Sunday morning - the pre-church rush. Things weren't going according to Chloe's plans that morning, and she decided to express her displeasure with a tantrum.
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.
The time I dread most came around again, and I found myself at the doctor's office awaiting vaccination shots for Chloe.
We started our little adventure through the neighborhood with Chloe sitting in the wagon and me pulling it. Things quickly went downhill from there.
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.
We were feeding the ducks at a local park. We'd gotten bread and walked down to the water's edge. I gave Chloe and Cole some bread, then stood by and watched them.
It was, without a doubt, the scariest moment of my life. One recent Saturday afternoon, Chloe and Cole asked for an apple after lunch. I went into the kitchen and cut an apple into eight pieces, then gave four of them to Chloe and four of them to Cole.
Shortly after Cole was born, we got concerned. He was always crying and could never seem to get comfortable.
As we were getting ready for church one morning, Chloe dropped a bombshell. She said she didn't want to go to church.
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