A Parenting Dilemma

November 15th, 2011

A few snippets so far from our train trip from Kansas to Portland. Terah, Jacob, Oliver, and I are on the trip, which is about 2.5 days on the train.

The Parenting Dilemma

So, if you are eating dinner, and your 5-year-old falls asleep with his head on the table, and you know he had been excitedly waiting for raspberry sorbet for dessert, and know there will be tears when he later realizes he missed it, what do you do? Let him sleep, or wake him up (with possible tears right then in the dining car?)

As it turned out, I tried to quietly ask him if he wanted dessert. He woke up with a start, banged his head on the table, and then, yes, there were tears. I asked him if he wanted dessert or if he wanted to keep sleeping, and he gave a pathetic, sniffling, “dessert.”

But by the time dessert arrived, he had fallen asleep again. I finally woke him up again, asked if he wanted to eat, and he just ignored me. I asked twice more and then he all of a sudden realized what he was being asked, sat bolt upright, and dug in.


Jacob noticed graffiti in Los Angeles. He called it “silly words” and kept commenting about it as we passed it.


Oliver always sleeps with a stuffed bear, which is his favorite comfort animal. But Oliver is 2, and when he says “bear”, it sounds more like “beer”. Plus, the boys still seem to be operating on Central Time. So at 4:15AM yesterday, Oliver awakened us saying:

“Beer! Beer! Beer! Where’s beer? Where’s beer? Need beer! Beeeeeer!”


Jacob always sleeps with a stuffed butterfly, which he likes just like Oliver likes his bear. Jacob had this conversation with me this morning:

Jacob: My butterfly knows all the people in the world. And all the animals, too!

Me: Does butterfly even know Nash? (our cat)

Jacob: Yeah, and he knows Sam and Edna too! (the cats across the road)

Me: Wow. I think butterfly knows a lot more people and animals than I do.

Jacob: *brief pause, then* Oh, silly dad! *collapses laughing*

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    […] boys and I were in Santa Fe, NM on a train trip. It had been a year since their last train trip, and that’s longer than they are typically used to. I’d taken Jacob on a train trip […]

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