The Lawnmower Man
It’s the lawn mowing thing all over again. He and his wife had made a deal and then she went back on it. Granted, if he had been able to make one of his first 3 sons a girl then he wouldn’t have been in this situation but apparently there is no holding back his manliness. Now if there are some of you men reading this who have all daughters and no boys then please don’t think I’m saying that he’s better than you. I’m just saying you are not as much of a man as he is. When it comes to making male offspring he is Captain Man! That aside, a few years after number 3 dropped his wife started to feel the need for an additional mouth to feed. She swore that it had nothing to do with the complete lack of female offspring but he couldn’t help feel that if he had just been able to slip in a girl among the first 3 attempts he could happily visit his doctor and get the plumbing shut off without his wife objecting too strenuously. So after many months of pouting and crying his wife got her way. It seems that his pouting and crying weren’t as effective as he thought they’d be. Now to jump ahead to what I consider an irrelevant issue but one I’m sure you’re curious about… yes, it was a 4th boy. With that information out of the way I can focus on the crux of the story. In order for this 4th child to come into existence there was a promise made by his wife. A promise that many people might consider horrible and a pox upon the very fabric of parenthood but a promise nonetheless. He has a complete understanding of his limitations as a human being and with this knowledge in mind it was agreed upon by his wife that he would have no responsibilities for this new baby for at least the first year of his life. Now please don’t get me wrong, he does love his children. He just don’t consider them his children until they can walk and talk. Until that time they are nothing more than alien blobs whose sole purpose for living is pooping, drooling and keeping him up at night with banshee-like screeching. In a nutshell, he has no patience for babies. He tried valiantly with his first 3 but after two minutes of crying it was all he could do not to hurl them into the woods (as he’d done with a hamster when he was younger when it wouldn’t stop running on his wheel, a story he’d related to his wife and one of the many reasons she wouldn’t leave him alone with any of her children until such a time that they could defend themselves against Daddy). With all of this clearly in mind it was agreed that he would have nothing to do with raising his child until he was at least one. This wasn’t something casually or discussed with any levity, it was a cornerstone of the child-making decision. Then, after only 6 months, his wife has the nerve to come up to him and ask that he watch the little one for 45 minutes so she can go jogging with a friend! It wasn’t even the question so much as the off-handed way she asked him. As if this promise was never made! He was dumbfounded, he couldn’t believe that the very ground didn’t split open and swallow both her and the oozing cherub for this gross violation of their agreement. As he sat dazed, not knowing how to answer her properly, he suddenly remembered a very similar deal they had made when they made the leap from renting to owning. He was as content as could be with townhouse living but she was desperate to own a home at the time so of course he gave in and they moved to a house. The only stipulation that he had, and I say only to reinforce how very flexible and good-natured he was being about this major transaction, was that they would get a lawn service to mow the ¼ acre they were buying. That was it, the only string attached to pulling up roots and taking on the responsibilities of home ownership. Well wouldn’t you know, not 2 summers later she comes up to him and casually suggests that they can’t afford the lawn service anymore and wouldn’t it be better to just buy a lawn mower and mow it themselves. Themselves meaning, there was no question about this, him. He was at loss for words. Considering that he’d only been out of work a few months he hadn’t seen this coming at all. Here was a clear violation of the only tenant laid down governing this major event in their lives. She clearly knew what she was doing and yet here she stood asking that he spend no less than an hour every single week mowing his own lawn! I don’t think things were ever the same. Now here he sat facing the very same dilemma. Just as she’d done with the lawn, she had him with the baby. He couldn’t go back and undo the baby, he’d fallen for her hideous lies once more. Now it looked very much like that he would have to spend 45 minutes (which as we all know means upwards of 50-55 minutes in real time) with his own 6 month old blob. Many tense moments went by before he put his foot down and reminded her of their deal. The problems began when he continued his train of thought to the point of accusing her of knowing beforehand that she’d be no more than 6 months into the process of childrearing before she was running off to jog every week or so. How could she be so unfair to a hapless father like himself? Well, it all ended happily and that’s what counts. After yammering away for a while about how he was just too lazy to take an interest in his own son or something to that effect she was able to convince her mother, who lives only an hour and a half drive away after all, to come watch the baby. This worked out nicely because he could then avoid having to sit and be pleasant with her because, after all, he had a lawn to mow.