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Iím a Dad again 

The kids are restless...

Brian Barth 

(4/2010) A rainy Sunday afternoon and the kids are restless. The two older kids keep asking to go outside. Every time I tell them they canít it is raining and itís too cold. Naturally their response is, "Iím bored." With all the toys, books, and board games you have there is now way you are bored. "Dad, we already played with all that stuff."

I decided to lead by example. I pulled out a book of my work bag that I had been reading on the train during my daily commute, turned off the cartoons, and put on some soothing jazz music. I wish I had a camera. Because the moment I turned on music the kids stared at me as if I stole their bike and doll and in unison said what are you doing. I said "reading a book." Again they both said basically at the same time "why are you doing that?" "I enjoy reading," I said. It relaxes me and is a nice way to escape every day routines.

I asked them donít you have a book you like to read. "No" I donít have books my son said. My daughter started running for her room to get the princess book she likes to read before bed every night. I told my son if wasnít being funny. I asked him to go find a book in your room or grab one from the number of books we get from the library every week. He said, "dad I donít want to do homework on Sunday." I said "itís not homework, itís time to relax." Well, he said I donít relax when I read and you make me read a lot during the week.

My daughter came racing down the stairs, book in hand, and sat next to me in the chair. She was ready to start reading. I looked back at my son and said what will it take for you to go get a book and join your sister and me reading for a while? With out hesitation he said I want McDonaldís for dinner. My daughter heard the words McDonaldís and quickly informed me that it wasnít going to be fare if I got it for Riley and not her. Thinking it could be worse, I said okay, but you have to drink milk and not soda. For some strange reason I thought I won that fight but in reality I didnít. All they had to do was read for a while and then I get to pay for food when we have a refrigerator full and they donít have to eat vegetables. Yeah, but the milk will offset the McDonaldís, right?

We all cozied into our comfortable spots and began reading. My daughter whizzed through her book and said, "Iím done." Thatís okay ready it again. About 40 minutes into are quite time they both had fallen asleep. I was nearing the end of the last chapter, when the kids woke up. My son rubbed his eyes, looked and the clock, it said 5:30. He said, "dad donít you have some where you need to go?" Puzzled, I said no. He quickly reminded me of our deal. I grabbed my keys and said Iíll be back.

Not wanting to eat grease food I picked up a foot long sub for my wife and I at subway then motored over to McDonaldís. Pulling up to the drive through speaker box I started to place my order. "Iíd like a 10 piece chicken nugget meal. Before I could order anything else the voice through the speaker said, "sorry sir, we are out of nuggets." Out of nuggets? You canít be. Sorry sir but we are.

I pull up to the house, walked in with a subway bag and chips, my son says wereís my bag? I looked at him and said they are out of nuggets. He said "come on dad, your not funny." Honestly, they were out of nuggets. He then said "well isnít there a McDonaldís in Thourmont?" Yeah, but Iím not driving to Thourmont to get McDonaldís. He said "you made a deal with us and isnít fair." I said your right. How about we get Dairy Queen on the way home from your sisters Gymnastics tomorrow. He said okay, but only if I can get m&mís on top? So much for reading books together.

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