Thanks so much for browsing in on such short notice. I know we’re in the midst of The TwinfaMaui Saga, but dire circumstances have prompted this brief interruption. I don’t have much time, so I’ll get right to the point.
Just a few days ago, scientists at the Twinfamy Research Labs unearthed a lost and long-forgotten relic from the elaborate network of catacombs beneath the Pseudonymous residence: the (tw)infamous Dead Draft Scrolls. For those who don’t know, this highly sought-after artifact is a hard drive containing sacred ancient writings of the Pseudonymous people, including drafts of compositions that really ought to be New York Times Bestsellers by now (and surely would be had yours truly realized how much free time I had before becoming a parent).
Among these legendary texts is a collection of war stories from my career as a middle school English teacher, a stint that ended in a blaze of glory as I was summoned to stay-at-home greatness. The writings are dated 5 B. T. (5 years Before Twins), placing them around the year 2006.
As you can imagine, there was much rejoicing in the Twinfamy camp, as my Prodigal Brainchildren had been found. However, it is with a heavy heart that I report one of these pieces is already missing.
Which is the reason I’ve called you all here.
On the verge of our second family vacation since Twinification, a significant discussion point in the Pseudonymous Household as of late has been the Twins’ maiden airplane voyage. How will we keep them occupied/quiet/sedated? What do we do if all six hours of the flight are fortified with stereophonic banshee shrieks and full-body flails? And most importantly, is there an alcohol consumption limit for passengers–and if so, how can we beat the system?
Having scoured these Internet waters for answers, I made a startling realization–the answer was right there under my invisible stick-figured nose all along, in the form of my esteemed colleague Barmy Rootstock, self-insisted parenting guru and author of one of my very favorite blogs, the hilarious I’ve Become My Parents.
“Did you see that link I sent you today?” my wife inquired, placing a bottle of freshly-pumped breast milk in the fridge.
I looked up from the boob-funnels I was washing in the sink as bewildered as the seventh graders I’d stumped similarly all day, searching my exhausted mind for the answer. At four months old, the Twins were still rarely allowing us more than three hours of continuous slumber, making us bumbling idiots more often than not.
“I’m sorry, which link? Remind me.” Having vaguely drawn the line between today and other days in my sluggish mind, I could now narrow the possibilities to 3-4 links, as my wife sends me multitudes of information daily, ranging from infinitely fascinating to a notch above “waste of time,” but much more often the former.
“That stay-at-home dad article. From the newspaper.”
“Oh, right, that one. Yeah, I did.” Since our recent decision for me to quit teaching for stay-at-home fathering and Ph.D.-ing, my wife had taken to sending me SAHD resources during the workday, partly to show me there were lots of dads in my situation and partly (as I learned months later) because she was secretly terrified of me being in charge and was covertly boot-camping me up to snuff. This particular article was one of countless SAHD-penned rants about how when out in public during work hours, people don’t often understand why the kids are with their father, asking such intelligent questions as “Are you on vacation?”, “Where’s their mother?”, and even “Did you lose your job?”
“What’d you think?” my wife prodded.
“I don’t know. It was all right.” I gently adjusted the Baby Bjorn strap so as not to wake the napping son ornament on my chest. “I guess it was kind of funny, but not all that different from stuff already out there.”
“True,” she overemphasized, and fell silent.
Huh. That was weird. Where’s she going with this?
“You know,” she continued. “You could do better.”
In the far reaches of the Great White North, some say there lives a creature–a gigantic, apelike humanoid whose chance blurred appearances in photography have both intrigued and terrified people across the globe for decades. Alleged to have first been sighted in Saskatchewan, the cryptid has been uncreatively dubbed Sasquatch.
As an admittedly ill-conceived publicity stunt for this fine publication, I recently set out to scare this supposedly abominable beast out of hiding, capture him, teach him to play guitar, and record him singing a Twinfamy Theme Song of his own composition. Obviously, the video would go viral and assuredly secure me a movie franchise deal for The Twinfamy Trilogy.
Hopes high, I sent a robotic bird probe that communicates 140 characters at a time up to the region for further investigation, but sadly, Sasquatch seemed to be Sasquatting somewhere out of robotic-bird-earshot.
However, in the process, I wound up getting to know someone else originally from Saskatchewan who has become one of my favorite 21st century dads, James Hudyma. James is a dedicated teacher, a talented musician, a caring father to his son and daughter, and writes an excellent blog about all of the above. If this sounds strikingly familiar to you, O Loyal Reader, you can already imagine that James and I instantly hit it off.
I spread myself thinly across multiple, often conflicting responsibilities. Student John and Stay-At-Home-Dad are in a constant death match, each plotting against the other to undermine the otherwise phenomenal jobs they each perform. They let Writer John out of his crate roughly once a week, and as soon as that latch is lifted, Writer John careens through the door and sprints figure eights around the living room with the laptop, spouting mirthful gibberish like The Great Cornholio. But as soon as Writer John has flung his brainchild out into the tangled Interweb, he’s back in the holding cell, from which he shouts genius ideas for blogs, novels, and 3-D feature films, hoping against hope that the other Johns hear, but knowing deep down that a majority of them tragically will vanish into the ether, neglected and unwritten. While all of this goes on, Husband John–the unofficial fearless leader–watches from the couch. It’s been difficult for Husband John to get a word in as of late, with all of the demands the others have needed to handle, but at the last chapter meeting, he dropped a bomb on everyone.
“So has anyone had any thoughts about what we’re doing for Valentine’s Day?”
The room fell silent.
“You all forgot, didn’t you?”