Fatherhood is always a challenge, but some days you wonder who is really cut out for gig. Navy SEALS? MacGyver?
The awful day started out on the wrong foot, with my two-year-old son Benjamin waking up at roughly 5:45 am. By the time I got my older son, Elijah, ready for pre-pre-school Benjamin had melted down four times. Big meltdowns, mind you, with all the theatrics parents fear minus the pea soup regurgitation.
Next, I allowed Benjamin to “drive” the family car when we returned home, pushing every button he could find. That seemed to make him happy, but our bliss was short-lived. I subsequently forgot to put a diaper on Ben – he’s potty training at the moment – and he did a no. 1 right through his pants.
Then, I started to make scrambled eggs for Ben but got distracted and left the skillet on the hot stove on for an extraordinary amount of time.
Later, when I strapped Ben in the car to pick up Eli from school I remembered that I had forgotten to shut off the hazard lights. The car battery, much like Generalissimo Francisco Franco – was dead. So my wife had to taxi to the school to pick Eli up. She couldn’t get there on time, which meant she met a tearful Eli at the school office.
The rest of the day felt like a blur. How many more fatherly screw-ups did I have in me? Were the folks at the Guinness Book of World Records keeping a tally?
I sent a “woe is me” email to the Missus, and she shot back a list of the things I had managed to get right:
4. Called as soon as the battery situation happened, and came up with a solution so Eli’s wait would be as short as possible.
That made me feel a little better. I still couldn’t wait for the day to end, but part of me badly wanted a second chance. My kids deserve nothing less.