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Explanation of Complaints / Bibi Got Into the Chocolate / Man Gauge

In my writings here, I don't want to seem ungrateful, or that I'm complaining. But looking over my last entry, something occurs to me. My tendency is to write about the (more or less) bad stuff, the stuff to overcome, the tests parenting tosses to you. When everything's going fine, I never get around to writing about it, because I don't know. Everything's cool, I guess.

Maybe I feel that when I've climbed a hill and achieved something, like not being a total dick to my undeserving-yet-fighting-me kids, that it's worth writing about, maybe so other parents in my situation will have something relatable to read. Because people don't air this kind of stuff out, usually. I worry that my writing feels like bickering as a result, and to the disciplined, it may. But to fellow parents of children, I hope this blog is a source of comfort and understanding. I hope it helps, someone, somehow—to know that, even when you're going crazy, you're not alone; it's normal.
Today saw another instance of Bibi being naughty—she got into mama's chocolate. Oh, that girl. I recount this only because it's funny. It's certainly not headline news.

She had climbed onto the counter with her step-stool, got into a high-up cupboard, and snagged her prize. When I found her, she was standing on the floor all casual, chewing something.

Looking guilty.

I smiled and said hi. She smiled big and closed-mouthed back at me. I asked her what she was eating, as I noticed brown smudges on her face. There was an open bag of cashews I had left on the counter from Lucy and I making her school lunch this morning. "Cashews?"

She shook her head. I notice something in her balled-up hand. It's a handful of chocolate. Nice. Brittle-infused chocolate too, that mama had bought for herself, but had been nice enough to share the night before.

But I stayed calm! I never went near the edge. I told her in a nice, even, crushingly explanatory tone that that was naughty behavior, that we don't eat chocolate for breakfast, and that chocolate isn't a healthy, nourishing food (a term we picked up from The Barenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food).

She cried, of course. Her current strategy is 'Cry About Everything.' Readers, I experience a 3-year-old crying about 15 times every day. Can you envision what that does to your psyche? At this point I'm like the parents of the Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Just now as I was typing, she was sitting in her toy car, and let out a few sobs. She wasn't hurt, so it must have been purely emotional. I didn't get up. No need.

Now listen, I'm a patient boy. "I wait, I wait, I wait, I wait."

But I was just thinking today, that with one child in kindergarten and the other two years behind, I'm sort of left just waiting for my 3-year-old to grow up and stop being a baby about everything. Because she's really going through this rebellious spurt lately and I'm having to really alter my mental makeup just to not react like the boy I used to be.

You're in your twenties, right, and you're asking yourself, "Am I really a man now? Am I someone who might be called 'Sir?'" Naaah.

Then you have kids. You still feel like a kid yourself. Not man time yet.

Then you've got 2 kids. One is in school. You've got responsibilities up the yin-yang and there's no time to do the stuff you enjoy. Then—then you know. It's undeniably clear, because you don't want it to be true. You don't want that responsibility. You don't want to be that old.

You're a man now.