This story originally appeared as a guest post on EduDad. I wrote an edge-of-your-seat introduction to it here, but the short version is that I penned it in 2006 when I was still a middle school English teacher, as part of a collection of true classroom tales I intended to publish and become a kajillionaire. Unfortunately, the project soon fizzled out as I moved on to another kajillion-dollar idea that also failed. However, the story remains, and it offers you, O Loyal Reader, a unique glimpse at my daily pre-Twinfamy shenanigans. Enjoy!
Do You Like Pie?
In an über-rare moment, my seventh-graders were actually working diligently on an assignment, so after a quick, discreet touchdown dance, I’d sprinted to my computer to capitalize on the situation, starting to finally enter the piles of grading cluttering my desk.
Just as I was getting into a groove, the classroom door opened and a student from one of my other classes meandered up to my desk.
“Do you like pie?” she asked.
My mind still in data-entry mode, I was dumbfounded. “What?” I replied.
“Do you like pie? Like, the dessert?”
“Um, yeah. I do. Why?”
“Want a free pie?”
“Okay…sure…I would like a free pie.” I just had to see where this was going.
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.
“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.”
My son has created a catch phrase that very well could sweep the nation. You may not have heard it yet because it is currently being swept under the nation’s rug, but once this news hits the interweb, look out.
The pop culture revolution began with my mother, who watches the Twins twice a week while I doctorize on campus. As the kids slowly become geniuses just like their parents, they are constantly acquiring new skills and lifehacks–like standing up and walking on their own, infiltrating government-grade security measures, or composing their very first rock opera (entitled American Infant) with nothing but a toy xylophone and Daddy’s GarageBand app.
Appropriately, whenever the Twins would use their newfound superpowers for good, my mother made a point to positively reinforce these behaviors, thus congratulating, “You did it!”
This became an overnight chart-topper with the kids, and soon, around November, every time my son accomplished a task, he’d triumphantly proclaim, “Did it!”
I just got the numbers in today and I couldn’t believe it.
I double- and triple-checked them, just to be sure I wasn’t mistaken before taking the news public, but they were, indeed, accurate.
As it turns out, according to the year-end statistical report compiled by my fleet of information superhighway patrol robots, 2011 was Twinfamy’s biggest, best, most successful year to date!
And I have you, O Loyal Reader, to thank.
Since its humble beginnings eons ago in May 2011, I have watched this fine publication grow from absolutely nothing to the kajillions of you frequenting the site every day, and I wanted to take this opportunity to offer you all my sincere gratitude.
Many years ago, in a time before the Twins and even before my wife and I began dating, I was a Writer. I never did it professionally, but I did do it passionately, daily, and religiously, and will say that a few times, I came pretty darn close to a paid gig. However, it was only a matter of time before I needed a real career instead of a speculative one, and so as I checked American Dream Boxes and became a teacher, husband, and DVR owner I watched my writing time grind to a screeching halt. Ever since then, I’ve haphazardly logged hours on various unfinished writing projects I still completely believe in but just haven’t had the time to realize.
Then came my children.