In our bathroom, we have what is known as a "garden tub." Strangely enough, it has nothing to do with gardening. I know this because Amy got very upset when I tried to plant flowers in it.
One day, Amy got an idea that she thought would be fun for the kids. She told me she wanted to put a blanket and some books in the garden tub. "Chloe and Cole can sit on the blanket in the tub and read their books. It'll be fun." I told her I didn't think it was such a good idea.
Someone was teasing Cole. Cole had several pieces of candy, and an adult was trying to convince Cole to give some of the candy to him. "You already have so many pieces, surely you can spare one or two," the adult said to Cole. "Besides, it's my candy anyway."
I saw it unfolding like a gunfight in the old West. Cole stood in the living room, squared off against the dog. Cole's eyes narrowed, his left eye twitching slightly as he held the dog in his steely gaze.
What started out as a scary night ended up being pretty fun. A strong storm was moving through the area. The lightning and thunder woke both Chloe and Cole. They asked if they could sleep in the same bed, so we let Chloe move into Cole's room. But a few minutes later, the storm knocked out the power.
We were getting ready to go somewhere, and I'd sent Chloe to her room to get her shoes on. She loves putting on her own shoes, so you can imagine my surprise when I heard her start crying and screaming. I walked into her room and immediately discovered the cause of the problem: she was trying to put Cole's shoes on her feet.
Cole and I went for a drive in my truck the other day. It was in the morning and as we got out on the road, Cole started fussing. I looked over to see him squinting his eyes and turning his head to the side.
I have recently added a new weapon to my child-rearing arsenal. It's called reverse psychology. Here's how it works: I give Chloe a cup of milk, but she wants juice. She pushes the cup away and says, "I don't want it. I want juice."
The other night I had a dream. I walked by Chloe's room and from the other side of her closed door I heard a conversation she was having with Cole. "So the long and short of it is, there is no Daddy. Despite there being some evidence of his existence - even though some of that evidence is pretty compelling - you have to understand that Daddy really doesn't exist."
I don't know what set her off. It could have been anything really - she'd been skulking around the house all morning like a wounded bear. I tried to talk to her and she growled at me. I tried to hug her and she pushed me away. Chloe was in a bad mood, and she was determined to stay that way.
Chloe and Cole were discussing one of Cole's boo-boos. Chloe said he'd heal up and his boo-boo would fall off. While not scientifically accurate, I was amazed (and amused) at her understanding of the human body's ability to heal.
A couple of years ago, I read a story in this very newspaper about a man named Glen Mitchell. He lived in Jacksonville, Fla., and had a 13-year-old son named Jeff. One day Jeff was shot and killed by four boys while he was waiting for Glen to pick him up from school. One of the boys, Ellis Curry, later pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and spent 12 years in prison.