Today is Saturday, October 29th, 2011. Richard Dreyfuss is 64.
Malachi came into our room at 8:21AM and said “get up”. There was no tacit to his tone. He understands that Saturday mornings are all about me being there with the kids while mommy keeps her eyes squinted shut amidst the shouting, crying, controlled explosions — and, worse, uncontrolled explosions — happening just down the hall.
“Get up.” Yes, he sounds kind of bossy, but I don’t blame him. He knows that I don’t get up easily. I ask for nine more minutes. Nine more, and then I’ll get up.
“Okay. I’ll go out to the living room and count to nine.”
Ah. Minutes are longer than milliseconds. “123456789! Get up, Daddy!”
At 8:21, I tell Mac to go and watch the oven clock. After it changes nine times, come and get me.
At 8:30, “Get up.”
In that moment my brain reminds me of the smell of coffee, and then immediately juxtaposes my smell memory with the smell reality of no coffee, followed by mentally examining the cupboard manifest file that indicates that there are 0 coffee grounds. I tell Malachi to get his shoes on quickly and quietly so that we can run down to Hutch’s and get some coffee before everyone else wakes up. “And some pop-tarts?” YesGet your shoes on. YesGet is a magical word in parenting that is employed whenever the child expresses their desire after yours, as if they’ve produced a carrot for you to tie to the end of a stick. He puts his shoes on in record time.
We get into the Jeep and head East. For kicks, I pass the first parking lot entrance and proceed to the second. “Why did you do that, Daddy?” I tell him that it’s Saturday. Anything goes! He doesn’t get the tomfoolery and instead makes note that we are to use only the East entrance on Saturdays.
We enter Hutch’s and are pulled by a gravitational force found in the mind of a 6 year old. His internal sensors are giving clear indication as to the location of the pop tarts. “I hope they have the kind I like!” I ask him what kind he likes. He says that he does not know.
We get to the pop tart section and he chooses a blue box of MountainBerryBlast(tm) made with real* froot! I don’t take the time to read the small print because my Daddy sensors are indicating the location of coffee two aisles over.
I point out to Malachi the array of coffee flavors (breakfast blend, french roast, MountainBerryBlast, etc.) and ask him which I should get. He chooses the one that’s blue, since blue is his favorite color. Sound reasoning. Let’s go.
Theresa the cashier tries to make small talk with Malachi but he won’t give in and engage. She does not have a toaster and he is not interested in things that aren’t toasters. A swipe and a bag, and we head out to the parking lot. “STOP, Daddy!”
“I need a dollar.”
I don’t have a dollar for him. He wants to use the claw to get a bouncy ball. He remarks that he will bring his dollar on the next outing to Hutch’s, so that he can get a blue one.
I explain to Malachi how the claw game works, that there’s actually a very slim chance you’ll get whatever it tries to pick up. Looking back, I realize that I painted a rather dim picture, even for the claw game. He chimed in with his genuine hope.
“Yeah. I want a blue one.”
We buckle into the Jeep. I go out the West driveway to M-60, followed by a gentle reprimand for using the wrong one on a Saturday.