Teaching the Children

Homeschooling for another day.
I try to help. They say, “No way!”
Instead they’d rather run away.

The start of yet another
productive morning

A morning meeting. Please sit still.
It’s important. Can’t you chill?
They leave the room. Run down the stairs.
They don’t sit still. They won’t. They can’t.
I’m just glad they’re wearing pants.

The door’s wide open. Of course it is.
It’s cold. Who cares? Not my kids.
I give a chase. Run down the flight.
I’m pouring something strong tonight.
Maybe bourbon. Maybe scotch.
I don’t know. It’s not yet lunch.

This may be needed tonight…

There are meetings. Log on Zoom,
Then get my kids back to their rooms
And sit them down. Now, pay attention.
It’s important. Did I mention
That what is being said, you’ll need
To finish your assignment, see?
Now, be good children and learn how.
It’s too early to think scotch right now.
Sit right down. There’s nothing to it.
You must anyway. Just sit and do it.

… or this.

“But, Dad,” they say. “It’s way too hard.
“I’m bored. Where’s my Pok√©mon cards?”

I don’t know and I don’t care.
I can’t hear ’bout life’s unfair.
You need to do your work today.
Get it done, then you can play.

They settle down. They read and write.
Then run like that word I can’t type.
I know we’re all adults right here,
But what if a little one sneaks near?
Mom! Dad! What does that say?
Nothing, Dear. Now go and play.

Their work is done. Lord, what a chore.
They flee from academic bores.
Again, forget to close the door.

Another day is done, at last.
The evening will pass by so fast.
I put the books and pens away.
I think of what comes the next day.
More of the same. More protesting.
More resistance and more jesting.
But I will help them, yet again.
I’ll help them see it to the end.
Reading, writing, Uncle Sam.
Daddy sure could use a dram.

Decisions, decisions

Talking to your children

Parenting’s tough. Anyone who has children knows that. Sometimes it takes more than a larynx and diaphragm to get a message across to our little cherubs. Sometimes it only takes a slight variation of the vernacular to reach them. Here I would like to share with you my little nuggets occasionally bestowed upon our miserable little darlings. I’ve also included the intent of said nuggets. As an intelligent human, I’ll let you figure out the desired result(s).

I can’t even. (The words to describe this tomfoolery have yet to be invented.)

I will violate my parole. (I will find a cop and confess to whatever unsolved crime they are investigating if it means a couple of days to myself.)

I’m out of medals. (How nice of you to put your plate in the dishwasher this time. Your job this week was all of the dishes, which I have done twice in as many days so we could have clean dishes for dinner. I’m sorry you were up texting your friend until 12:30 this morning but some of us had to be responsible people today. But thank you for gracing us with your presence this mor- afternoon.)

I want proof of life. (Come out of your room and into the kitchen so we know you are actually out of bed and dressed.)

We’re not translating “The Divine Comedy”. (You have to write a sentence about a cat. Put on your big boy/girl pants and suck it up.)

Who’s on Dish Duty? (There is a mountain of dishes in the kitchen that’s about to topple over. how about putting the phone down and washing those dishes we told you to do three days ago?)

Who’s on Laundry Duty? (Everyone’s out of clothes again. How about pausing that PS4 and taking a moment to load the washer? It’s alright. You’ll have a solid 15-20 minutes of gaming before you have to move the load to the dryer and reload the washer.)

On Facebook: Drink Your Juice

On Twitter: @Greg_the_Brave

On Instagram: greg_the_brave

On Pinterest: @bravedaddy

Super Bowl Fun and Parties

Last night meant watching the Super Bowl. It’s nothing new for my family. Wife and I have been watching football since we were kids and like most every other house in America, there is a ridiculous amount of food associated with the last football game of the year.

Last night’s experience was a different one for The Gaggle, who never watched football before, let alone heard of a Super Bowl Party. It was a learning experience from the opening coin toss to the final seconds, counting down, confetti everywhere, people holding up a trophy. Oh yeah, there was music at the halftime show, too.

The learning experience started with the opening coin toss. What was this about? Wife and I explain that this is how the game starts. A flip of the coin. Kansas City won the coin toss and elected to kick. What does that mean? It means Tampa will get the ball first and, when the second half starts, Kansas City will get the ball.

“The second half?”

“Yes. After Halftime, Tampa will kick the ball to Kansas City.”

“When is Halftime?”

“In the middle of the game. After the second quarter.”

“How many quarters are there?”

“Four quarters.”

The game finally starts. The first quarter progresses and Kansas City prepares to kick a field goal.

“What’s going on?” The Gaggle asks.

“The Chiefs have fourth down so they’re going to try for a field goal.”

“How many point will they get if they make it?”


Kansas City makes the field goal and kicks off to Tampa Bay. About five minutes later, Tampa Bay scores a touchdown.

“How many points is that?”


“Now what? They kick back to the Chielfs?”

“No. Tampa kicks an extra point.”

The children see the teams line up for the extra point. They ask if this kick will be worth three points like the last time. “No,” we explain. “This kick is only worth one.”

“The kick is less if you score a touchdown?”


“And more if you don’t score a touchdown?”


“That’s weird.”

We can’t really argue with that. The game continues. The children continue to indulge in the chips and pretzels and drink their tonic (We live in Massachusetts) without hearing any questions about how many have they had. Take it easy on that. Not tonight. The chips supply is depleting. The vegetable tray is practically untouched.

Halftime arrives. The children ask what happens now. We explain to them the teams will go to the locker room to figure out what they need to do in the second half and what the other side might do. Halftime for me means walking the dog, rotating the tires, checking on the cat, doing anything except watching the halftime show.

It’s snowing outside. Doggie and I are glad to be back indoors. She shakes off the cold and finds a spot in the room as the second half is already underway. The game continues. There is a play and, before returning to their respective huddles, two players start yelling at each other.

“Are they pumping each other up or swearing at each other?” a child asks.

“Probable swearing at each other,” Wife and I say.

The game winds down. Tampa Bay wins. The Oppressed is happy for Tim Brady. My wife, a Rob Gronkowski fan, is happy for Gronk. I just like to watch football. I’m happy I was able to watch the game. We clean things up as everything wraps up on television. I hear one of The Gaggle say how fun it was and they wish they could watch another football game. The heavens open up and I hear a choir of angels singing over our house. I wipe a tear away and thank the gridiron gods.

Walk on Frozen Water

Some days you hope your children will make good decisions in their lives. Most days you hope for a better day tomorrow.

We were visiting family one day recently. If you live in Massachusetts, you know the cold weather we’ve been having lately. Bitter cold

We were travelling this past weekend to visit family. Granted, it wasn’t a long drive but I needed a jacket for the very short time we were outside. I’m delicate. One of the children, as I mentioned before, decided they didn’t need a jacket. They took the jacket with them to humor me. Most normal people will bring the jacket with them into the house. I hope this child meets these people someday. I clearly have nothing to teach or offer them.

We visited family that live near the water. We brought lunch with us and everyone caught up while we ate lunch. School is good. Work is good. The family is good. Corona will be over in three weeks. Everyone’s doing good. While we were visiting, the genius that left their jacket in the car needed it. I asked where it was. They said it was in the car. I commended the child for leaving the jacket in such a great place. The car gets unlocked and the child gets their jacket.

Later, one child wanted to go down and feed the ducks that, for whatever reasons they had, didn’t want to go somewhere warm. Another wanted to go with them. A couple of minutes later, one of them return to the house. It seems someone thought it would be a good idea to walk on the frozen water.

Over the river and through… the water.

“What?” I ask. They repeat what happened. The child tried to walk on the ice.

“No, they didn’t,” I said.

“Yes, they did”

“No, they didn’t,” I said. This is my way of telling the children I know they are smarter than this and there is no way they tried something like this.

Soon enough, the second child returns into the house with shoes in their hands and wet socks on their feet. They are leaving tracks on the floor. I remind the child to take off the dripping wet socks and clean up the wet tracks behind them. I also proceed to suspend future decision-making decisions until further notice. We find the child dry socks and, somehow, a dry pair of shoes. We later return from our visit. Everyone has dry feet, clean feet, and dry socks and shoes. A further check shows everyone has their toes and certain people living in our house are still not allowed to make decisions.