Almost as soon as I became an insta-parent, people making light conversation would often interject something to the effect of, "Well, I bet you look at your father differently now, huh?" I'm guessing it's a fairly standard new parent ice breaker, but it's a valid point and honestly I had never thought much about it. I guess I didn't really walk into parenting thinking my dad was some idiot whose every action needed to be corrected in the next generation, nor am I naive enough to think he was infallible. But the bottom line is, yes, I do view my father differently.
I remember my dad sleeping. A lot. I mean seriously, as a child, seeing your dad sleeping on a perfectly good Saturday afternoon completely defies all kid-logic. Why would anyone choose sleeping over say, rollerskating? I harbored some resentment over that for a long time. Sure, he was teaching day and evening classes, but what would that have to do with Saturday afternoon? And why would he even bother turning on the Sunday football game if he was just going to sleep through it anyway? Now that I'm an adult, of course this is all perfectly sane. And as a parent, I now fully understand just how much will power it takes to not backhand a child who wakes you up in the middle of a nap. I've come to the conclusion that having memories of my father sleeping isn't much of a cross to bear.
Dad, who taught math, created a story problem about me at one point (that I know of.) So pull out your number 2 pencil and brush off your Algebra because here's a pop quiz for you:
Lee can paint the shed by himself in 4 hours. Ken can also paint the shed alone in 4 hours. How long will it take Lee and Ken to paint the shed?
A) 20 minutes
B) 2 hours
C) x = 2
D) Infinity + 1
Answer is D, because Lee and Ken will never, ever get that shed done.
Somehow, I lived to tell the tale, but I bring this up because this afternoon Habtamu and I decided to get 'handy' and took on some holes in the walls. I enlisted his help because, well frankly, he's the one who made the holes in the first place so it seemed like a parent-y thing to do... kind of the home version of "you break it, you buy it."
So here's the second question of the quiz:
Habtamu is 10 years old and has to do some wall repair with his daddy. If the wall is 6 feet long and 8 feet high, what's the appropriate way to prepare for said task? Circle the best answer.
A) Whine loudly
B) Beat on your sister so daddy will be in a good mood too
C) The hypotenuse
D) Become one with the plaster and be it's master