About Me

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I'm a life-long New Englander, father of 4 challenging kids (I know: I'm supposed to say "wonderful", but while that'd be true, technically speaking, it'd also be misleading), and fortunate husband to my favorite wife of more than 20 years. I've got over 20 years experience breaking things as a test engineer, quality engineer, reliability engineer, and most recently (and most enjoyably) a Product Safety / EMC Compliance Engineer. In the photo, I'm on the left.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Kids and Stormin' Norman

Today, as I roamed the forest in my never-ending search for Lyme Disease, I got to thinking of my precious children. I got to thinking of how smart they are. They are, in fact, smarter than I am (not that being so is setting the bar too high). But they are scary smart.
You know how siblings are always fighting? You know how they don't seem to be able to work together to get ANYTHING done? It seems like the wouldn't be able to work together to fill a glass with water if one had the glass and the other was operating the water faucet.

 However, why is it then that they can collectively launch an assault on my sanity on four simultaneous fronts. Their synergistic attacks would bring a tear of pride to General Normal Schwarzkopf's steely eye.

Here's how it goes:
It's a peaceful morning and amidst the omelet, toast, and coffee, there's a sense of karmic balance that can't be surpassed.

Then, the second boy and the girl start fighting over...what? Nothing, really. Peeling that particular onion, it's a “he hit me back first” sort of thing, but I can't get to the bottom of it before the youngest lad drops a plate or some other breakable object on the kitchen floor (which, naturally, is ceramic tile). Now there's a million tiny (nearly invisible) shards of glass all over the place, not to mention the contents of that glass / plate. Gotta go and clean that up.

However, there's not enough time to complete that before the phone rings, though I can't quite get to it in time while trying to clean and arbitrate a fabricated argument (and heaven forbid someone else answer). I am pretty sure that the eldest is dialing the phone and hanging up *just* as I grab the handset. That's when I notice that the young one...who I rescued from the glass shards...is eating my breakfast.

When I'm lucky, my wife shows up and puts me into time out before that vein on my neck pops and bores a hole in the kitchen cabinet like a power washer.

I'm telling you, the simultaneous presentation of half a dozen fights, accidents, and mishaps is nothing other than a well-planned, well-executed, timely attack on my peace.

Sometime during the month, these little monsters PLANNED this event. I don't know how they do it, as they seem so completely incapable of being near each other without fighting, but SOMEone is calling and scheduling a meeting, and SOMEone is setting an agenda, coordinating a trigger or a start signal, and SOMEone is taking notes.

I want to know who this SOMEone is. I want to know where the meeting is, and when; I want to know who sets the agenda, and where they got their criminal brilliance. And I also want to know how it might be that they can execute it better than any military assault, but cleaning their rooms is well beyond their capabilities.

Is it just mine, or do all kids hold these meetings?


  1. So recognise this. From the other side. I have no children of my own, but my siblings and I were able to create/manufacture/brew crises at the drop of an inconvenient hat. No planning - but it wouldn't have worked near as well if we had. At one stage three of the four of us were on crutches for quite different foot/leg injuries. The fourth sibling delighted in mixing up the crutches which cause more falls and more breakages and more temper tantrums and .... you get the picture.

  2. Thank goodness mine have flown the nest. I recommend a SHED. All men should have a private SHED. SHEDS rule.

  3. LOL Mixing up the crutches! I love it!

    STG, wasn't there a case where the 3 boys were causing trouble, and the girl said "What, did I miss a meeting?"

  4. I do not believe there are meetings....it is all spontaneous, sort of like those flash mobs that swarm innocent bystanders. A collective mentality if you will. Children are the BORG. They are the final frontier from which you emerge, lost in space.

  5. She did that, Matt: "I wasn't even *at* that meeting". Confirming for me that meetings do, in fact, exist, and that the kids are mounting a concerted effort to erode my sanity.