Mandaris Moore

Sometimes, getting ready for bed is the hardest thing to do. In my home, nights are the time that we actually get a chance to sit down and do the things we need to do such as pay bills and schedule activities.

My wife has been the one taking care of the bills in recent months. On one hand, it's good because I found myself having trouble keeping track of when and where money was going. The stress and guilt of missing a bill just got worse and worse over the years as expenses continued to grow.

On the other hand, this has caused problems as I feel pushed out of key decision making areas.

We've never been explicit about it but there have been under tones of hostility about money.

I do what I can, I follow the budget that we agree on and be understanding when she's stressed out. After all, I was doing it for years before we switched.

We're in better shape as far as budgetting, but I tread every night we have to go over bills.

My children were working on school reports today. I don't know what it is but neither one of them like to work with me on stuff like that. Maybe I'm too critical and don't give them the benefit of the doubt for writing at that age.

Too often, I destroy my own writing for even small things.

Either way, I'm going to do the best to highlight the good things about it and only make suggestions on how to improve when they ask.

After all, I won't be able to help them with this later on.

Tonight, my wife told me that our daughter has an exclusive girl club in her kindergarten class that she isn't allowed to be in. This club has one particular girl in it that is being mean to my daughter. She doesn't like being there 1.

It's something that no parent wants to hear, but should listen to now more than ever. The suicide rate for girls has increased to an alarming level with articles and news clips talking about how girls are being ambushed and beaten by their peers. Then, to add more humiliation, someone records it and puts it on the internet.

Some would say that it's just girls being mean, but I've been bullied and I know how these things can affect you. I only pray that I can help my daughter find the strength that she needs in order to get past this.

  1. It also makes since to why I see her playing by herself when I come into her class and why she's been acting up when she's at home. 

Well after having nightmares about it for the last couple of nights, I can now rest easy now that the pancake breakfast is over.

And what a breakfast it was, at first things were moving really slowly as the people trickled two and three at a time and I was actually afraid that we wouldn't be able to make enough money to break even with the costs of all the supplies.

And then the boom dropped.

I found myself constantly mixing batter to keep up with a constant stream of hungry customers. In fact, I heard that there was a story of people who went through the line 3 times.

Today has been a pretty good day. I got up and was able to get a breakfast for my kids and get them to school on time followed by some quality time with my youngest1.

Things were going pretty good even though there were a number of bumps along the way.

And then it’s time for bed.

It seems like this is the most difficult time for my family2 and it is the one that really tries my patience because it is the end of the day and is the last that stands between me and any activities that I want or need to do for that day. I feel that it is because the lack of a consistent schedule is a major reason my wife and I have “issues” with communication and... um... other stuff.

  1. The youngest asked me to pack up a lunch for her and put it in her backpack. I packed the same lunch as I did for my oldest as she requested and then when we got to class she wanted to touch all the toys and wanted to stay after the bell was rung. I had to bribe her with playing my little pony when we got home AND a piggy back ride. 

  2. I think this is the fault of me and my wife as we do not instill a stable routine with the girls. Too often, we get derailed with activities or some other nonsense like not using the right toothpaste, etc. 

Well, I don't want to say that the honeymoon phase is over, but I will say that things have become a lot more... hectic.

I guess the first day had a lot going for it since I only saw them for 4 hours before it was time for them to go to bed and we were lucky to be able to take them all to the park followed by the library where they can run off a lot of energy.

Yesterday, was different. Thankfully, my mom took the older girls out to the museum and to go eat and when they got back they had cookies and cake. I -in my infinite wisdom- then told my wife that she should go out and take a break from all the kids and although it took a lot of convincing she (although she did take our youngest which I was grateful for later).

After that, things weren't as bad as you would think, but it wasn't perfect either. I was running around breaking up little fights over toys and turns. The kids screaming "NO! It's my turn" and running to the other side of the room because someone is doing something they shouldn't: Spilling things, taking things, eating things, thankfully not breaking things, but I'm sure something has disappeared into that magical land that missing socks go. I even attempted to go over letters with very poor results. I could tell that the oldest one was frustrated, but I hope that I'll be able to get her to recognize most of the alphabet before she leaves.

Eventually, the girls settled and I managed to get them all into bed without the same hassle as the night before. Although, I did have one call me a dozen times for various things until I put my foot down.

One thing of note was although our guest don't seem to get along during the day, the oldest one does show some concern for her sister. I feel sad for them because with all the drama that they've gone through the only one's they truly have is each other. To wrap it up, this time I got to sleep in the bed and had to share it with my oldest.

She threw up on me twice.

Isn't she cute!
A picture of Alex

Yesterday, after a particularly long series of events. My wife and I have had the opportunity to care for two (2) more girls; one aged 3 and the other aged 1. I won’t go into the details of where we got them or how we got them, but they are here and it’s nice to see how they interact with our girls. Even so, my mind is racing with questions of what would happen if the girls stayed with us. How are we going to do lessons? How are we going to transport them? How are we going to do bed time and showers? Easy, you just take it one day at a time.

Things that I noticed so far:

  • When little girls get together it seems to always be play time
    My wife and I did our best to accommodate. We had to take both cars in order to get them to the park yesterday and it then use the baby bjorns to hold the little ones as we ran around chasing the more mobile of the two. It would have been more fun if we could have done it earlier in the day. Baths aren’t that hard Bath time was done doing two by two and it wasn’t that difficult, because I’ve found that kids (or at least the ones I’ve seen) like water. If anything it was difficult making them wait their turns and making sure they don’t drown each other. Dinner Well, it’s a good thing my wife and I have moved away from eating fast food and the like and actively plan and prepare meals in advance. It saves money (2 adults and 4 kids… yikes!) and time (just heat and eat).
  • Discipline This was an awkward subject for me to handle. On one hand, I’m a parent who is raising his daughters in a way I feel is right. On the other, these aren’t my children and I don’t know what they are expecting. I don’t spank, but I expect that what I say should be followed. So far, we haven’t had any big issues other than the older one pushing her sister down and a misunderstanding on what it means to share. Strangely enough, it’s my own daughter who's been giving us the most trouble. It could be because she’s two now and wants to express herself with the word “No” or she’s embolden now that we have company.

Either way, I got my eye on her….

  • Bed Time This is actually, where things get a little more tricky. Thankfully, these girls sleep through the night, but it just begs the question of where do they sleep. We pretty much put the oldest one in my daughter’s crib, her sister has her own portable crib and our girls slept with mommy in the bed. Leaving me on the couch and I have to say it’s probably the best night of sleep that I’ve had in days. Well, that sums up the first day. The second one is today, and thankfully I’m at work for most of it!