Sunday, January 6, 2008


I don't talk about my kids much on here. After all, there are lots of blogs that do a much better job of detailing the ups and downs of parenting. But for those who do not know I have two boys. T is seven and no that does not stand for Travis Junior. His name is much weirder than that. And Z (strange name as well) is five. As seems to be the case with most siblings the two are as different as ... Night and day? Oil and water? Nope. Just because I'm switching from my writing hat to my parenting hat for this post doesn't mean I'm stooping to cliched phrases. So, they are as different as ...

Water and Ice.

Yeah, yeah I know. Water and ice are the exact same thing in different forms. Well so are my kids. They're both little boys. They're both the offspring of me and my wife. They're both both cute as all get out if I do say so myself. But that's where the similarities end.

T, like water is fluid, graceful and always moving. Like the liquid form of H2O, he tends to choose the path of least resistance. Sure he can be destructive at time, but for the most part he is tranquil although a bit needy at times. he loves to be the center of attention and gambling to get it. Karaoke, no problem. Being the only boy in tap and ballet. Never has fazed him. Now he's decided that he'd like to act in a play or something. And you know what he'll be able to do it just as certain as water flows downhill.

Z is the harsher element. If he were an adult some might describe him as having an icy personality. He talks only when he want to and then only says what is on his mind. He is content to sit in one place for hours. But give him a crack and he'll worm himself in. He especially likes to torment his brother and he tries to break part that small crack and turn it into a full blown fight. But he is a studious observer of people and things. The questions and comments he comes up with floors me. His attention to detail will make him a great writer should he choose to go that direction. In many ways he is an easier child to care for than his brother because he is so fiercely independent and determined to do things for himself, but he also has a stubborn streak and temper that he most assuredly inherited from his mother. ;)

Why am I pondering and pontificating all of this? Because of the new car.

You see in the old room to waste SUV the boys were a bit farther back. Sure they bickered and carried on but they couldn't really reach each other since the second row also had bucket seats. In the new car they fight constantly;y and they can reach each other to inflict actual damage. And all of this takes place only a few feet behind my head. Last night as we went about town showing the car off I thought, This is going to be the death of me. My head started pounding and by the time I got home my nerves were rattling like a tin box full of marbles.

But parenting is never as bad as it seems in the worst moments. Once we got home and things settled down The boys reeled me back in with their charm, wit, and tender innocence.

I sat down on the ouch, turned on the Steelers - Jaguar playoff game and the boys sat down beside me.

"You like football, huh dad." Said T.
"Uh, huh"
"Me too." He snuggled a bit closer. "You now why?"
Me : "No, why?"
"Because you do."

Now how could I stay mad after that? I had spent the last several hours getting after them constantly, but they didn't care.

Then at halftime, I started flipping through the channels. I come to one of the many ESPNs and they are showing figure skating. Z groans and says, "Not this. I don't want to watch skating."
Me: "You don't like skating?"
Z : "Not the pretty kind. I just like hockey. It's much more better."

Ahhh ... that's my boy.

I wouldn't trade either of them for all the gold in the world or a million dollar book deal.


Charles Gramlich said...

Bringing back memories here, although I only had one boy. He sometimes had enough moods for two, but he was a great kid and a lot of fun. Still is, though I don't get to see him that often.

~grace~ said...

Z sounds like my kind of guy. Hockey is definitely "much more better" than, well, anything else.

kids are cute, as long as I don't have to deal with them for more than about 2 hours. I make an awesome babysitter.

Travis Erwin said...

Charles- How old is he now?

Grace - You're hired. But don't be corrupting them with talk of those dang Sharks.

Erica Orloff said...

What a beautiful post!!! And a brilliant way to describe them.

I have four kids. Age 17 down to age 2. My 2-year-old is Demon Baby. I even have a blog all about him. The child is a devil . . . and my heart . . . all rolled into one.

And to me, like the conversation you describe, it's those moments when you really listen to what it is they say that just melt you as a parent.

And Demon Baby loves football, hockey--anything with FIGHTING. He's full of testosterone, whereas his older brother is all about math and chess and studying the universe.

Skiingred said...

I think children are put on this earth as a reminder to all of us how pure life can be - without all of the complications that seem to pile on and on as we age.

Sounds like you have a great family!

Happy new year!

~SUV Mama~ said...

What a great memory to preserve for your parenting hall of fame. Those moments that we'll need desperately to remember when they are teenagers...

Cicily Janus said...

Wow...What a touching story. Now that is characterization through dialogue. And yes, I prefer hockey to the pretty skating too.

Thanks for sharing this little bit of your life.



Sam said...

Children are the true treasures of this earth.

I have twin sons, (as different as day and night) and a daughter, who is the easiest child in the world - I could have had 12 like her!

inherwritemind1 said...

My two sons are polar opposites. When they were younger, I thought they'd kill each other. Some days, I hoped they would.

Now, they actually like each other most of the time even if they don't understand each other. Amazing what a few years can do.

Ello said...

Aw shucks, what an awesome post! I do love hearing different parents perspectives especially when they have all boys cause I have all girls and it is as different as you can imagine. We have the fighting, but it tends to be more whining and crying and "would you stop touching me!!" and "that's mine!!!" But like you, there is nothing in the world I wouldn't do for my kids.

Bubblewench said...

cute.. How bout that Jaquars/Steelers game! Had me on the edge of my seat.

Next time, when you get home, make them wash the car before they can come in the house (for all the car fighting). Yeah, I don't care if it's January! I'd be a mean mom.

Lana Gramlich said...

Enjoyed the way the post seemed to ramble, but it all came to a point. T's description of why he likes football made me tear up good & think of my own father (gone almost 30 years now.)

Patti said...

not the pretty kind...i laughed and then agreed.

Shauna said...

Aren't kids great? They make you wanna throttle them one second and hug them the next.

Monnik said...

Aw, Travis. what a great post. I LOVE how you described them.

And OMG, do I TOTALLY get where you're coming from with the car. As you know, we also downsized (from a van to a car) and our three children have to sit in very close quarters when we travel together now. It's not pretty. It's why I bought a bottle of Extra Strength Excedrin and keep it in the glovebox.

AaroN said...

Spoken like a proud pop.

Or written. Whatever. :)

Mom In Scrubs said...

Someday I am going to make my first million by inventing a backseat cage/barrier that would keep my kids from touching each other but be safe in a crash...

Maybe it's already been done?

What great descriptive writing! And reading about your kids? Don't mind at all...

Tee said...

Those conversations were ADORABLE.

I have 2 boys, too. It's amazing how completely different 2 children of the same parents, raised under the same roof, can be.

WordVixen said...


But you know what I'd like to see? Ice hockey played while wearing the figure skating outfits. Especially with all of the hitting.

Maybe I watch too much Monty Python?

Church Lady said...

I love this post! I have 2 boys, and they drive me nuts, but I wouldn't trade them for the world! They are 9 and 7. just wait. Um hum. You just wait....