Sunday, September 11, 2011

Planning #GBE2

We find our hero, Best Dad Evar sitting in a black, wheeled office chair at a desk with numerous scratches and dings. Behind and below the chair the carpet in the family’s living room bunches up unnaturally, so that when he rolls the chair back a bit, Best Dad has to give an extra oomph just to move into a more comfortable position. That’s tough these days. Finding a comfortable position, that is.
“Best Dad Evar,” a voice calls out in the darkened room. Best Dad Evar doesn’t look up from his computer screen. “Is it true that you actually planned to have your children?”
“Don’t sound so surprised.” Best Dad replies.
“Well, I overheard some of your co-workers discussing their own children today and from what I heard, it sounds like none of their children were actually planned.”
“They just sort of happened when they happened.” Best Dad finished the thought. “Yes, I heard that, too. For us, it just didn’t make sense to have children if you weren’t fully prepared to be a parent.”
“And you and your wife didn’t feel prepared for all those earlier years you were together?”
“No. Even right up to the moment we took our first child home, we didn’t feel prepared.”

“The planning must have helped, right?”
“You would think it would, wouldn’t you? Well, it sure didn’t feel that way…. Doesn’t feel that way.”
“No? You think parenting is just as difficult even though you did everything you planned to do beforehand?”
“If anything I find myself wondering often if we didn’t make a huge mistake by waiting all those years. You know what that did to us? It made us older.”
“Not wiser? More experienced?”
“Not when it comes to parenting.” Best Dad replies with a tired rub of his eyes. “We’re just older, our joints creakier and muscles more sore, our brains have lost more cells, we’re more dependent on caffeine and thus we’re crankier. None of this helps us be better parents.”

“Still, Best Dad, some of your plans have to have helped.”
“Well, let’s put it this way. Some of the things we planned to do, we’ve actually done.”
“Like what?”
“Like always having someone who is family or ‘like family’ watching the children when we’re away or working.” Best Dad’s face changes into a very slight smile, which is about as much emotion as you ever see from him.
“You never hire babysitters?”
“We never have. We’ve always had grandparents, aunties or very close friends who’ve watched them.”
“Wow, Best Dad, that’s really impressive.”
“Yeah,” he says softly, that slight smile still on his face. “That’s one thing that has really worked for everyone.”

“But we also planned that we would be settled in our careers by the time we started our family.”
“Oh.” The narrator’s voice betrays his dismay.
“We thought we’d be financially solid and secure.”
“Yikes.” You can almost hear the narrator cringe.
“We figured we wouldn’t be worrying so much about money and success.”
“Yeah. And one year ago, I effectively had to start my career over from square one.”
“Uh huh.”
“During the worst recession of our lifetime.”
“And having my industry of choice in ruins.”
“Yeah. You can’t plan for all that.”

A tone on the computer indicates to Best Dad Evar that he has an email. He quickly reads the message on the screen, then lets out his breath in an exasperated “Hah!” His arms slump down onto the desk in front of him, followed by his head. With his forehead resting on the backs of his hands, his head shakes back and forth.
“What is it Best Dad Evar?” The narrator shows genuine concern.
“You’re not going to believe this.”
“Try me.”
“That was an email from my brother.” He pauses for a long moment. The narrator chooses to quietly wait, realizing that the final shoe has dropped. “As if I don’t have enough to do in my life, now he wants me to babysit his fucking car!”


Anonymous said...

Is that the favor? Babysitting his CAR?

Jo said...

*composing myself*
Planning for parenthood?
*composing again*
Cannot be done, but that brother of Dad's is more fun than a barrel of unexpected babinos!
(side note, here, spell check thinks that word is albinos!)
just love you, Kyle!

Anonymous said...

This is a great post. =D

Mojo Writin' said...

Hey, hey, best dad, you've have a Liebster award waiting for you. Nip over to mine to pick it up :o)

Steven said...

Nothing ever turns out like we expected...

Kathy said...

LOL, you can't plan for parenthood! You have that right! Actually, I think I would rather babysit someone else's car than their kids. That is just me though. There have been many times I wished that a manual would have accompanied each of my kids at birth. Sadly it didn't, so I have to muddle through on my own! Wonderful post as always.


SJerZGirl said...

I love the conversational style of this. And, on a personal note - I'd rather babysit a car than a small, two-legged human. Just sayin'. LOL

Kyle said...

I know, there's no comparison between babysitting a car and a child, a car should be a cakewalk by comparison.

But the way these things go, there's always another shoe to drop even if you think you dodged a bullet (ooooh, double-metaphor!)

Anonymous said...

Pass around the gum and pop your kiddies into your brother's car. I think a little joy ride is in order.

Jenn said...

Jo has me laughing--actually--she's right--you can't ever prepare fully for parenthood...but the adventure part makes it fun! YIPEE!!

As for babysitters--I'm like the Best Dad Evar--My husband and I have always worked opposite shifts or only have left very close family watch our kids. We've been lucky that way!

Great post!! I love reading about the Best Dad Evar!