As I was getting up this morning, Chris, with that sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, not going to leave the bed today, look in her one half opened eye said, "Could you just take the morning off... it would make a big difference to me if I could sleep in for a bit." Now, we've been married 10 years and I know my wife well enough to safely interpret that as, "I will be comatose in 5... 4... " So I told her that shouldn't be a problem because I had to call in for my dental appointment (8 am filling, woot!) anyway. As I'm phoning the office, H who had been rummaging upstairs since 6:58, asks me if he can play wii. "Did you eat breakfast yet?" "No," he replied. "Well, eat breakfast then you can play wii for a little bit." I'll be honest, at that point I was just trying to placate him until I got out of the shower and I'm not above having Nintendo provide a little supervision. Then I hear my wife call, "Do your MATH!" from the bedroom, which sounded a lot like "3... 2..." to me. Realizing who the weak link is here, my son, with his big brown eyes and a mouth full of cereal looks at me and says innocently, "Breakfast then wii, Daddy?" "Um No. Breakfast, math, then maybe wii," I said, reminding him that although I look like an easy mark, he's going to have to wait at least until Mommy goes unconscious to pull off that crap.
"But I need help with math. It's hard. I don't understand," is the response I get with an additional 400 "tsk's" and head shakes which I left out from that quote for sake of clarity. "Well, I need to shower. You need to eat and try your math. I'm sure you can do it," and I headed for the shower trying to figure out how I was going to tutor my son through his math lesson. That's uncharted territory for me as Chris usually handles all the schooling.
Fortunately when I got out, I heard Chris talking him through subtraction with decimals. I don't know how she dragged herself out of bed, but I was really amazed. Although, since the lesson involved subtracting money, we probably would have been alright as I have a lot of experience in that area.
I left for the dentist shortly after knowing that I was going to be the "daytime activity planner" for the next couple hours when I got home. So I was trying to think of all those weekday things I've wanted to do but couldn't, and was drawing a total blank. When I got home the kids had finished their lessons, colored some pictures to send to Ethiopia, and even played some wii, which to me meant that there was no backlog and that I needed to start fresh. I swore in my head but luckily what came out was, "You guys have done a lot this morning, go ahead and play wii a little longer." Then I hopped on animalplanet.com looking for some educational videos that looked interesting but didn't involve a carcass being dragged. No such luck, but at the Discovery Channel site they had a clip of a guy throwing a cat in slow motion to show how they land on their feet. That was noteworthy so I called the children over and we watched that and a bunch of other slow motion photography videos.
Anyway, it was academic enough to remind me that I have never been to the library with my kids. So we packed into the car and drove out. They knew their way around, but I've only stepped foot in there to return stuff for Chris. It's not that I'm against reading, I'm just not into books. (I don't know what that means, I just think it sounds funny so I left it in...) The kids go straight for the computers that are set up for the library software. Yordi hunt-and-pecks in the one word she knows how to consistently type and gets three results on her name. Not exact matches, but three resources that at least started with "Yo." Habtamu asked me "Click here?" as he waved his mouse wildly and then eventually slowed it down over a link with a bunch of very enticing capital letters. "Sure" I said, "If you'd like to learn more about taking the ASVAB exam." "Ok!" he said, "what now?" I restrained from giggling wondering how many other folks have said the exact same thing after taking the test.
Then we looked at videos. Aaand then we looked at videos and then looked at them some more. Yordi was determined to hunt down the longest children's DVD on the rack. At one point she picked up a 98 minute Dora DVD but then set it down to bag bigger game. I quickly put it back on the shelf but she got the last laugh as she ended up with the BBC "Chronicles of Narnia" 3 DVD set. Habtamu on the other hand enjoys looking through all the movies jackets finding movies with cover art that leaves me no choice but to say "No." No, we aren't getting a werewolf movie. No, you can't check out that documentary on slavery with the noose on the cover. No you can't get that StarTrek Original Series video because I know you only picked it up because you think that 'scary' alien on the front will freak out your sister and you're probably right. He ended up with Air Bud and could not have been happier. I picked up a thing on Airplanes, a National Geographic DVD about the African Savannah (I suspect complete with carcasses) and a video of 6 classic fairy tales as performed by the Muppets. Admittedly though, that last one was totally selfish because I haven't been able to tell my children, "Stop crying wolf" and I hope Fozzie Bear will soon rectify that situation.
When we got home, Chris was up making lunch. The kids proudly displayed to her their newly acquired treasures.
"Oh, those look like fun," she said, "What books did you get?"
I left for work. Apparently I shouldn't be quitting my day job anytime soon.