Saturday, March 10, 2012


I was watching 30 Rock and Donaghy tells Lemon that a nemesis can be anyone or anything. Donaghy says this after being confronted with the fact that his current nemesis is a teenage girl.

I took great comfort in hearing this exchange because my current nemesis is an eight year-old. Her lair is just five feet from my bedroom door.

Don’t misunderstand me, both my daughters are the immovable objects to their parents' irresistible force. But lately Julia has been a real turd. When it comes to homework, chores or decent nutrition she is a master of avoidance. The tools and tactics she employs to skip multiplication triangles and meatloaf are legion.

As I type this I'm able to force my tongue into my cheek. However, in the heat of battle I become a berserker. A recording of how I desperately try to control my kids could be used to blackmail me for a large percentage of my paycheck. These are moments when I am clearly not at my best.

In my defense, there was once a build up to the pandemonium. I would ask politely for toys to be picked up or Hello Kitty underpants (not mine) removed from the living room floor. There would be a number of escalations that would occur before the yelling and bleeding out of my eyes began. These days, the blood runs out of my eyes instantly.

I know. Despite the fact that I have been trained to behave this way doesn't excuse my behavior.  I am the adult. Julia is eight and testing boundaries and demonstrating her resolve is part of her job description. But why does she have to be so freakin' good at it?

I'm working on turning this around, but I can't shake this image of Julia in my head every time I ask if her homework is done:  

One last thing. Now that Allie and Julia read this blog you can count on a secretly recorded video to be up on YouTube any day now. When you watch it, please understand that you're not just watching an insane, oppressive ogre traumatizing his children. You're also seeing yet another defeat at the hands of my nemesis.