2 min read

Darn it.

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This past weekend was my wife's birthday. We do birthday weeks in our house, which means that we celebrate the person every day for at least a week. So she had things to open every day (mind you, small gifts); in my wife's case, because she's a sugaraholic, it also involved a lot of dessert.

Like, a LOT of dessert. My brother and sister-in-law came up for the weekend, bringing donuts and macaroons from the city. My wife cooked herself a bunch of cookies, because she loves baking cookies. And I bought both a birthday cake as well as a mega-donut. If you're not familiar with a mega-donut, it's a donut that's the size of a large baby. It is about 18 inches around and weighs at least 15 pounds.

The five of us spent the weekend eating donuts and otherwise having too much food and drink, which means that we all gained about 10 pounds. It also meant that kiddo also ate tons of donuts and other sugary things, which resulted in a very hyperactive child, even before we got to the Easter egg hunts.

At one point, when I was trying to do actual work, he came over and just started shouting in my ear and trying to tickle me while I was doing some work. So I told him, "There are other people here. Can't you annoy them for a little while and then come back to me?"

He did not comply.

Then it turned out that he was just acting out because he didn't want our family to leave, because he hadn't seen them in forever and he really, really loves them.

This made me feel like a total jerk for my comment.

He was still sad this morning while waiting for the bus, and I tried to tell him that he could choose to think about the parts that were fun rather than the really bad part where they left. It didn't take, because that type of advice is ridiculous and unactionable. You can't just choose to focus on happy things all of a sudden. I wish you could.

This goes against pretty much all the self-help that's out there, which is all about how you make your own mindset, and daily habits will change how you think, feel, react, and so on. Yes, you can... but you're still going to be sad sometimes. It's ok to be sad. It's not something that needs to be fixed.

Thankfully, with kids, this fixes itself quickly enough – when I picked him up from after-school ninja, he was pissed about something else. Then he went to the park and did his first-ever real pull-ups, something he'd been working on with my wife all last week.

He asked me, "Can Mom predict the future?" Duh. Of course parents can predict the future. That's the license we're required to get when we become parents. Also, working on something every day results in results.

Today's doodle started out as something kind of mean, where I made fun of my kid for being annoying. Thankfully, before it went live, I realized I was being an ass, so I changed it to something else.