Trying to get out of the house in the morning

07/26/2011 By Shawn Burns

In twenty, no eighteen, no sixteen, no, negative seven minutes it will be noon. Noon! Noon already and I’ve only barely put deodorant under my arms and brushed my hair (after splashing water in it to help tame the bed-head, a full, relaxing, solo shower being completely out of the question; they would find me.)

I don’t think I smell great, and I’m not going to bother shaving (what, is there a fancy dress-up party today?), but I would like to leave the house today. Unfortunately, some days the decision is not my own.

Enter Stage Left, Erin, returning from a mission to pick up the toys in her room before we leave

“Daddy, Adrian put stamps all over my block toys!”

Sure enough, small, inky, green butterfly stamps dot a wooden fish puzzle. What draws my eye, though, are the stamps all over Erin’s arms.

“Why are there stamps all over your arms?” I inquire, ignoring the tragedy of having stamps on a toy for the moment.

“I wanted stamps.”

“Go pick up your toys.”

Exit, Stage Left, Erin, fish puzzle tucked under one arm, singing “Miss Mary Mack” to herself. Enter, Stage Left (there is only one entrance so they are always entering and exiting from the same direction) Adrian, a fresh green butterfly stamp at the corner of his mouth.

“Dude, were you eating it?”

Adrian laughs, and runs off, Stage Left.

Enter, Stage Left, Erin, holding a small plastic Sleeping Beauty figurine.

“Daddy! Daddy! Look what I found! Look what I found! It was behind my bed!”

“That’s great, honey. Go finish cleaning your room.”

Exit, Stage Left, Erin, muttering “I’m never giving up…”

Enter, Stage Left, Erin, running, still with the Sleeping Beauty figurine in her hand.

“Daddy! I have a great idea! Let’s go to Tillie’s house!”

“That’s a great idea honey, but I don’t think Tillie is home. Please go finish cleaning your room.”

Exit, Stage Left, Erin, saying “Tillie Tillie Tillie Tillie Tillie” as she leaves.

Enter, Stage Left, Adrian, his arm covered in inky, green butterfly stamps.

“Dude! Seriously!”

Exit, Stage Left, Adrian, laughing maniacally as though I were chasing him.

Enter, Stage Left, Erin, holding no toys and singing no songs.

“Okay Daddy, my room is clean now!”

“That’s great honey, let me go see it.”

“Wait! Wait! I forgot, it’s not clean yet.”

“Okay, let me know when it’s clean.”

Exit, Stage Left, Erin.

Enter, Stage Left, Adrian, crawling on all fours.

“Meow?” he asks when he gets close.

“Oh, hello kitty.”

“Meow,” he agrees.

Exit, Stage Left, Adrian, still on all fours, but saying “Eh-win, Eh-win!” as he heads toward her room.

Enter, Stage Left, Erin, smiling like a crazy person.

“Okay Daddy, it’s all clean!”

“Okay, kid. Let’s go look.”

Exit, Stage Left, Erin and Daddy.

Enter, Stage Left, Erin, Daddy, and Adrian.

“Alright, who wants to go to the….oy, is that the time? Okay, who wants lunch?”

The stamps, I realize, are bats. Not butterflies. And Adrian’s diaper smells like you image a diaper must smell whenever ┬áman is shown holding a diapered child out in front of him at arm’s length.

Exit, Stage Left, Daddy and Adrian, Daddy holding Adrian out in front of him at arm’s length, not because he’s so unfamiliar with changing diapers that he is going to wretch, what a wimp, what an insult to stay-at-home dads everywhere, but because Oh My God.

Enter, Stage Left, Daddy and Adrian.

“I think we should skip lunch for now. Who wants to go to the park?”