I feel like a psychologist who’s not any good and not getting paid.
I started tweeting (@CoreyKope) most mornings that I have the …um… pleasure of getting five girls ready for school. They usually go something like “Restart the mornings-without-crying counter!” followed by a description of the latest emotional disaster in the Kope home.
If you’re looking to judge my parenting skills you should maybe feel just a little sorry for me as I live in the reality of what seems like God playing a bit of a joke on me. I live with one wife (female), four daughters (also female), and one Japanese exchange student (also female). There’s only one man in the house and sadly he doesn’t know what he’s doing.
The home I grew up in was slightly more…how to say the next part without offending anyone… practical? Just that I have to watch what I say to avoid much longer conversations about what I didn’t really want to talk about in the first place open’s a window into my daily routine that did not exist in any way when I was younger. I have to care about what people feel now and I don’t like it!
Let’s see… there was my dad, my mom, my brother, and my home was a Kope home. That may not mean anything to you so let me break it down a little. We just returned yesterday from Easter dinner at my Uncle’s and one of my cousins was telling us that his wife’s grandpa needed to move from his house into a retirement home (he’s like a thousand years old) but it’s very “emotional” for the family and they’re starting to fight over it.
We don’t get it. When you’re 1,000 you need some help so you should move into a home where you can get it. We also think you would probably get lonely without your wife of sixty years and would enjoy the social aspect. We’ve never once thought “What will people think????!!!”
Think about what?
My cousin said it’s not working the way it is and it’s becoming unsafe, so “do the next thing” and it makes sense to me. Besides, grandpa would enjoy it! Done and done!
“But so-and-so’s feelings are hurt!” About what?
Hey, I’m not saying the Kopes are perfect by any stretch but when a family dinner is planned whoever hosts it calls the day and time and whoever makes it makes it. If it doesn’t work for you we’ll see you at the next one? It kinda works, mostly because they are all quite practical and, well, love each other?
Typical conversation after school in the Kope family of boys? Mom: “How was school?” Boy: “Mmmmppphhhffff. Hungry?”
Conversations that rarely happened?
Mom: “How did _____ make you feel?” Boy furrows brow in an attempt to decipher what that means….decides to take a shot at it: “Hungry?”, Mom goes back to wondering why they didn’t try for a girl. Dad’s answer? “We’re not filling up the backyard with boys to get you a girl!” Three boys apparently defines filling up the backyard. In his defence though he had eight brothers and sisters which few families now can imagine, let alone survive.
Mom has girls now though. Four of my girls. In a cosmic joke, I wasn’t “man enough” to have boys so Mom’s prayers have been answered. That alone should make someone incredibly irreligious consider living a God-fearing life! She doesn’t have to live under a roof with four teenage daughters at the same time, she just gets to hear them rant about how cluelessly out of touch their dad is, which is the perfect scenario if you think about it?
She gets all the girl talk she wants now and then SENDS THEM HOME WHERE THEY CONTINUE TO TALK. AND TALK. AND TALK.
“Dad! You’ll never believe what happened at school today!…..”
“(No, but I’ll bet you’re going to tell me all about it in incredible detail….)”
“Go ahead honey, tell me… Sure, stand right in front of the TV while you do it. Sure, ask me follow up questions to see if I was really listening? Sure, interrupt each other and start verbally scrapping when someone gets the story wrong. Sure, start over again when your sister leaves. Sure, break down crying and come sit with me to get a hold of yourself. Sure, get up and give it another go. Take your time. I’ve got nothin but time…”
I know there will come a day when I would give anything to get this time back. I’m thinking about it now and feeling this…something… inside that makes me uncomfortable and wishing I could press pause on the button of life, or maybe I’m just hungry? I’m certainly not that complicated…
But then someday I’ll have my own grandkids and that’ll make me feel better!
(The mornings-without-crying counter restarted today over this little thing I call “Sandwich Stress”.
Oh well, if I couldn’t laugh about it I’d cry and that’s not cool if you’re a Kope man)
Follow Corey’s twitter: