Holidays and birthdays with the munchkins started with Saint Patrick’s day. As DW is a good part Irish, St. Patrick’s day was always a big deal, with home made Kelly-Green Puff-Ball pins, a shamrock barrette for munchkin1, a shamrock pin for munchkin2, and always, always, always, corned beef, slowly cooked until fall-apart tender in the slow cooker.
Now back in the day, DW was a rascal who loved to get one up on her dear and loving husband, who treated her so gentle and kind, never doing anything that could ever be construed as mischievous (hey, you wanna buy a bridge?). Anyway, (I can see you rolling your eyes), on with the story. DW loved to get one up on me because I was the most powerful person in the house. When we would engage in any kind of playful wrestling, tickling, contests that required fast reflexes, etc. she just didn’t have a chance. So, she learned to use the munchkins.
On one particular St. Patrick’s day, I was soundly sleeping as I worked a night shift from 11 p.m., to 7 a.m., and slept through the morning. I generally awoke around 3 p.m. Invariably, it would be one or both of the munchkins that served as alarm clock, sent in by their mother. However, on this occasion, munchkin1 was sent in to wake up her dear old dad. You see, DW had been teaching her the mischievous side of the holiday, you know, where you get to pinch anyone caught not wearing green. So she snuck onto the bed, and carefully made her way to my shoulders. She placed her little hands on those same shoulders, and put her cute little munchkin face inches away from mine and said, Daddy. Daddy, wake up. I imagine it took her a little while to get through. But when I opened my eyes, my first sight was the most beautiful sight that could ever have greeted me. And then, it happened. She pinched me!
Of course I knew something was up, but hadn’t yet realized what was going on. Then she said, you’re not wearing green and we get to pinch you. Mommy said. Yep, I had heard it from the mouths of babes – Mommy said. It didn’t take long before I was rough housing with my munchkins on the bed, pretending to try and remove the green from their little bodies so I could return the pinch. Of course they defeated my every effort with laughter and giggles galore. Being a dad, however, and trained in Judo, was a great thing. A finger poke here, a finger poke there, a light flip of the wrist, and munchkins, with DW, were quickly subdued, and given the same treatment that they had tried to give me.
Oh, remember that corned beef? My crew always made short work of it. I was usually able to get two meals from it.
Munchkin1 had some unique abilities. Almost from day one, she loved hot peppers. And her hearing was incredible. If she said that she heard something, you could be certain that she had heard it. Often, we’d be playing outside in the yard when she would suddenly stop what she was doing, point at the sky in some direction, and say, “Airplane!”
I would search the sky in that direction as see nothing but blue. But after a few moments, literally, the distant speck of a plane would appear, just barely within seeing distance, and usually only found by its contrails. I was always amazed by her seemingly superhuman hearing sensitivity. That same hearing ability made the 4th of July fireworks display less than perfect. We had to get far away from the display to protect munchkin1’s hearing. If we got to where most people watched from, the loud booms would cause her sufficient pain to bring tears to her little munchkin eyes. And one thing this Daddy could not abide was anything causing pain to one of my munchkins. Eventually, we got smart enough to purchase over-the-ear, muff style hearing protectors. They did the trick.
Munchkin2, he loved fireworks from as close as he could get.
Every child is so different, each special in their own way. They can thrill you, drive you nuts, and wrap you around their little fingers, all in one day. Each is a joy, and a challenge. And each of them makes life worth living.
Good night again.
There is no success outside the home that justifies failure within the home.