Children are a blessing. Wait, maybe I should replace “are” with “can be”… Because they can also be property-destroying little minions sent by the devil to destroy all your prize possessions, provide a constant source of headaches and teach you why you aren’t the alpha male… But I digress…
My son Nathan came to us after some difficulty and proved to be a miracle for my wife and I, in an otherwise happy life. By the time he was born in 2014, I was firmly convinced that my Type-1 Diabetes had taken its toll (it had been 32 years at that point) and that I would be quite incapable of having children. Imagine our surprise and joy to be proven wrong!
Born in the early hours of the morning after a gruelling night of labour, we gave birth to our wonderful little man, my squishy, my booger, my child of a dozen nicknames and the spitting image of all I’ve done wrong in my childhood, Nathan!
Nathan and I have enjoyed a rather love/hate relationship for the past five years. He’s started kindergarten and is extremely bright and intelligent in some respects, while acting like an absolute goon in others. He puts on his own personal brand of theatre, every morning and every day. This is a common example of how a day in the life of Nathan goes…
I wake just shortly after 6:00 a.m. Both my sons are still asleep, so I take advantage to enjoy a hot shower without Nathan asking a million questions. After my shower, I dress and get upstairs so that I can start working on Nathan’s lunch for school…
NATHAN (7:04): Walks into the kitchen, still in pyjamas, hair all askew. This is a rare occurrence, as it usually takes a wicked amount effort to get him out of bed.
ME: What are you doing, booger?
N: Stares vacantly into space…
ME: Can you go get dressed?
N: Blinks at me a few times and walks away…
N (7:15): Can I have Banana bread for breakfast? (not yet dressed)
ME: If I give you banana bread, can you get dressed and sit quiet until school time?
N: Nods vigorously…
I cut him a small piece of banana bread and he sits at the table and eats contently. I run my usual routine of taking out the recycling, starting the car and bringing both our backpacks out to the vehicle. Then I come back into the house and find Nathan with an empty plate, watching cartoons on Netflix.
ME (7:35): Go brush your teeth, pal…
ME: Because you’ve eaten and you don’t want to go to school with smelly breath.
N: Oh… (walks into the washroom to brush, but does way more singing than brushing)
ME (7:45): Alright, booger! Let’s get our stuff on…
N: I have to go potty first… (runs to the downstairs bathroom)
I notice he’s taking a while, so I go downstairs to see what he’s doing. Rather than pull the front of his pants down like a normal guy would, he’s got everything dropped down to his ankles and is swaying back and forth while singing to himself. he sees me and starts asking me something, causing his urine stream to hit the toilet seat, toilet cover and splash on the floor…
ME: Pal!!! Keep your eyes on what you’re doing!
N: (looks down) Oh, sorry Daddy!
ME (7:55): Okay, let’s go. We need to get to the bus stop.
We load into the vehicle and drive to the intersection where his bus will pick him up shortly.
N: Daddy, can we go to McDonald’s?
ME: No, pal…
ME: Because you have to go to school.
N: Oh. Daddy?
ME: Yeah, buddy?
N: I need my sunglasses…
ME: We’re already at the bus stop!
N: We have many minutes. You can go fast and we can get my glasses from home.
I sigh audibly, and recognize that a parent has to pick his battles and pull away towards our home. I run inside and grab his sunglasses, affording a quick smile for Nathan’s mother, then rush back to the vehicle and hand Nathan his sunglasses. I rush us back to the bus stop with several minutes to spare and settle back into my seat.
N: Now that I have my sunglasses, can we go to McDonald’s?
ME: No, pal…
ME: Because you STILL haven’t gone to school yet.
N: But we can go McDonald’s AFTER school.
ME: No, pal…
ME: Because we’ll have things to do at home when you’re done school…
N: What things?
ME: Just things…
N: Like going to McDonald’s?
Just when I think I’m about to lose my sanity, I see the school bus round the corner and step out of the vehicle, ushering Nathan along the sidewalk to where it will stop. He clambers up the steps that are still too large for his little kindergarten legs, turns and holds his arms out for a hug. I give him a squeeze, which instantly reminds me why I love my son so much. He’s now in the hands of the world and I have the day to myself.
I run my usual errands for a Monday morning, which include going to work, making multiple stops and getting home. My wife and I were able to sneak a brief nap in, until the doorbell woke us (I got my new Medtronic 670G today, BTW. But that’s a post for another day!)
At about 3:30 in the afternoon, I leave the house to grab the items we’ll need for supper and make my way to the bus stop to meet with Nathan. I pull up to the curb and read for a while until Nathan’s bus arrives. It pulls up to the curb at about 4:15 in the afternoon and Nathan steps off, proudly wearing his sunglasses.
N: Hi, Daddy!
ME: Hey booger! Did you have a good day at school?
N: Yeah, but I hurt my back today at school.
ME: How did that happen?
N: I fell down some stairs and hurt myself. I think to make me feel better, we should go to McDonald’s.
ME: No, pal…
ME: Because we need to go home for supper?
N: Can we have pizza for supper?
ME: No, buddy…
ME: Because it’s not a pizza day. We’re going to make supper at home.
N: But I don’t like supper, I just like pizza. Hey, can we go to McDonald’s?
It’s a wonder that I don’t bang my head against the steering wheel all the way home. I find out that he didn’t eat his lunch for fear of missing out on recess, so I tell him that this will be supper. I make beef burgers for my wife and I and as Nathan wolfs down the remainder of his supper, he decides our burgers look good and wants one as well. This is what happens when you don’t eat all day, I guess. You become ravenous.
In case you didn’t keep score, in the hour and half that I had spent with Nathan to this point, I was asked “WHY?” six times and also asked to go to McDonald’s six times. And that’s keeping it light. He definitely keeps life interesting, and Anticipate that his infant brother will create just as many comical situations. Children definitely keep you on your toes! ☯