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Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that …...

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Filed Under , , on May 9th, 2015

Smoking Charges Ignite

By Seth Kabala

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently wound around their little fingers–all of them–cinched tightly, creating an unbreakable bond–nay!–an unbreakable, shoddily-rhymed oath, which goes like this:

I, Dad, when alone with the kids

Will do just as each of them bids

I’ll think not of the ways this is crappy

But think only of how to make them happy

 

It matters not that the TV is smoking

Or that it’s in danger of being permanently broken

If it keeps them happy, occupied, and content

I’m afraid I must, to survive, relent

 

For you see, I have lots of work to do

Lots of old stuff, lots of new

Unless I can give it my full attention

You might find me locked away in solitary detention

 

That would be bad, no money for bills

And all my entertainment would be cheap inmate thrills

I’d have lost my freedom, my fortitude, my power

It would be, I daresay, not my finest hour

 

So to avoid this bleak and depressing fate

I must endeavor to win the rat race

And it all starts with reducing the pile

Of stuff in my in-box, and the width of my crazed smile

 

With one thing whipped, my work on an in-progress course

The kids have yet another demand to enforce

They want carte blanche on the cupboards and fridge

They want large portions, not a tasty little smidge’

 

Oh, you say, are they after the fruits and greens?

Ha, I laugh, wouldn’t that be a scene

It’s much more likely to find them hovering

With salivating mouths over ice-cream they’re uncovering

 

They have this strategy that avoids talk

If they’re halfway to serving, I’m unlikely to balk

I’ll see that disrupting their process with “Say, what?! How?!”

Is a sure-fire path to a fiery row

 

So for the short-term, I give up all intentions

Of managing their growth into healthy dimensions

They’re young and pudge is unlikely to appear

Despite eating, in one night, their sugar quota for a year

 

So now we’ve managed to take care of the essentials

Entertainment and food–what else is monumental?

I’ll tell you, here it is, the thing on my mind

It’s how much I read to them at bedtime

 

Berenstain stories, Dr. Seuss, now YA novels

My voice faces a Herculean task, so I grovels

I know that’s improper grammar

But the alternative is to be left with a permanent stammer

 

I do my best to soldier through the copy

Though my phrasing is stilted, and my diction is choppy

It’s amazing how I, this man of business prattle

Gets tripped up on “muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle bottle paddle battle”

 

That last phrase completely screwed the rhyme

But, oh, well, I’m out of time

The kids are passed out, I’ve carried them to bed

Now it’s my turn to sleep the sleep of the dead

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Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

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