Early spring nineteen eighty a beautiful woman gave birth to a relatively fat baby boy. Upon realizing the sex of the child as male, and associating that realization with the fact that the said child would never himself have to endure the pain of child birth, she did what all women in similar situations do. She cursed the child. She closed her eyes and prayed that some how, some way this infant male would be troubled by his own children in the future. Of course one silent wish alone isn’t a guarantee that a curse will stick. Mothers, in their infinite wisdom know this, so over the child’s next eighteen years the hex is reapplied with every minor indiscretion the boy commits.
As you know I have given you four grandchildren. What you don’t know is that I have succeeded where most men have failed. Apart from each child’s first few weeks home I have essentially avoided the dirtier parts of fatherdom. I am certain of this fact because my wife is very good at pointing it out to me.
After so much time spent avoiding the effects of such a powerful curse, it only stands to reason that even I, ‘The Man’ would falter.
My poor wife was laid up with a particularly bad abscessed tooth. I was out of town of course so she had to deal with the pain and the children. Everybody in her family chipped in. The guilt built in my heart all week long. That weekend when I came home from work, I decided to do it all.
“Mr. Mom” for a day. In those twenty four hours I out performed Martha Stewart. I assuaged my guilt and If I am not mistaken, thoroughly impressed my wife. However there was a point in the middle of the day when all the wishes of frustrated mothers around the world rebounded off their intended targets. They flooded through my front door and seeped into my kitchen. All those curses joined forces with my own burdened curse to create a demon of such ferocity no father would stand a chance.
It was time to feed the kids lunch. I gently shook my wife from slumber and informed her that the house was devoid of food. She immediately suggested spaghettios. Now like all dads I have sort of a ‘spidey sense’ if you will, and it was blaring. I objected aloud on the grounds that spaghettios are messy in the hands of more table mannered children than my own. My wife assured me though that the children love the messy ‘o’s and she had never had an incident with them. So I backed down and began to heat the kids some lunch. I sat them down at the dining room table with their spaghettios and meatballs and then I plopped into my recliner for my first moments rest all day.
I must have dozed off because the next thing I remember is my daughter waking me up. She was doing the one thing that a five year old girl can. Telling on her brother. My youngest son had apparently taken his lunch into the one room in the house with white carpeting. After the yelling stopped I went to get the carpet machine. On my way to do that I noticed my other son had somehow submerged himself into his spaghettios. All the way to the armpits! I told him to go wash up. I changed my youngest sons clothes and began cleaning the carpet. My daughter was already laughing at me. I walked past the bathroom and saw my son was still in there. So with a mostly dressed two year old under my left arm and a carpet extractor in my right hand I gritted my teeth and nudged open the bathroom door.
After the music from psycho subsided in my head, I came to grips with the picture before me. Colton was standing (naked of course) on the toilet. The water was running in the bathroom sink but he couldn’t reach it. This had him quite upset. Probably because he had emptied an entire sixteen ounce bottle of liquid dial onto his upper body and worked up a pretty good lather! I put aside my half dressed still partially orange two year old and grabbed my three year old. Of course like a trophy fish he slid out of my grasp and crashed to the floor. I turned to grab a towel to clean him up with. That’s when I saw the recently released two year old had gone slaloming through the spaghettio soaked carpet I hadn’t got to yet. Lucky for me I still hadn’t let go of the carpet cleaner. For a split second I thought about rubbing my soapy son around on the ground before running the machine. That’s when I knew I had lost it.
To the sounds of my ladies laughter I finally paraded two clean boys into the living room. The carpet is permanently stained and Colton’s arms are softer than anything in the world. My pride was wounded but I did it! I survived! I of course left town to go back to work the next day. While I love taking care of the kids, I just can’t do spaghettios with meatballs. I want to give ‘The Man’ award this time to all the mothers out there who do this every day. So now I need you lovely ladies to remove the hex. Thanks. Oh and Dad, do me a favor, look over your shoulder real quick. I am curious how big Mom’s smile is right now. Tell her, I love her and I forgive her for casting the curse. I of course fully expect her to remove it!
Your ‘damned’ son.