Listening to: John Coltrane, A Love Supreme
Amongst the various daddy blogs, I'm the most self-centered, meaning not many of my posts are of the Cutie-kiddie-quip-crap-filled-diaper type entry. I'm conscientious of that and Lord knows I try to recall some cutie-pie caper to relate but I'm almost always coming up empty-handed. I dunno, I listen to my kids and I adore the things they say but maybe my Wite-Out huffing habit has left me with severe memory loss. That and my Wite-Out huffing habit has left me with severe memory loss.
Another thing and I hate to admit it but my kids aren't nearly as cute as everyone else's. Not that we haven't tried to make them cute. However, the hours of "Be a Cute Kid" videos, the reams of training material, even the Cute Brood Team-building weekends have not made a dent. My kids are congenitally un-cute; they are cute-challenged.
Yep, they take after their dad.
Hovering inches above the cute vortex and inhering certain short-term memory deficits (inhaling correction fluid created genetic mutation), I've consigned my kids to either endless appearances on CNN commenting on their generation's version of the Scott Peterson case or being servers at Bennigan's. So you've been warned about the kind of dad I am. Having those hands dealt all around (it ain't no Celebrity Poker Showdown, I assure you), I make do with the cards I have.
Throughout the day I try to be pro-active, "Who wants juice? Milk? Cigarettes? Tranquilizers?” I'm trying to anticipate their needs, you never know when you're going to have to scream obscenities at an insurance agent or shoo off a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Or enjoy "Dad Time" alone on the throne.
Anticipating that, I'm pretty blunt. "Who needs to go potty now because Dad's about to camp out and stink up the joint and read and will be real cranky, as you know, real, real cranky, if you bug him, so who has to go or thinks they'll have to go in the next decade, for god's sake go now or you'll bygod go in a coffee can?" Followed by an emphatic, "Are you sure? You're absolutely sure? Are you really really really really sure"
I'm not screwing around. My constitutional calls, Nirvana awaits, assume the position of the Turd Lotus and enjoy the benefits of absolute bliss. Yet, as soon as I hike my legs just right and get a paragraph or two into my reading, just at the moment I get that first Oh Yeah movement - the door opens. Bet the house and Katy bar the door, inquiring minds want to know.
Locking the door is not an option, the noise is intolerable. Sounds of the kind of hell that you hope awaits Michael Jackson. The interruption is inevitable, an enviable regularity, "Dad-eeeeeeee, I need darr bar bar blah blah blah bluh rr-rrrrrrrr..."
See this? See what daddy's doing? Peek in the bowl and see if you find any floundering flying monkeys. Yeah, see? That's what I figured.
Dad's nailed to the seat and they know that. They've got to do that little power play, see who jumps and who holds fast to throne. Indeed, they conspire with ways to get me off the crapper, flood, fire, pestilence, the boom of something big crashing to the floor followed by the sound of running feet.
Today was a low-key affair. The door edges open with Marni peeking in with Zeke behind her, gotcha' back, sis.
We want to know why, if we have to share, you're not sharing your bubblegum with US.
"Yeah," Zeke reiterates, "Bub gum."
The cabal is all too obvious to me, Marni convincing Zeke that Dad has some hidden stash of Bubblelicious and it's within the reach of little fingers. Remember the great Chewy Runt raid? The Miniature Snickers mother lode? Marni convinces Zeke that Dad's must be fat with bubblegum somewhere.
I don't have any gum. No bubblegum, no quit-smoking gum, no grow-some-hair gum, no had-a-cocktail-at-lunch gum, no gum.
No gum, she affirms.
Well, you're going to have to buy some, she says, next time you go for groceries. Get milk and juice boxes and bubblegum. And then, you can share your bubblegum.
"Yeah, bub gum," chimes Zeke.
My little mafia at home, great. Lacking cute, my kids get reduced to a con job akin to give us money or we won't beat you up.
I reached over, closed the door, returned to my reading.
Oh, they'll refine the con but dad is always a step ahead, having done that same con on his dad as his dad did on his dad, and so on. My long-term memory seems fine and it tells me that the cons will become more elaborate and ridiculous. And I'll be shitting bricks, as my father was when I interrupted his constitutional, a car on fire and people jumping over the fence and cops in the driveway and dogs fighting.