The Grand Plan

I want to chat with you about my kids.

Weird, right? So unlike me.

More specifically, I would like to discuss the fact that my husband is convinced they don’t love him as much as they love me.

To be fair, I am the more obvious choice for cuddles, sing-songy bedtime instructions, over-the-top Harry Potter and Fancy Nancy character voices, and wordy, flowery speeches about how beautiful, amazing and unique they are.

So if they want those things, then yes, me.

But when they fall down and scrape a knee, or an ear starts throbbing, or a fever spikes, or a heart breaks, you know who they make a beeline for? That’s right. Daddy.

My husband is a man of few words. He’s the strict one, the rule enforcer. While I’m in the kitchen dancing around with the produce and using a wooden spoon as a microphone, he’s enforcing away. No elbows on the table. No talking while chewing. No squirming in your chair or sitting on the arm of the couch. No interrupting. No farting during dinner (I wholeheartedly support that one).

But you know what’s beautiful about that? He’s quiet, stable, and safe. I’m fun, sure. I mean, I’m a load of fun if we’re being honest. But if they need a rock? A strong, steady hand to hold a warm compress over the ear that’s throbbing, or to gently spray the antibacterial stuff on the knee that’s bleeding? A larger-than-life, comfortably silent presence to hold them securely when their hearts are aching?

That’s Pat.

I just wish he saw it. I wish he heard them talking to their friends and teachers and anyone else who will listen about how “smart and great” their dad is, and how they both want to be “engineers just like him,” or “engineer-o’s,” according Gracie.

I wish he had seen what I saw yesterday morning.

I wish he had watched the determination in Vince’s face and the steadily building excitement in Gracie’s eyes as they carefully described their grand plan for Father’s Day.

“So we’ve been thinking about this, Mommy, we’ve been talking about it together in my room,” Vince began, like he was pitching a marketing plan to a CEO.

“Well, I was thinking maybe we could take Daddy to Mystic, Connecticut for a few days, to the aquarium,” I suggested excitedly.

I was met with two very unenthusiastic faces.

“Or…he wants to take you guys to a minor league baseball game. Maybe I can get tickets?”

They turned towards each other, lowered their sippy cups of milk, and gave each other the sibling “look” that they’ve perfected over the past few years. Then Vince returned his gaze to me and replied, “Yes, we think that’s a better idea. Daddy really enjoys baseball, so that would be more for him than an aquarium. Good idea, Mommy.”

Oh good! I wasn’t getting kicked off the committee yet.

“Ok so a baseball game on Saturday night, and dinner- a nice dinner, at a restaurant,” he continued.

Ok then. Ballpark cuisine wasn’t good enough for Daddy. Oh no. Definitely not.

“And then, we were thinking we could do some unique kind of breakfast on Sunday, we’ll come up with something different and I’ll make it, and then, well, Daddy said we shouldn’t do this part for Mother’s Day but tell me what you think.”

Oh boy.

“I was thinking I could put the breakfast, a coffee, and a wine on a tray and bring it to him in bed. Late, so he can sleep late. What do you think?”

“Um…well, I mean, I love all of it except the wine part.”

“Yeah, but you and Daddy LOVE wine!”

“You LOVE it!” piped in Vince’s assistant.

“Well, sure, but not at 9am.”

Vince solemnly relented.

“Yeah….that’s what he said too. Ok, just coffee then.”

“Ok, that’s sounds like a great day, guys!”

“Wait that’s not it.”

This meeting was cutting into my coffee break.

“After breakfast we let Daddy rest and relax all day, then we take him to dinner. You know, a nice dinner, at a restaurant.”

Another one of those, huh?

“And then we come home and you know, relax and digest, because it’s important to digest. And then we take him out for ice cream!”

“Yeah! And Theeeeeen, we do games!”

My daughter was so excited for her part of the meeting that she was practically falling off the couch.

“Games?”

“Yes.” Oh, now she was wearing her business face. I was going to hear her out on this or get kicked out.

“When we were at ShopRite buying things for you for Mommy’s Day, I saw games. And I think Daddy would like them, so we are going to take all of Vince’s money and put it in a bag, and you can bring us to ShopRite and we’ll open Vince’s money bag to pay for the games. Then after ice cream we can play them with Daddy.”

Vince nodded in agreement.

“Yes, we talked about this last night. I am going to put all of my coins in a bag, and you can take us to ShopRite and Grace can pick out the games she wants for Daddy, and we’ll use my money bag so you don’t have to use all your dollars.”

Well, that was a relief, since it appears all of my dollars would be going towards baseball tickets, unique breakfast ingredients, a bottle of wine, four ice cream sundaes, and two “nice” dinners at Zagat-rated establishments.

“Guys….that is the nicest Father’s Day weekend I could possibly imagine. He’s going to love it.”

“We think so too! We love Daddy SO much and we want to give him the BEST Father’s Day!”

I’m pretty sure when I show him this blog (while he’s enjoying his unique breakfast and coffee in bed), that will be the best Father’s Day gift of all.

The ice cream will be a close second, of course.

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