So, I’m pretty sure it’s no secret that I was in Nebraska last month for WillyCon XI, so I won’t bore you with those particular details…
I will, however, bore you with some other stuff. Hey, it’s my job, correct?
You see, WillyCon was one of those 3-5 day jaunts. I left on a Thursday morning, and returned Monday afternoon. Normally, I would have returned sometime Sunday, but as I noted in the previous WillyCon specific blogs, you couldn’t get there from here. My choices were pretty much St. Louis to Minneapolis to Sioux City or St. Louis to Dallas-Fort Worth to Chicago to Sioux City. Thursday – Monday. Take it or leave it. So, obviously I took it. But, I digress.
The thing here is that these days my daughter really is all about the 3-5 day jaunts I take to do book signings. You see, they seem to be just about the right amount of time. Anything past 5 days and she starts missing me too much. The 3 dayers are pretty much her favorite, 4 is pretty good, 5 is pushing it, but not quite over the line just yet.
I think what she really likes most about me being gone for these events is that when I am only disappearing for a few days I don’t do the whole cooking and freezing dinner thing. I make sure there are nukeable foods in the fridge and freezer, plus plenty of canned goodies, but they are almost always right where I left them when I return. Why? because since E K doesn’t cook, and I haven’t done the prep for her, they tend to eat fast to semi-fast food the entire time. Quizno’s, Pizza, etc…
So, what’s not to like about this for a kid? The parental unit isn’t gone too long, and they get fast food. It’s kind of like a Pinnochio Nirvana sans strings and donkey ears.
But, let’s get back around to the whole gist of this blog entry. The kid actually does start to miss me, especially around day 4 or 5. This happened, like clockwork, on my trip to Nebraska.
Long about the evening of day 4 my cell phone rang. When I answered it, instead of being E K or my publicist as I would have suspected, it turned out to be the offspring. She wanted to hear my voice and tell me about her day. It was obvious that she was starting down that “I miss you, daddy” road when she just kept talking and talking. You see, for the first three days I usually get, “I’m busy playing googly-monster-barbie-fun-petz on the computer. Can I go now?”
That whole bit used to hurt my feelings, but just like kids grow and evolve, so should parents. I think maybe I’ve managed that, because I understand that it takes some time for my absence to have a direct affect upon her 9 year old world.
But, back to the story…
We were at that stage of me being missed enough to warrant a long conversation, which of course, made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, because I have like the coolest kid in the world and stuff. (But, I won’t digress into bragging… for the moment, anyway.)
After several minutes of chatting, the offspring tells me that she and E K had gone for a hike in one of the local parks. In the process they came across a Calico cat. Well, E K being a cat-fanatic, (probably because in some kind of freak accident her DNA was fused with that of an actual feline – that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it), plus the kid being a kid, they oohed, ahhed, and spoke to said cat. The offspring told me that even though they had informed the Kitteh that they meant it no harm and weren’t going to bother it, that the animal still watched them suspiciously.
Well, what do you say to something like that? Especially if you are me and you are generally warped and working hard at warping your child… Glad you asked…
When the offspring told me this, I replied, “Well honey, maybe the cat doesn’t understand English. Maybe it’s a foreign cat and it only speaks French or Spanish, or some other language like that.”
Without missing a beat the kid said, “Pssshaw! Daddddeeeee! Cats don’t speak French or Spanish.”
“Okay, so what do they speak?” I asked.
“I dunno,” she replied with a healthy shrug audible in her voice. “Probably Catnamese or something like that.”
Yes… I almost dropped my cell phone I was laughing so hard.
It’s true. My kid is definitely just as warped as I am. I’m so proud I think there might even be tears involved…
More to come…