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 Pokémon 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

The Family Meets St. Nicholas

(Based on “A Visit From St. Nicholas/’Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement C. Moore)

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house. Kitty was purring. She’d just killed a mouse.

My glasses were cleaned and laid out with care in hopes that bourbon and beer would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds while visions of more screens danced in their heads.

Wife on her side of the bed. Me on mine. Wondering how long ’til a child climbs in.

When down in the kitchen there was such a clatter. I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Turned on the light. Blind from the flash. Hand over face to see who it is.

The moon outside shone on the snow gave a luster of midday to objects below.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but The Gaggle, The Boy, The Oppressed in good cheer.

They poured out some eggnog, so lively and quick. I shooed them to bed. Here comes St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came. And I shooed and scattered as I called them by name.

Now Lovie, now Slugger, now Slapshot and screwball. Junior and Dearie, make haste down the hall. Go to your rooms. Get in your beds. Make not a peep. Just rest your heads.

I wanted to throw them, to make them fly.

There was a lack of hustle. They just rolled their eyes.

Meanwhile, I heard a sleigh slow to stop

Eight not-so-tiny-deer resting on top.

A Christmas vision

The sleigh-driver hopped off. Claus and bag, too

I hoped that bag had a bottle, brand new.

Something nice, tasty and strong.

Something enjoyed after homework gone wrong.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

Kitty was watching. She just had to look.

A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,

Toys for everyone. Jills and Jacks.

His eyes—how they twinkled as gifts were dispersed!

He sung to himself a nice Christmas verse.

His droll little mouth carried the tune

As the Christmas Star rose high over the moon.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

Made me grateful he wasn’t vaping. What a relief

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was gen’rous and kind, a right jolly old man,

With a bottle of single malt scotch in each hand.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

I asked him to stay for some Christmas cheer.

He politely declined, then waved to our Dears.

The children had been right there standing behind us.

By the time I looked back, Santa had left us.

The Miracles of Christ stood there and smiled.

The Boy pointed and asked, “Is this one my pile?”

But I hope you enjoy your own Christmas night.

Happy Christmas to all. Daddy’s tired. Good night.

Happy Christmas!