One of the cool parts about being a dad, aside from getting to roll up to the public library in a dented mini-van, is getting abbreviated reports of how the day went from the people who didn’t get to go to the office. This usually involves cryptic half-sentences shouted towards me when I walk in the door, and at times the events are urgent enough to warrant a cell phone call during the day.
One such “urgent event” is whenever my 4 year old suddenly remembers that the “2” button on mommy’s phone is a speed dial to daddy AND that she needs to push this button . . . a lot. This can happen 40-50 times on a given day, and the likelihood of it increases exponentially when I’m in an important meeting. Of course after a few times of ignoring the calls I assume that my wife actually urgently needs to talk because either she’s close to sending a child back to where they were 20 years ago OR the child has done something to another child that causes the same outcome OR something is on sale and she needs my opinion on whether to buy it or not (said opinion will then be ignored). Instead, I find out that I’m being prank-called by a 4 year old who diffuses the situation with incredible skill by simply saying, “I called to say I miss you daddy, and I love you.” You’d have to be a mean dude to stay mad after that.
This week I got a call from my wife, but only after a “warning text” where she let me know that the upcoming call was gonna be really unpleasant. You see, it was “take the boys to the dentist day” and we’ve learned to always expect the worst. And we got what we expected. On the call I learned that the dentist had surmised that our oldest hadn’t put a toothbrush in his mouth since George Bush had decent approval ratings. This is in spite of us nagging him constantly to brush those things and floss a bit too. His cavity has its own zip code and zoning laws. We were told by the disapproving dentist that we actually have to brush the kid’s teeth ourselves. (side note – try to keep a normal face while you brush someone’s teeth – WAY harder than you think…) So we get to be super-embarrassed, terrible-parents AND give this dentist guy more money – the upside is that he’s gonna:
stick a needle in my son’s mouth. (something I’m totally good with, since it seems like a semi-legal punishment)
When I got home that day I was greeted with the strange one-liner that, “Braeden was swimming as far as he could at swim lessons and HIS HEAD TURNED BLUE.” I wasn’t quite sure how to take this – surely his swim teacher was an evil monster that should be thrown in jail. But then Braeden entered the conversation, smiled at me and said,
“I had my goggles on too tight… it was kinda fun.”
Gotta love those Daddy-reports….