While I’m mostly in favor of honoring the barely sane people (aka parents) who do their best to rear their barely sane spawn (aka children), these Hallmark ‘inspired’ holidays often leave something to be desired.
The homemade cards and school-mandated projects are endearing, to a point. The Gort brought home a card that was cut to look like the body of a dress-shirt with a separate tie glued on. It was cute, if not entirely reminiscent of the professor – who wears a tie once every two years. Inside, the card contained the words: feliz dia de padre in large, wobbly Kindergarten print. At least that bilingual education is paying off handsomely.
Our oldest also brought home a white rubbery picture frame, the perimeter of which he’d decorated with black marker squiggles and the occasional ‘I love you’. Inside the frame was a crooked picture taken by his teacher.
The little man’s face bore a nonchalant, slightly-bored expression that I’m sure I will become very familiar with in the next five years or so. But he also looked….so grown up. Like he was twelve, instead of six. How did that happen?
On Saturday, one day before actual Father’s day, I let the professor sleep in until 9.30. Because besides ties and books and chocolate covered cherries, sleep really is the ultimate ‘you’re a great father’ gift. Later that evening, after the kids were finally asleep, I attempted to make a card banner. Because men like nothing more than a beautiful handmade card banner. It was my intention to ask the boys – the next morning while making the professor waffles with glazed bananas – to think of words beginning with each of the letters. Words that described their dad.
Like Funny. And Awesome. And Terrific. Etc.
But as these forced celebrations go, it began entirely inauspiciously. The professor (very mistakenly) thought he was going to have a second day of sleeping in. And was rather disappointed upon learning otherwise. The Hen, who’d been left in the bathroom – unsupervised – to do his ‘business’….did his business all over the floor. And then some. Which means, instead of coming up with fun words to describe Mr. Johnson, I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor. And tub. And the baseboards. And the Hen.
I tried to resuscitate my clever idea when we were riding in the car a little while later. ‘Can you think of words that start with the letter F?’ I asked the blondies in the back. ‘Words that say something about dad?’
‘What about Funny?’ I tried to suggest, just in case they didn’t get what I was asking them to do. ‘Is daddy Funny?’ I asked. ‘No’ came the sullen reply from the back. And because the Hen says whatever his brother says, he happily chimed in ‘no’, too.
‘What about Fun. Is daddy Fun?’ I tried again. ‘No.’ ‘No.’
‘He is Fun,’ I insisted. ‘He plays explosion with you.’ A lovely game during which the professor crawls around on the floor with the boys while periodically making explosion noises and ducking for cover.
‘He doesn’t do that anymore,’ my oldest insisted. Apparently he had a bit of a bee in his bonnet over something.
‘Well, what about words that start with A?’ I tried again. Nothing. ‘What about Awesome?’ ‘Is daddy Awesome?’ ‘No.’ ‘No!’ they chorused.
‘You can stop this exercise now,’ the professor interjected. ‘They’re only going to pick negative words.’ And, to prove his point, he turned towards the backseat.
‘Is daddy Angry?’ he asked the blondies. ‘Yes!’ came the replies. ‘Is daddy Tired?’ Agreement, again.
‘You see?’ the professor asked.
Maybe I can reuse the banner next year. Or re-purpose it somehow.
(I tried to at least take a picture of my awesome banner. But it is nowhere to be found. Coincidence? I think not.)