Thursday, July 28, 2011

#43: Morning Coffee

Like any well oiled machine or highly tuned athlete, Dad requires a steady stream of nutrition in order to perform at a high level. For the athletes this usually means five small meals a day containing leafy greens, lean meat and fish, and a controlled portion of pasta. For Dad that means a cheeseburger for lunch (cheating on his “diet” when mom is not around), a bowl of cereal for dinner, and that almighty beverage sent from the heavens for all Dads to rejoice over. Of course that means morning coffee…lots of it.

Whether your Dad calls it coffee, joe, java, or any of the other names he has for that steaming cup of wake up juice, every Dad understands the importance of a steady stream of coffee running through their veins. It is the only way Dad can truly function throughout the day, and in the mornings it is the only way he can truly be alive. “I HAVE TO HAVE MY COFFEE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING!” He shouts when someone asks him a question as he rises from bed. Once he has that first sip, Dad is feeling good and ready to take on the world. Is Dad addicted to coffee? He might be, but it is better than heroin.

As Dad gets ready to head off to work, he reaches into the dishwasher and pulls out his special “To Go Mug”. You know that it is not really a mug; rather it is a keg with a handle and a smaller diameter bottom to fit into the cup holder of Dad’s car. The thing is seriously a gallon and a half cauldron capable of keeping coffee hot until The Judgment Day. He says he has it because the coffee at work is awful, “That instant coffee stuff, GROSS!” He says he needs it to help him stay focused on his work too. You don’t know what Dad does, something with numbers and spreadsheets. All you know is that when the teacher asks you what Dad does for a job, you reply with the same answer as everyone else. My Dad is a businessman.

You wonder how Dad can drink that stuff. You once took a sip of it and gagged. Dad pats you on the back, assuring you that you will be drinking coffee when you are older and that it actually tastes good. Whether Dad drinks his coffee black or with enough cream that it is almost certainly a 50-50 mix with coffee, Dad has to maintain this morning ritual or else the whole day is thrown off. And that is unacceptable.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

#42: Doing your Science Projects

"Dad, what's a hi-po-the-sis?" You try to ask confidently as you struggle to sound of the word. "'s an educated guess as to what will occur in your science project. You must observe the experiment and ..." Dad lost you at hypo. It's science fair season at school, which means you of course waited until the last week to do yours. You need to whip something up quick that can be posted to the 3-Fold Cardboard and contains the scientific method. Luckily Dad has plenty of back up science projects up his sleeve.

From replica volcanoes to soil types for plants, Dad has seen and done it all. Let's face it, no one ever did their own science project, Dad was there crafting the whole thing himself. Your procedure slide might as well have said: "Step 1, Ask Dad. Step 2, Do What Dad Said."

While you color in your bar graphs, Dad works tirelessly to make sure your diorama, 3D replica, and/or presentation is fully set. Although it may say your name, that blue science fair ribbon belongs in Dads trophy case. Dad may not technically be a scientist, but Dad knows what it takes to win a science fair.

You paste your last graph to the cardboard and hold up the entire board. "Look Dad, we're all done!" Your smile is contagious and you feel a giant sigh of relief as its 10:30pm, way passed your bedtime. "It's not done yet," Dad states in anguish. You stand in disbelief. How is it not done? "You can go to bed though" Dad orders. As you leave the study, Dad scans the exhibit for a way to guarantee a blue ribbon. This isn't just your first science fair, this is Dads 8th science fair.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

#41 Falling Asleep while Watching Golf

Thursday through Sunday tend to be the best days of the week. Thursday is last day of homework and the rest is the weekend because who honestly pays attention in class on Friday (that is, if you go)? The weekend is yours to sleep in, eat whatever is leftover in the pantry and watch trashy tv. That is, until you realize there is the big golf tournament on TV.

Dad has taken over the television room. He sets up a beer, plate of snacks (He took over the pantry too???) and settles into His Chair. Golf is the sport of Dads. Dad loves watching Sunday Football and the baseball games that are on all summer, but it is Golf that eases Dad through a weekend. Dad enjoys yelling "GET IN THE HOLE" at the TV set because that obviously increases the chance. It is a mental game, so Dad can relate to John Daly and the other golfers who are his size. But that doesn't mean Dad also doesn't think it's boring.

Dad lulls to sleep while watching golf. Guaranteed. But that doesn't mean Dad's not watching it. It's only the 12th hole, maybe I can watch my show real quick you ponder as you reach for the remote. "Don't even think about it" Dad mutters out without even opening his eyes. Darnit.

This is Dads relaxation weekend. The other weekends may be spent playing Golf, but that stresses and frustrates him too much. So this weekend, Dad will spend it leaving the golf to the pros. But don't change the channel, he's taking notes on the back of his eyelids.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

#40 Pushing Kids on the Swings

"HIGHER! HIGHER!" You scream to Dad as he stands behind you at the swingset. "I want to go over the crossbar!" You've heard the legends of the kids that swing over the crossbar. Their lives change. But you can only get their with the help of Dads push. Your leg pumping action can only take you so far...and Dad is willing to oblige.

Dad loves taking his kids to the park. It gets him some sunshine and a chance to wear his new set of croakie sunglasses. He'll watch you on the jungle gym, monitor you in the sandbox to make sure you're not eating any, and lastly he'll scurry over to the swingset to lift you to the moon.

Dad loves pushing kids on the swings. Much like throwing kids in the pool, other kids will line up for a push on the swings if they see a Dad in that "triple-threat" basketball stance waiting for you to swing backwards for another push.

Even though you know how to pump your legs to get yourself started, you still pretend the swing is broken and will only work with a push from Dad. Dad appreciates this as it allows him to work out his arms as well as his new "liftoff" noises when he does a running push that takes him to the front of the swingset. The multi-tasking pushers are a sight to see. The Dads who push ferociously with one arm, alternating between the double swings deserve awards. They keep a consistent pace that takes the swinger into a state of gravity free euphoria.

You get off the swing and feel your legs a little jell-o-like because of how long you've been weightless. Dad gives you a high five as if to say "that was all you" when really you know you're new heights were reached with the help of Dads forearms. "Maybe next time I can get over the crossbar?" You inquire. "Maybe next time," Dad answers with a wink as to say 'I was holding back on my pushes.' You really can go higher!