Saturday, June 20, 2009

Father's Day

As of this Father’s Day I have been a father for almost five years. We have been blessed with three wonderful boys, ages four and a half, three and one, and we are loving every minute of the ride!

The other night after we bathed them, I was lying on the carpet being operated on by my personal team of amateur physicians. Number One and Two were both naked with bath towels on their heads, draping down their backs like superhero capes. One towel had hippopotamus eyes, nose and ears on it, and the other had puppy dog features. Dr. Hippo and Dr. Puppy were using a plastic power drill and a toy airplane propeller to drill a hole in my hand and insert a pin, so that they could then “put a plate in there.” Two thoughts ran through my head as I lay on the operating carpet that night. The first was that I really need to evaluate my medical plan, because my doctors are really weird. The second was that it just doesn’t get any better than this. That is what fatherhood is all about. Strange Fisher-Price medical procedures by highly unqualified, slightly damp superhero animal doctors.

Here are a few other priceless moments from the past 5 years:

An exchange between Number One and me just before bedtime as we surveyed the day’s toy-tornado that had swept the game room:
“Do I have to clean up all my toys?”
“Yes, but you can do it tomorrow.”
“Wow, this looks like a lot of work. Dad, you should clean this up while we’re sleeping.”

I was about to leave Number One and Two alone in the backyard to go into the house and check on Number Three who was napping:
“Where are you going?”
“Inside to check on your brother. I’ll be right back.”
“But Daddy, how will we be entertained!?!”

An exchange between Number One and Mommy as they discussed the upcoming Christmas holiday:
“What are you going to ask Santa for?”
“Oh, Mommy, you know what we don’t have?”
(That’s my boy!)

While doing a jig-saw puzzle with Number Two, he kept taking apart everything I put together. We were making no headway, and finally I said, “OK, you can do it yourself” to which he replied, “No, I’m too young!!!”

We had recently moved into our new house, and one evening after a TV show, it was time to go to sleep. Number One and Two were getting settled in bed when Number One made the astute observation:
“Daddy, if the guy that built our house had put the TV in our room, we could watch Disney Channel when it’s time to be in bed.”

I have told my boys on a number of occasions that they live in America, and that means that they can do anything that they want to do with their lives. One evening when I was not home, my wife served burritos for dinner. Number One, who does not like his food to be messy, accidently took a bite out of the wrong end of his burrito, leaving him with two open ends. He got a very worried look on his face and said, “Oh no!” My wife immediately thought he was concerned about the potential mess until he looked her straight in the eye and said, “Mom, it’s OK. You know why? Because this is America!”
(That’s my boy!)

Number One was shaking his brother’s ceramic piggy bank, trying to get a feel for how much money Number Two had stashed away. He was getting pretty vigorous with his shaking and ended up hitting himself square in the forehead with it. His response was classic:
“That’s one hard pig!”

Number Two was leafing through a blank notebook, pretending it was a menu of cakes that we could order from his bakery. He stopped, pointing to a page and said:
“Oh, how about chocolate and vanilla with sprinkles on top?”
“Wow, that sounds delicious! I’ll take that one.”
“Well, we don’t have that one, so we’ll have to keep looking.”

So here’s to all you dads out there! My hope for you this Father’s Day is that you too have the good fortune to be surrounded by doctors, garbage men, commandos, philosophers, tough bankers, tricky bakers, deep thinkers, big dreamers and future great Americans. There’s absolutely nothing better!

See you soon,

Copyright © 2009 Marc Schmatjen

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