A week ago, I was driving my three-year-old son to school. We were running late and stuck in slow traffic and I said something like “C’mon dummies, hurry up,” to the other cars when my son suddenly said, “Daddy, you can’t call them d-bags. That’s not a nice word.” He caught me off guard, I wasn’t really aware I had used that expression–short for “douchebag”–around him, but it stood to reason I guess. I do get pissed when I’m driving around and do like to insult the other drivers on the road, regardless of whether the toddler’s in the car, so…
“Okay, I won’t use that word,” I told him, and then he instructed me again not to use it, that it was a mean word. I promised to refrain, not really sure why he’d become hung up on that word, but didn’t really think too much of it until his mother returned from a workday at his school this Saturday and brought up one of B’s teachers. Apparently, she’d told Mama that B had spilled the beans on me at his school one morning, and told his teacher that I like to call people “d-bags” when I’m driving. Apparently, there were other naughty things, but the teacher had not disclosed them. Mama just scowled as she relayed this last bit.
My mind began to race. What else might I have said over the past year that B’s catalogued and repeated? There are so many things actually, I’m afraid to say, but there’s nothing really I can do about that now, except change my behavior in the future. Shit, I mean shoot!
In seven days, the old lady (as I like to call her) will walk out the door sometime in the early a.m. and leave me home alone with my two boys for much of the day. Because their mother is a public school teacher, this pattern will continue unabated, more or less, until early June. I remember the last time this happened, three years ago. I was not ready for my infant son, I was unprepared really, to take care of him. He was only five months old and it was demanding, staying home with him all day. I wasn’t ready for the boredom, the frustration, or the loneliness. Of course, it got better, and of course there were rewarding times, many of them, but I’d be lying if I said it was easy.
This time I’m a little more prepared but I can’t say I’m ready because this time it will be two boys, one a chaos inducing three-year-old, the other a four-month-old that needs constant care. I’ll make it, or I should say, we’ll make it, maybe we’ll even thrive, but with only a week before its advent the prospect seems daunting. I think their mother’s a little frightened as well, at what she’ll find when she returns in the afternoon. I’m scared, she’s scared, the only ones who aren’t are the two unwitting boys. We’ll find out I guess, and I’ll definitely let you know how it goes.