Kids Love Dr. Barton

Daughters and Tears

by Dr. Douglas Barton, M.D., Pediatrician 09/29/2008

            Ah, the joys of parenthood.  Kids are always a challenge and always a joy.  I have yet to fully figure out how they can be both.  The other night, I’m home with the kids as my wife is out doing her thing.  I walk in, my wife walks out, “dinner’s on the stove. Bye!”  It’s a little late for dinner, so I assume the kids have eaten.  Silly me.  “Hey, kids?  Have you eaten yet?”
            “No,” comes their answer in unison from the basement where they have been playing PlayStation.           
            “Come on up then.  Let’s get moving.”
            I go to my room to drop off my stuff from the day.  I come to the kitchen… No kids!  “Kids, I said it’s time to come up for dinner!”
            “OK!!!  You don’t have to nag us!”
            We finish dinner.  The two go back downstairs while I clean up.  “Anyone have any homework?”
            “No,” they answer, once again in unison.
            We go about our evening, getting a couple more things done.  My son gets in a little piano practice, my daughter, some of her reading.
            “It’s time to brush teeth and get ready for bed.”  The usual evening scramble begins.  I try to keep the kids focused on their evening chores.  Things seem to be moving well enough.  My son is in bed doing his bed-time reading.  My daughter is in her room doing something.  I stop in to check.
            “What is that?!?”  She has math work out when I’m about to tell her to turn out the lights.
            “My homework.”
            “What do you mean, homework?!  You’ve been fooling around a playing video games all evening.  I asked earlier about homework.  What happened?”
            “I forgot…”  and the tears start pouring out.  Now, if you don’t have a daughter, you don’t know what I mean when I say the tears start pouring out.  My son, he’d just get mad back at me, or fumble some lame excuse, but never tears.  My daughter, it’s a knee-jerk response when Dad is upset about something she’s done.  Now, I’ve blown it.  And, of course, to make matters worse, I never have understood the tears, they just make me more impatient.  So now we have to back up, re-settle, get the homework done, and somehow get to bed. 
            So much for the nice, smooth flowing evening.  I should have known it was going too smoothly. 








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