breaking moments throughout the day. My kids, as well as myself, are learning to laugh at ourselves. I can’t tell you the amount of times, I’ve gotten upset or stressed about something that was completely stupid. As they have been taught, they approached me with a smile, gave me a hug, and slipped in a quick joke.
Now to our “story”, yesterday we had to run errands in town. I was pretty wore out and dirty, so I decided to take a quick shower. Titus found the hair gel and while I was in the shower proceeded to give everyone a “hair-do”. Well a five year old boy with a bottle of hair gel sitting each of his sisters down to be made “pretty” didn’t go to well. I stepped out of the shower and looked at the time. We were running late! (I hate being late and normally on time or early for things). Well the kids were supposed to be getting dressed (in play clothes). It wasn’t anything major, but I had to run a few places before they closed. So I threw on some clothes and walked into the living room. Not only was their hair gel everywhere, but the little people looked the band “Flock of Seagulls” were having an outdoor concert at Donald Trump’s house on a windy day
"And I ran, I ran so far away"
Also, all the kids were all still in their underwear. So I’m trying to rush around to find them clothes. I ask the older three if they can dress themselves. Side note, Stevie hates picking out clothes and will literally wear the same outfit for a week straight if I allowed it. After this I walked Olive into her room to find her some clothes. After a few minutes, she Olive looks cute and ready to go. I holler back at the big kids rooms, “Are you guys ready to go?” They all respond yes and go load up in the van. I finish putting on Olive’s shoes, run out the door, and head to our first stop, the pharmacy. We had to get their before it closed to pick up a prescription. We were waiting in the drive through when I first began to notice the massive failure my kids called “getting dressed”. Luckily, it was just running errands but I just have to say they looked kinda rough. First off Neela was of course wearing her shirt inside out and backwards. We were in the car, so she couldn’t unbuckle to fix it. Titus looked pretty good. He takes pride in his clothes and looking good for the ladies. Stevie, hahahahaha, well she wasn’t really feeling great anyways due to a really bad allergic reaction to a cat. (No cats for the Megows). So her eyes were still kinda blood shot and puffy and was snotting and sneezing still. She was wearing this giant maroon tshirt over a long lime green Easter skirt. As a single dad, I feel like people are always expecting my kids to look not super stylish and have great hair, style, etc. I like to try my best to break that stereotype and have my kids being cute and presentable whenever we are going out. So in my head, I was thinking “Ok, Olive and Titus look good, Neela will be acceptable once I fix her clothes, and I will just make Stevie hold the prescription bottle, so people will know she’s sick and not give me any looks. So the next stop, I had to run to a friend’s house to fix a quick computer problem. It literally took 2 minutes, so I just let the kids play while I fixed it. After this, I still had to run to the grocery store, but the kids were hungry so I agreed to take them to Wendy’s. All of that is leading up to our Wendy’s visit. So of course we get there and while just sitting in the car, I realized I forgot to fix Neela’s clothes. We’ll just do that in the bathroom. As I’m going over “the expectations” of behavior at dinner in the van, Titus interrupts with, “DAD!” “Yes, Titus” I reply. “I kiiiinnndddaa just pooped my pants a little. Like 4 drops of poop. Like a baby kitten poop.” Ok well, take off your underwear and you can just wear your pants. So when he did that I discovered he was wearing his special night pee pants. Those are the pair that he tore a little hole in the crotch, so he can pee at night without taking his pants off. We are still in the car at those point.
By now, I’m looking at my kids and thinking “Stevie looks tacky, Neela looks like she has a learning disorder, Titus has his privates hanging out…Well at least Olive looks presentable.” So I grab a diaper and tell Titus to turn his pants around backwards and that we can put it on in the bathroom of Wendy’s. He thinks it’s hilarious and wants to try out pooping with his pants on. So we all get out of the car. Of course, Olive takes two steps and trips and skins her knee. I’m not making this up. There was this old couple getting in their car smiling and feeling refreshed their nice meal at Wendy’s, when they see this Walking Dead looking family kind of limping into the restaurant hoping to be unnoticed before we make it the bathroom. They kind of just stop what they are doing and just stare at us. Not one of the “Awww, look how cute that little family is” kind, more like an “utter amazement and total disbelief at what they are witnessing” stare. Titus is yelling about how he going to poop on the potty and not take off his pants. Stevie is whining about how her clothes are “itchy” (no mention of his apparent lack of colorblindness when choosing the outfit), Neela has stopped and still standing by the car looking at the crows in the trees next to our van wearing her clothes the complete wrong way, and Olive is screaming at the top of her lungs while blood is running down her leg.
Ok kids. Do you want a burger or chicken nuggets?
I get everyone to the Wendy’s bathroom. I am so frazzled and on edge, suddenly while we were all standing in the bathroom, Stevie gets everyone’s attention and looks up at me and gives me a big hug and says with the sweetest smile, “Dad, you are doing great. But the way we look right now, we look like the kind of people who get Wendy’s to-go and eat it in an abandoned building with a bunch of stray dogs around us. We look like those kind of people.”
Stevie knew immediately what dad needed: a hug, kind words, and a freaking funny joke. Instantly, Stevie and I start laughing hysterically. That leads to the other three kids to join in laughing. Then some guy walks in to use the bathroom and he sees a bloodied, mismatched, crazy haired, hole in the butt of the pants family just dying laughing in the Wendy’s bathroom. He just looked at us, smiled, and said he would come back in a minute. I fixed clothes, cleaned wounds, and attempted to tame hair. We had the best little Wendy’s meal laughing about Stevie’s joke, listened to Neela explain the difference between alley cats and stray cats, Titus talk about his new pooping pants invention, and Olive sneaking everyone’s food amidst conversation. While we were eating there was a young couple watching and laughing at our table. When we got up to leave, they said how they can’t wait to have kids (this is where I got the idea for the post). After Wendy’s we ran to the grocery store and just got a few things and had fun. When we were checking out the manager walked up to us and said how much he enjoyed watching our family shop.
So yeah, a long story I know and a somewhat convoluted point. But my main thing I’m trying to drive home (to myself) is that I always want my family to be the kind of family that makes people want to have kids. It’s challenging at times, but if you embrace the insanity it’s so much fun.
Random picture of our family at a Parker birthday party.
Side note: This wasn't a shirtless party. I just like the kick up the fun every now and then ;)