the goal.

(this post was originally published on September 14, 2010, but thought I'd share it again just because.)

what I lack in parenting skills, Gary makes up for hundred-fold.  this story is definitely a prime example of that.  instead of simply ignoring the crisis, he stepped up to the plate, grabbed his fatherhood role by the horns and saved the day.

and he was so amused by the chaos, he decided to write about it.  (and he told me I could share it on my blog.)

so for what it's worth, here's Gary's take on his day. (edited by yours truly.)

Get to work by 7:30 AM. 

Sounds reasonable, not too lofty.  And I allowed myself ample time to accomplish this.  But. 

It's 5:45 AM. 

My alarm beeps.  I stumble out of bed and into the bathroom.  I had just stepped out of the shower, about to towel off, when the bathroom door flies open.  I whip my head up to see who my surprise visitor is, halfway expecting it to be the two year-old.  But no.  There, standing in the doorway is my 13 year-old daughter.  Oh crud. (Now I can only imagine that seeing your dad in his birthday suit has got to be quite an unsettling experience for a young teenage girl.) Sure enough.  The mortified look on her face says it all.  "Can I help you?" I ask, trying to make light of the awkward situation, but mostly worsening it.  As she backpeddles out the door, she manages to stammer, “I...I missed the bus!"  "Well," I tell her, "I'd be happy to discuss the matter with you as soon as I put on something a little less revealing."  She slams the door and scampers off, shrieking in embarrassment.  (Or was it fright?) That'll teach her.  Anyway, turns out she was “fixing” her hair and lost track of time.  Welcome to the "vanity years", I think to myself.    
I readjust the goal to 8:00 AM.  

I run her to school and return home. (It was a quiet ride.)  As I walk in the door, I notice the wife on the computer, catching up on the latest facebook news.  This is definitely not an unusual sight, but a little early for her to be up and at 'em, I think. 

I stroll into the kitchen to make myself some breakfast.  Oh man, someone had dumped an entire bowl of Kix cereal over and milk was splattered everywhere!  It covered half the table, four out of the eight chairs and good chunk of the floor.  There's a kid eating at the only dry spot left on the table.  Phoebe did it, the kid informs me.  Of course, it's always someone else's fault.  Well, whoever it was, it looks like they had served up enough Kix and milk to feed three kids.  I ask the computer wife, “What’s going on around here?”  She mumbles something about ignoring it in hopes it will just "go away."  I think to myself, yeah right, I’m the "go away" part, and I start in on the mess.

I readjust the goal to 8:30 AM.   

I get everything straightened out, make some coffee, grab my lunch and head off to work with just enough time to achieve my modified goal of 8:30 AM.  I get roughly 3/10 of a mile down the road when the wife phones and tells me one of the kids forgot their lunch.  "So?  Get off the computer and bring it to school," I tell her.   She says "no can do" because she is babysitting for a friend who is supposed to be dropping her kids off any minute.  Sigh.  I do a U ball and head back home once again.

I readjust the goal to 9:00 AM. 

Hmmm...six kids in two schools, whose lunch is it?  I glance inside the anonymous brown bag.  It contains a PB&J sandwich, cookies and a juice box.  The odds are now six kids in two schools.  Wait. That didn't narrow it down much, did it.  

I bring the lunch to the closest school.  No dice.  But Myra informs me, “Chloe cuts her sandwich that way.”  Sweet, I got a clue!  I burn rubber over to the middle school.  

I park the car and scurry across the parking lot towards the school entrance. On the way, I see an Hispanic female maintenance worker trying her best to start a leaf blower.  She's failing miserably.  She spots me and motions for me to come over.  I hunch my shoulders, pick up my pace and pretend I don't see her.  She begins frantically waving her arms, yelling something I can't make out.  Groan.  I don't have time for this.  I sigh a HUGE sigh and reluctantly walk over.

"So what's the problem?" I ask.  “Start," she says, pointing at the leaf blower.  I ask her “How does it work”?  She just shrugs and looks at me, confused.  At that moment, it dawns on me she doesn’t speak the nation’s official language.  Great, now I have to figure this out myself.  Let’s see, a little choke, half throttle, couple pumps on the gas bulb, pull the rope and bingo!  It starts!  Big smile from the lady south of the border!  But that cost me another 5 minutes.    

I run into the school, deliver the lunch, sprint back to the car and punch it.  I arrive at work and collapse at my desk.  It's 9:15 AM.  Only one hour and 45 minutes behind schedule.

guess I'll try again tomorrow.

PS. keep in mind he likes to exaggerate about my social networking habits. (BIG emphasis on the word exaggerate.)