My wife is a miracle worker. I know this from the fact that every day I come home and the children are neither dead nor in the custody of the state. I like to think I have some organizational skill. Hard-won discipline. Decision-making ability. I get paid for all these things, for crying out loud. By people with little tolerance for failure.
So consider the scene. Trying to be a good husband, I offered to take the boys to the grocery store -- the Wal-Mart, no less -- while the wife did a little shopping and had some nice alone time in a coffee shop with her book.
Because I'm a saint that way, and because I am an idiot.
The boys and me wheeled into the slushy grocery store parking lot and made our way inside without, I would like it noted, any loss of mittens, caps, or other little person anti-cold paraphernalia. Inside, with the older two in tow, I secured a cart and then went through the combination of origami and kung-fu necessary to secure Isaac inside the cart. I took off his coat and gear, which seems way too complicated for such a tough and fat baby, and then turned to remove his brothers' coats.
But the boys were gone. Not in the cart section. Not in the entrance way. Not outside playing in traffic. After a frantic visual scan in the face of hectoring from an exuberant greeter, I saw them about thirty feet ahead, in produce.
Caleb was looking wildly about, beginning to get irritated. I could read his mind from where I stood: How did Dad get lost?
Eli, meanwhile, had attached himself to the front of someone's cart, oblivious to the fact that despite being dark-haired, this man looked nothing like his father. The man stood there with his wife, both unsure how exactly one safely and legally detaches a strange child from the front of one's grocery cart.
And that was just the first five minutes of our Wal-Mart shopping experience.
If I were a better husband I would get my wife something like a one-person vacation to Maui for Christmas. Instead I'm thinking of having her fitted for one of those ankle devices that allows people to track your whereabouts.
I would like to introduce you to the Swiss Miss Corporation. The Swiss have something you should definitely look into for your line of attractive Christmas cards, 80 of which I had the misfortune of recently purchasing. This something, as you will note from a previous post here, is called a-d-h-e-s-i-v-e.
As in, the stuff that's supposed to be catalyzed by my saliva. The saliva from my tongue, which I ran repeatedly along the backs of your envelopes until I sustained a wicked paper cut.
Said paper cut being, in case I have not been clear, on my tongue.
My freaking tongue, Paper Magic Group. Have you ever sliced this most delicate of instruments? Therein lies a pain that even I, a master of words, cannot describe on this family-oriented site. Were I a cursing man, which I am during the holidays and other festive family occasions, I would now use the word I screeched upon sustaining this injury, a word which can be found liberally sprinkled in place of a logical plot throughout any Quentin Tarantino movie.
Not that you would have understood me, because a cleaved tongue does not produce the sounds one intends. My wife thought I was referring to a character in "Robin Hood."
(pause for the stragglers)
In the Swiss Miss Corporation you can find, Paper Magic Group, an admirable example of the cutting edge in sealing technology. I'm quite sure they would be open to selling you some glue so that your future customers do not have to resort, as I did, to tape in order to seal their holiday card envelopes.
And to all of you who will be receiving a card from me, please keep in mind that you can re-use that duct tape, it is a high quality brand. Just stick it to your existing roll.
As for those of you who do not receive a Christmas card from me, please see the post below regarding my new friend Amanda Frazier, who will be receiving a card.
And now I'm off to the ER to get my tongue stapled.
One friendly reader, Ms. Amanda Frazier, sent me a lovely something from my Amazon Wish List. I have never met Amanda but I am quite certain she is a delightful person with a sparkling wit, sizzling personality, and lovely smile. She is a shining example of all that the rest of you could become if you would but apply yourselves.