Visiting the Moth

I went to The Moth story slam last night for the second time. The first time, I just went to support some friends, and both of them were picked to tell their story on stage! Last night I prepared a story, but alas. My name was not drawn from the bag. So today, I will share the story I would have told, with the theme of Caution (or, in Felix’s case, a lack thereof).

If you know me even a little bit, you know that I have 3 feral sons. My kids are wild. They ride scooters down the stairs. They shove each other into the radiators to see what will happen. When they have friends over to play, I hear them suggest games like “let’s kick each other in the head over and over again.”

So as you can imagine, it’s sort of hard for me to find childcare.

The oldest one is in public school, where they have to keep you no matter what. Which is good, because my kid did things like escape the building and run into the street. I’d get calls from the gym teacher telling me about her skinned knees from tackling him during bolting episodes.

I spend my entire day at work staring at my cell phone, praying I won’t see the school’s number come up on my caller ID.

It does. Frequently.

Eventually I found a daycare for the younger 2 boys while the big kid was in school beating his friends with sticks.

This was a cute little in-home daycare, run by a perky woman in her early 20s. She had the play space decorated with owls and helped the kids make hand print ornaments. Finger paintings. That sort of thing.

I was used to getting calls from this daycare. “Felix wouldn’t eat the lunch you packed,” was a common one. Oh. Ok.

“Felix wet his cot again at nap time.” Meh. Ok.

He generally seemed to like it there, primarily because the owner had driven to some exotic animal dealer in Canada and bought a baby hedgehog to be the daycare pet.

So when my caller ID showed the daycare number one day, I took a deep breath. Ok. Maybe he hit his brother with a metal train again.

Maybe he peed on the carpet again. Deep breath. “Hello?”

“Hey. So. Felix kicked a hole in the drywall.”

Woah. This is unexpected! “He did what now?”

My kid, who weighs 30 pounds, evidently spent the morning in the book nook slowly kicking a hole in the drywall. A tunnel, if you will.

Like Andy Dufresne from the fucking Shawshank Redemption, except he hid his work behind a rack of plastic baked goods instead of a Rita Hayworth poster.

But wait!

There’s more!

“I found him in the hole trying to get the other kids to come inside.”

In other words, my son was initiating a mutiny. A mass escape attempt while the daycare lady was distracted by a diaper change. He crouched in this tunnel he carved in the wall and lured his brother in first.

I’m trying to imagine this. Like, “Hey! Oren! Come with me into this jagged hole I’ve kicked into the wall of our daycare! If you don’t listen to me, I’m going to pee on your minions blanket!”

And then I got off the phone, because I needed to go somewhere and be alone and cry.

And I also had to try to figure out what the hell I do in this situation. Do I offer to pay to repair it? Does insurance cover that sort of thing? What the hell would she even say to the insurance company?

Of course she wanted me to come a retrieve my child from daycare.

I decided to stop at Home Depot on my way and buy a gift card. There’s really no “I’m sorry” card pre-made for when your kid burrows into the wall at daycare.

I worked on controlling my face and the tone of my voice when I finally got there, because I just had to know.

“Felix. Why did you dig a hole in the wall?”

And of course he just shrugged. “I didn’t want to be there anymore.”

Well, buddy, mission accomplished.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 at 9:19 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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