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Modern Dad

I don’t want a partridge in a pear tree, just flush the d#$% toilet

By Jon Show.  As a child, I asked my dad every year what he wanted for Christmas and his response was always the same, “I just want you guys to be happy.” Nice in theory but I can’t wrap that up in a box and put it under the tree.

My kids have never asked me what I wanted for Christmas, but if they did I would provide them with a list of the following things. Like my dad’s request, none of these can be wrapped in a box and put under the tree. But I promise you they would make me happy.

Flush the d#$% toilet.

My kids flush so infrequently that I’ve developed the ability to identify the culprit based on the quantity of Charmin in the toilet. One kid uses way too much. One uses way too little. I’m pretty sure the Menendez brothers did the same thing to their parents. I should probably start locking our bedroom door at night.

Close the d#$% door.

I installed a spring-loaded arm on the back door after we moved in because I got so tired of asking them to close the door. I also bought one for the front door but The Mother of Dragons says I can’t put it up because it looks bad. I did not, don’t and will never understand her point of view on this.

Turn off the d#$% lights.

It’s not the cost – CFLs only burn like $1 a year in energy. It’s the nuisance. Every morning (in order) I turn off my daughter’s light, the water closet light (flush the toilet, of course), the bathroom light, my son’s nightstand light, his ceiling light and the laundry room light. “Just make them turn off the lights,” you say? Hahaha. You don’t have young kids, do you?

Get your clothes out of my d#$% car.

Once every couple days I have to reach into the back seat floor to clean up an assortment of pants, skirts, socks, shoes and shirts. My car is a glorified laundry hamper. By the end of the weekend it looks like the changing room on a Saturday afternoon at Marshall’s.

Put on your d#$% shoes.

I’m fine with them going barefoot but they take their shoes off and leave their socks on. In the driveway playing basketball? Socks no shoes. At the field kicking around a soccer ball? Socks no shoes. Hopping in the car to go to the pool? You guessed it. Socks. No. Shoes.

Stop losing my d#$% stuff.

I had work gloves and a shovel. I had a saw and an assortment of screw drivers and clamps. I had a hatchet and spare rope. All of these things, and countless other things that I haven’t noticed yet, are gone. No one seems to have even the tiniest idea where they might be.

Get in the d#$% car.

When it’s time to go somewhere, I establish eye contact with them and say, “We’re leaving, get in the car.” Somehow they hear, “Why don’t you go in the garage and start throwing balls against the wall, or skip down to the neighbor’s house to see what’s up?” Get in the car. I can’t think of a more basic instruction. Get in the car.

Stop changing your d#$% opinions on food.

I’m fine with my kids having preferences on food. What I don’t like is when they change their minds from “I love that food” to “I hate that food.” One day they love pancakes. Next day they hate them. The only thing that has stood the test of time is pizza, and if they give that up I can’t envision a scenario in which I have the strength to go on.

Eat your d#$% food.

Last month I lost it and told my kids that they needed to eat their food because there are people in the world who are starving. So I guess I say things like that now. That’s who I’ve become.

Get out of the d#$% shower.

I can shower and dry off in less than four minutes. They have hair so I’ll spot them three additional minutes, which brings us to seven minutes, tops. If they’re out in less than 15 minutes it’s a miracle. I’ve never seen people spend so much time doing something that they fought so hard against having to do in the first place.

After compiling this list I’ve come to two, very certain conclusions.

One: based on that list of missing tools, my kids are planning to commit some form of crime. Possibly a bank heist in the year 1895.

Two: Maybe I’m being unreasonable in asking for so many things this holiday season. Maybe, as I tell my children, I should just be happy that I get a gift when so many others do not.

I can roll with that. I can set a good example. This Christmas I’ll be asking for one thing from each of them. Just one thing that I think is completely reasonable to ask of a person who possesses a modicum of common decency.

Flush. The d#$%. Toilet.

Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls the “Mother of Dragons.” His 9-year-old son is “Future Man,” and 5-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.”