It’s 7 A.M. You wanted to get up at six as usual but the *&$%# alarm clock malfunctioned again. Or maybe you forgot to set it after the poker party last night, six of one, half dozen of the other. You slither out of bed, stumble to the bathroom and confront a stranger in the mirror, a horrible visage with bloodshot eyes, dark circles underneath accentuated by a pale, pasty face and breath that would wilt a corpse flower. You turn on the local news and see that a beer truck has overturned on the highway in, of all places in this Godforsaken purgatory, right on your way to work, with a delay estimated of at least 45 minutes, traffic is backed up for seven miles. So starts your day.
Walking into the kitchen, the kids are screaming and dumping their oatmeal on the cat, and your wife gives you a dirty look. Wonderful. Stepping into your office, you notice that your cute little 3-year-old girl is exercising her creativity by coloring in your first edition H.P. Lovecraft The Dunwich Horror And Others, library copy though it may be, smiling up at you and saying “see Daddy?”. Now, there are several possible reactions to this scenario, all of them rational if you think about it.
The pool. It’s entirely within the realm of possibility that the weirdo down the street snuck into your garage and filled the water wings with cement. Isn’t it? Yeah, that’s the ticket. Well, maybe not. Then you’d have to deep-clean the pool.
You’ve often thought it would be fun to become a Buddhist monk and live in that crazy monastery way up in the Himalayas. What do they call it? The Forbidden City? You’re pretty sure that there’s no kids allowed. Shangri La and Xanadu all in one.
Military school. How young can you sign up? Do they have military schools in Siberia?
You wonder, can you donate your kids to science? What about your wife? Nah, unless they’re doing research on why people can’t shut up or why people are compelled to max out credit cards, they’d toss her in a heartbeat. But the kids though…maybe they could cross them with dolphins, in which case the pool would justify itself. Wouldn’t she look cute balancing a ball on her nose? And for that matter, what about the MIL? Wouldn’t it be cool to cross her with a bat? She’s already half-female dog.
Clown school! Barnum and Bailey is always looking for fresh talent. Could get as much as $500 apiece. Just enough to buy those new golf clubs. And it’d be good for the kids to learn a skill.
Sigh. Calm down. Get a grip. Maybe let the kids play hidden object games at that they like so much. Keeps them quiet and absorbed for hours, and they learn valuable hand-eye coordination skills. They’ve got at least an hour before they head to preschool. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Don’t be a bad Daddy. Exasperation and ruined first editions are an important part of being a parent. It teaches patience and forgiveness, a lifelong learning process. But it’s entirely possible that you could bribe a truck driver to drop the kids off in Peoria.