yesterday after work...
lisa had a parent/teacher meeting at Dean's school
this put me in the Mr. Mom roll
before Lisa left... I could already see that Dean was "in a mood"
we all get in moods... the difference with children
well... we still need to interact with them and guide their behavior
while if an adult were in a mood, they could avoid people or people could avoid them

as Lisa pulled away Dean approached me asking for some candy
I appreciated his request rather than him climbing like a little monkey and getting at the candy self service style
Grant heard the request.... he chimmed in.... "candy? candy? candy?"
as it is just a short time past Halloween and candy is part of the season
so, rather than argue things I agree to one piece of candy for each of them
figuring that if I give them each a piece of candy then I have bought enough time to start dinner

not so lucky
Grant tastes his candy then rests it ontop of the lid of the kitchen garbage can
seems the mystery candy in the foil wrapper did meet his desires
Dean did not care for his options either
it turns out that Dean did not want anything that was in front of him
I pursuaded him to try the Reeses Peanut Butter cup
with some objection he ate it
he stuffed the whole thing in his mouth and chewed it with displeasure
it was not what he wanted

Dean petitioned for some more candy, "just one more piece, that is the last one"
I dennied his option
dean cried
dean kicked
dean screamed
dean got nothing more

yes.... I offered other options
tootsie rolls and tootsie pops
but nothing met his liking
so rather than putting too much time into trying to please the little prince I accepted the arguement and shifted my physical attention towards dinner

dean stood at my side and I went throught the freezer, the fridge, and the cupboards

we argued back and forth about why he could not get another piece of candy as I worked on creating dinner
before his eyes I poured two sippy cups filled with milk
in an effort to placate his candy desires I fulfilled Grant's desire to have a Pop Tarts
my junk food... not theirs
Grant found it in the basement
so I toasted the Pop Tarts and had the boys each sit at the table as I served them milk
Dean informed me that "drinks are not food"
as the pop tarts cooled I toased some bagels
in my mind I thought I was giving them the treat of their lives

the pop tarts were served
they met poor reviews
perhaps they were a tad over cooker
maybe the various combinations of sugar in the toaster did not appeal to them

then a bagel was served with humus
Grant was into the bagel, but he was more into eating the humus off the bagel
Dean ate a bagel without humus.... refused anything with humus
which was odd... as Dean usually loves humus
the toasted pita bread was a failed proposition as it was too similar to the bagel
Grant was pleased to get more humus on his "ABC" bagel

by this time the hot dogs were ready
sliced, cooled, and served
I walked from the kitchen to the dining room two steps away I found that Grant had tossed the bagel slices with humus to the floor
the dogs were not in the mood for bagels with humus
a handful of hot dogs went on both Dean and Grant's plastic plates
I removed the uneaten over cooked Pop Tarts
picked up the humus and bagel from the floor
Grant ate his hot dogs
Dean complained.... Dean ate a few hot dog bites

Dean then put in a request for "soft tacos"
in seconds the same pan that was frying up the dogs was now heating up tortillas with cheese and pepperoni
in a mater of minutes the boys were eating soft tacos
not sure how many hot dog pieces were eaten by the kids
not sure how many hot dogs pieces were eaten by the dogs
both Dean and Grant snacked on the "soft tacos"
there was no complaint or favoritism for the soft taco with cheddar over the soft taco with Munster

as Dean ate his mood improved
it was not candy that he craved
it was hunger
he was starving
I asked if he had enough for lunch
he did not give me a straight answer
fearing that I had sampled a piece too many I quickly cooked one more "soft taco"
as there is always the need to make sure things are too hot to eat
if things are safe
if things need to sit or be blown upon

it was good to have the boys eating
lisa had been gone for all of 15 minutes
the house was already a wreck
at least the boys were fed
the boys and the dogs

we went from the dinning room for a movie of my choice upstairs
Dean's mood was still questionable
it was his way or never ending whinning and complaining
we watched a Scholastic DVD, Where the Wild things Are and other classic Maurice Senak stories
Dean watched and complained and drifted into interest
at the close of each story he renewed his petition for race cars and explosions
then with the start of the next stories his complaints moved to interest again
the cycle continued after 4 short stories that added up to a half hour

we went upstairs without much of a fight
the three of us brushed our teeth shirtless in the bathroom
then I dressed Grant in his Bob the Builder pjs while Dean put on his camo pjs

the three of us climbed into Dean's bed with our black dog Brutus following right behind
climbing in at the foot of the bed
there was a debate of what book was to be read
Dean wanted "the Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein
Grant wanted a text rich book about dinosaurs
the democratic vote was in favor of the writing of Shel Silverstein
Dean was again holding his ground
I read the dinosaur book
struggling to pronounce the various dinosaurs

then there was a sound
it was mommy back from Dean's school function
she was greeted with cheers... "mommy's home!"
in the excitement of the moment mommy wisked Grant away
I went through the dinosaur book one last time
with a good night kiss
a good night hug
I handed over a book on bats
a favorite of Dean's to read to himself

with parenting there are good moments
there are bad moments
and there are nights like last night
that are somewhere in between
not the bonding moment of memories that I seek
not a night of hugs and photo opportunities
just a night of trying to muscle our way through the motions

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