There are those among you - based on comments made to my patient and understanding wife - who mistakenly believe me to be a kind, gentle, doting-father type of guy.
It's not that I mean to. I really don't. It's just that, by God, the Begin trio has a habit of wearing me down to a parental nub...a nub who screams.
Even though I recognize the chances of a loud voice actually affecting positive change are slim - a realization I make before and even during a series of bellowed instructions - it's the one remaining weapon I have in my arsenal at that point.
Back in the day, when I was my kids' ages, my father was the "big man with the big voice." He was the E.F. Hutton of our family in the 1970s and 80s. Remember the brokerage firm's famous advertising tagline, "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen?" Buster Begin's big voice got a response, and a quick one at that.
Something must have been lost in the transfer of parental power, however, because my children have become quite skilled at not hearing the crazy, stressed-out man who barks out instructions in hopes that one of them will respond accordingly.
Maybe it's time I look to acquire a few additional skills to help me safely transition to the weekend without causing the bulging blood vessels in my temples to burst.
Replacing my super-charged mug of coffee with a mild chamomile tea may be a good first step.