The stern looking man in the expensive suit looked at me and with a slightly disapproving look said, “Welcome Mr. White, I see you have applied for the job of ‘Daddy’. Would you be willing to share with us what qualifies you for the job?”
Putting my hands together in a thoughtful way I replied, “Well, I have been a Dad now for over 15 years and I believe I have gained much experience in this arena. I’d like to share with you three particular stories that might emphasize my qualifications for this job.”
It had been a long winter day for my wife. The kids had been pulling on that last nerve of hers most of the day and I knew it was only a matter of time before the destructive force of my wife’s wrath would be felt by all. I told my wife that I would take the kids and get out of the house for a short time and give her a chance to relax and unwind.
Several hours later, the three of us were headed back to the house after properly gorging ourselves on popcorn and soda at the local movie theater. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my wife had just drawn herself a nice warm bath and was immersing herself into it with a sigh of contentment.
I was entering the house when I heard my youngest – about 3 at the time – say, “I’m going to put my tongue on that.” Before I could stop her, she had stuck her tongue onto the cold metal railing and was promptly stuck.
I had a brief moment of panic before I did what any quick thinking father would do – I yanked her back from the railing. With a small “pop” her tongue unfastened and she was good to go. I mentally patted myself on the back for my quick thinking as I continued to enter into the house until my oldest exclaimed, “Daddy! Look!”
I turned and looked at my youngest and saw blood running from her mouth. Horrified, I did what any quick thinking father would do – I picked her up and ran into the bathroom – and yelled to my wife for help.
My wife was gone for the afternoon shopping with a friend. It was a beautiful day outside and the kids were enjoying playing with their friends. I was also enjoying myself working in my flower beds. One of the neighbor kids had decided he wanted to bring over his pet ferret and show it to my youngest. She asked me if it was ok and using that age old wisdom that Dad’s have I told her that it was.
The boy brought over the ferret and put it on the ground. Like a magnet the furry little monster raced over to my little one, who had decided to take her shoes off at that time and bit her on the foot. It was at this point that I used my extensive knowledge of how to operate a cell phone and quickly called my wife to see what I needed to do to prevent my daughter from getting rabies or some other terrible disease I knew she was sure to get.
The kids periodically like to go up to the local school and play in the playground and were only allowed to do so as long as I came along. Since the kids also were of an age where playing with their dad had become boring, this usually entailed me sitting on a bench trying not to fall asleep and slump into the gravel below.
On this day I had decided to bring a book and was deep in the escapades of one of my favorite authors when I heard the phrase “blind tag”. The phrase slipped over my consciousness as I continued on in my reading.
What I didn’t realize is the kids had invented a game called “Blind Tag” where some of them would hide and one would try to find them but that person would do so with their eyes closed. My youngest was “it” at the time and she was walking with her hands outstretched so that she wouldn’t hit anything.
However, she hadn’t anticipated the very likely scenario of her hands being on either side of a pole. My head snapped out of my book as I heard a loud thud as my beautiful little girl walked smack into the pole she had missed.
I rushed my daughter back home to find out from my wife – who by now was mentally telling herself she can never leave our daughters side ever again – if there was any possibility that our youngest had a concussion.
The man looked at me, slightly aghast, “Well sir, I have to admit, those stories give me great pause! Why on earth would you ever think you qualify for the position we’re offering?”
Calmly, I responded back to him, “I believe each of these events have taught me a great deal about being a ‘Daddy’.”
Raising an eyebrow he exclaimed, “What, pray tell would that be?”
“Well, I learned for starters, how NOT to remove a child whose tongue is stuck on a metal railing. In addition, I believe I can safely say that I will never allow my daughter to play with an aggressive ferret again without first putting her shoes back on. I also believe that from now on I will ensure ‘Blind Tag’ is played with some sort of head gear being used first.”
The man stared at me for a moment before standing up and without saying a word walked out of the room.
“Did I get it?” I wondered to myself as I sat there waiting for him to come back.