Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I'm Batman

     Yesterday was a quest.  A Knight's errand.  A Day that will forever be etched in my memory.  The challenge before me was deceptively simple: Take Maddie to School, Jesse to Swimming Class in Bluff Park, and then normal errands.  This would not be a simple task, and it would take a "Spartan" like effort to pull it off, and the strategy and sheer cunning of a distinguished General on the field of battle.  The challenge laid before me, but was I up for what was in store?  Only time would tell, but like always, "A few knocks to this good ole boy exterior ain't gonna keep me down!"  I've seen worse, and been through more difficult challenges, but this one was a challenge to keep sanity and avoid madness.  To quote Rocky Balboa, "It's not about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, That's how winning is done."  Here we go.
     The day began with the normal waking up and coffee consumption, but on this day my darling daughter would wake early and then we were off and running.  My wife had to leave early for meetings, and I was flying solo.  The act of going at the child care alone is not new to me, but on this day backup would be sorely missed.  Miss Maddie has been going through a phase where she only wants her mother to dress her, put her to bed, take her to school, etc.  I knew I would be in for it, but this time my daughter decided to go a different route in achieving the desired outcome. I told Maddie, "We should probably get you dressed for school."  She responded, "Today is Pajama Day at school, so I don't have to get dressed."  This was a curve ball, because I had not heard anything about any Pajama Day at school and normally I am informed of such events.  I said, "Are you sure?"  Maddie looks at me with a crooked grin and says, "Yes."  This was a grifter move if I have ever seen one, and at this point I realized that my daughter was coming into her own as a con-woman.  I'm no stranger to being conned by pretty girls, and its happened pretty much all my life.  I don't believe anything a male says, and I don't trust most men at all..for good reason, but pretty girly eyes and a cute smile have always been my downfall or kryptonite.  So it stands to reason that my beautiful little girl would be able to pull the wool over my eyes, and she dang near did..I am not an idiot however, and I knew that the other woman in my life would not have left me without this vital information about a "Pajama Day."  The plot of Miss Madino the grifter was foiled, but this was only the beginning.
     I woke the boy (Jesse) and told him to get ready to go.  He's easier to deal with, because we have an understanding.  He understands that it is in his best interest to do what I say, especially when Maddie is around.  Maddie is like the Hot Pepper or Spicy Mustard in the dish you order, and you're not sure how it's gonna sit with you.  She is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.  Jesse had his difficult moment on this fine day also.  A strange argument about clothes in his backpack.  He did not want to have these clothes in the backpack, and no amount of telling him that it's always good to have dry clothes with you at a pool would change his mind.  We went through quite a debate, in the car in the driveway, by the way, about this issue.  Finally, I used my "Cop voice", the one I once used while a police officer, that simply expresses the fact, "I'm not putting up with this anymore, and if you know what's good for you.....You will comply."  Very successful strategy then and now. Once we finally arrived at Maddie's school to drop her off everything seemed to be going in the right direction, that is until I heard these words, "Daddy, I want to go home."  I knew what was coming next.  This was going to be a harrowing escape.  The fit came on light with a small cry, and I told Maddie, "It's OK we'll be back soon to get you, and Jesse will be with me."  I always use the Jesse card, because she and her classmates love Jesse, and really who wouldn't?  I digress...this did not help the situation.  I tried to hold her back and shut the door (it's one of those two piece door deals where you can shut the top and bottom), and I was looking for help from some teachers.  I kept saying, "We've got swimming class, so we have to go."  There was no help to be found, and things went from bad to worse.  Finally, as I have done with both my children when it came to bad school drop off's, I removed myself from the situation quickly.  I saw one of Maddie's teacher's coming around the corner, and I whispered to Jesse, "At my signal, Run like you hit a dribbler down third base line."  The escape was on, and I felt like we were Luke Skywalker and Han Solo trying to escape the Death Star before it exploded.  I remember saying, "Run Jesse!"  We did manage to escape the school, escaping embarrassment would not be as successful.  This kind of thing is expected in my life's journey, however.
    The final element of this morning will be the attempt to get to Jesse's swimming class.  I did not know exactly where this place was, and finding it became a challenge.  I don't have a GPS, but I do have a J-E-S-S-E.  This method is not always successful.  I had Jesse looking at my phone, and attempting to give me directions.  Sure, we went down a few wrong roads, and had to turn around in a guy who looked like "Grizzly Adams" driveway.  I'm not the most patient driver on a good day, and by this time I was about as nervous as a long tailed Cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  I knew that this must be accomplished, I knew that I must find the swimming destination or I would have to deal with Mama.  I make it a point to never have to deal with Mama, especially if I didn't do something I was supposed to.  I looked at Jesse and said, "Failure is not an Option!"  We adapted, adjusted, improvised, and overcame our situation.  We arrived just in time, after we went in the wrong entrance and were directed to the right one by a very nice man who I think was an angel sent from heaven.  It could have been an archangel like Michael or Gabriel.  We walked onto the pool grounds about three minutes before the class was to begin, and the lady that runs the place came over to me and asked, "And you are?"  I looked her right in the eye and said, "I'm Batman."
    That's about the extent of it.  I'm leaving a few zingers out, but for the most part that's what happened on this particular morning.  I don't have enough space to continue into the afternoon events, but maybe on another day.  The Batman is always ready with a good story, and Gotham is safe...For now.  For some reason I hear Prince singing "Bat Dance" in my head now.