The light on my office phone was blinking. I could see the annoying notification through the window as I tried to herd high school students to their next class.
“What now?” I muttered.
I was in no hurry to answer. If passed experience was any kind of forecaster, there was either a parent on the phone wanting special privileges for her child or there was a school administrator on the phone wanting a judge for the upcoming writing fair or a chaperone for the holiday dance.
We were headed into Thanksgiving vacation. I’d purposely scheduled all the composition papers due the day before vacation so I would have a five day break to read them. I didn’t want additional responsibilities, something administrators and parents tended to assume childless couples were seeking.
“Yes,” I said picking up the receiver and nodding to a student who handed me a late assignment.
The voice on the other end was much more congenial than mine was.
“You sound busy,” he said politely.
“Yes,” I said taking another student’s paper and trying to match the caller’s graciousness. I failed miserably.
I knew this was our social worker wanting us to update our finger prints.
“Kent,” I said trying to stack an unruly pile of paper, while shaking my head at a student who had just hauled in a giant bag of Doritos and was acting out a commercial. “Can we come down on Monday?”
“You really busy today?” he asked pleasantly.
“Well, kind of,” I replied keeping an eye on the Doritos bag. I needed to get into the classroom before the chips became part of the carpet.
“Then you don’t have time to go pick up a baby?” He was still pleasant.
To heck with Doritos. Who cared about the essays? Let someone else stand round at the dance. We were going to go get a baby.
Eventually, I did correct every paper. While a tiny baby lay in the crook of my left arm.
The Doritos were no problem either. I took the large bag and went around the classroom giving every kid a portion, and, as the owner looked on, I tossed the rest. Then I called the principal. I’m sure he cringed when he saw his light blinking. Too, bad. Deal with it. We’re going to go get a baby. You, Mr. Administrator can find me a sub.
When your baby comes, you’ll figure it out. You’ll change priorities. You’ll not take on quite so many assignments. You’ll laugh more at the chips and you’ll care less about the floors. If you don’t you’ll go crazy.
Don’t go crazy. Babies don’t need crazy parents.