With wife gone out of town on a business trip, I was left alone with a kid for 5 days..!
This morning, I had Dr appointment @8:30, son had school @7:50..
So I wake up @6, get ready, try to wake him up.. finally after a few tries, success! He goes in the bathroom, just stands in front of the mirror even though I have kept his brush ready with toothpaste, a little shout wakes him up, hands start brushing, then I push him in the shower, half asleep he simply stands under the shower, I intervene, put soap on him, he lets the water wash it away!, I jump in again after some time with a towel, I have kept his clothes ready on the bed (hey, I hate to choose my clothes! And now I have to choose for him too!), seeing the speed of his movements, I put his clothes on him. Thanks to the weather there are 3 layers of clothing, uh oh the jeans are too tight.. “Okk, take them off, put on the other one”, “Go down to the kitchen, without any stops in your room (!)”, he happily ignores the warning and starts playing with his Lego in his room, I give my fatherly roar and things start moving in the right direction (!)..
We come downstairs to the kitchen, now I am panicking, just 13 mins to go.. And I have to make his breakfast, pack snack for school, make his lunch sandwich for school, give him some used socks for his daycare project, pack my stuff,… Breakfast for me? – “no, I can’t afford to have my breakfast (!), no I can’t afford to have tea”- , then put on jackets, put on shoes (darn this winter!), turn on security, lock the door, get in the car and drive to his school…!
I frantically opened the note I had saved in my iPhone where my wife had put down a menu plan for each day, “ok, fruit yoghurt, juice, spoon,.. oops, what about his breakfast? Oh, am I awesome or what?.. ” I had boiled some eggs last night and kept in the fridge.. Doh, still have to peel them, ok, cut, salt, pepper.. “No, don’t try to help me..! Help me by NOT helping me!!”…, “first get here RIGHT NOW and eat your breakfast (!), oh toast, yes,
sure..”.. 4 mins left..
“Have to make his lunch sandwich, ok get the burger patty, heat the pan, turn the burner ON, ok press and turn, press and turn… why isn’t it turning ON?? There! It’s ON finally!!”, .. 2 slices of bread – toasted, butter, cheese, mayo, 2 slices of tomatoes? Why?! “Man! Why doesn’t tomato grow in sliced form?! Now I have to cut it…, is this knife? I can’t even cut into milk with this knife!! Why is Tomato so hard to cut?!!”,… “no, no, daddy that slice is too thick”.. “So what? It IS STILL A SLICE!! You need to eat more tomato (!)”…, now my son starts taking things in his own hands.. Starts packing his juice in the backpack.. thud.. the juice packet falls on the floor… “what in the world..?”…
With all the kid’s juice marketing, you would think that those juice packets are at least fall-proof upto 4 feet?……. “GET the tissue, can’t you even put the juice in your backpack without dropping it out of your hands??”, … “CLEAN UP!”… it is 2 minutes over.. I get the burger patty from the pan, it is hot, but my sensations are almost disappearing so I don’t mind.. like a cranked up machine, I make that sandwich, put it in a ziplock and throw it in the backpack.. “but daddy, mommy puts the spoon and the yoghurt in a ziplock too”.. “IT DOESN’T MATTER, why does it have to go in a ziplock?…”, ….”uh uh.. ok ok.. where is that ziplock.. there, HAPPY??”
“Now come on, will you AT LEAST start putting on your jacket?”, “Go down and start putting on your shoes.. I am ALONE here, you have to help me!”… then a little dose of importance for the kid.. “we have to work as a team.. since Mommy isn’t here…” I knew this was falling on deaf ears.. I knew it was quite a pathetic attempt to infuse some sense of responsibility in him… but I had to do it.. to make the atmosphere a little more amicable…a little more constructive!!
Kid rushes down, goes into the garage, starts wearing shoes while I pack my things.. I don’t know what I was wearing, I did not eat anything, but like an automaton, I am going through the motions.. I rush down to the garage, and see the kid struggling with an inside out sock.. “what? all this time and you managed to just STRUGGLE with one sock???!”.. let me do it.. I get the socks, push his feet through, and finally pack the socked feet in the shoes.. he runs to the car and gets inside, I just wear my flip-flops and carry my shoes in my hands.. “daddy, I forgot my backpack.. and my Ninjago.. “, I go back in, get the backpack and thunder back, “you don’t need to carry your Ninjago, stop it now”..
I jump in the car and we disappear in that foggy morning…. “Daddy, when is Mommy going to come back…?”……… Without a word, I drop that package at school and start my onward journey.. In the silence of that morning, the car wheels running, and the fog slowly lifting up, I began wearing my socks and shoes whenever a traffic light went red.. I looked around to see if I can find small bits of food lying around in the car.. so that I can stuff it in my mouth.. maybe something my son might have dropped earlier… something on the floor.. something…….? anything..?