I have a lot of kids in a wide range of hair colors and ages. Life was easier when I had a one of each, a blond and redhead. But then I met Mary Anne, and like most men, I wasn't thinking. She landed me upon the shores of happiness. (Read that, the altar)
Like a lot of folks, she is in a blended family and well, I am not. We have little Charlotte; age 6. Then there are two more girls, one teenager - just 19 and a young adult *cough* who is now 22.
We call them by their birthdays - the older one 1/22 and the younger one 2/26. That way the youngest "11/11" doesn't know who we are talking about just in case we have to use the words, "bone head" or "brat." She just thinks we're talking about Tom and Jerry.
1/22 started staying with us over the Christmas break, and 2/26 has moved in while she puts her life back together and figures out what she wants to be when she grows up.
The older girls pretty much lived with their mother after the divorce (2000), and just recently have started calling my home theirs. Some of that feels good. Divorce stinks the worst for the kids and they got a bad dose.
At a recent dinner I was listening to 2/26 talking with my wife.
2/26: Did you have a good day?
My Wife: Yes, did you?
2/26: Well it was boring.
My Wife: Why, didn't you work today?
2/26: It wasn't busy.
11/11: Well maybe you should go the playground.
2/26: It's winter out and it's cold.
11/11: Well you just have to find something to do.
My Wife: Do you want to go to school?
2/26: Not and study MATH!
My Wife: Don't you have anything else you like?
2/26: Not really, school is boring.
11/11: If you go to school, maybe they have a playground.
Dad: Or boys.
11/11: Boys are icky.
My Wife: You can say that again.
2/26: But they're not boring.
11/11: I'd rather watch Tom & Jerry.
Dad: Tom & Jerry aren't boring.
2/26: *Rolling eyes* the translation for which is "you're a dope" but I can't say that in this house.
My Wife: Does anyone want some tea and dessert.
A chorus of I do-s!
Dad: 2/26 can you help me clear the table?
2/26: Why should I?
Dad: Because I asked you too.
2/26: Well I don't see why I should have to take everyone else's plate to the kitchen.
Dad: Because you are part of a family.
11/11: Yeah, you're my sissy.
2/26: It's not fair.
Dad: Life's not fair.
My Wife: What kind of tea do you want? *looking for a chance to exit the calamity*
Dad: She can't have any until she does the dishes. *motioning to 2/26*
1/22: Can I get the cookies?
11/11: She can too have tea.
Dad: Mind your business Missy.
11/11: Do you want to know how to say hello in Spanish?
Dad: Earl Grey
11/11: No, that's not right!
11/11: Are you listening to me?
My Wife: Here's your tea.
Dad: I think we need to say grace again.
Dad: Because it didn't seem to work the first time.
1/22: *rolling eyes* Whatever.