Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Do I Laugh Now?

Who among us hasn't woken up some mornings - eyes sleep-encrusted, pillow drool-soaked - wishing we could, instead of being ourselves, just for one day, be Fred MacMurray?

Ah, to be cool. Really cool. 1940s Film Noir cool, with its gin-soaked, clipped speech and wide-brimmed Fedoras. Not 2008 Facebook cool with its poking and whiny pleading for acceptance.

I feel, mostly, that I would be closer to 1960s television Fred MacMurray than 1940s Billy Wilder Fred MacMurray. I would find it easier at this time to pull off the cardigan and Canadian pipe look, living with my kids and a crazy, man-servant bachelor uncle; easier, certainly, than the look of a grey flannel suit, flask and Chesterfields, a sultry Barbara Stanwyck draped over my shoulder.

But father doesn't always know best, does he? In yesterday's post, I'm afraid I may have given the impression that I did, and that the day, and its errands, ran smoothly due to some wisdom or foresight of mine. Truth be told, I couldn't have done it without the teamwork of my Quartet.

To drop a dime on myself, as Walter Neff might say, I had to turn down the car radio on the way to registration to ask the kids what grades they were going into. I didn't want to look like a total chump when we got to school.

They each sounded off in turn: First! Second! Fifth!

Afterwards, as we sat in the McDonald's drive-thru line, C told me exactly what and how to order all the kids' meals. Right down to letting me know the number of boys' and girls' Happy Meals.

I'm also not 100% certain that it was a good idea to let the kids feed most of their lunches to those three squirrels at the park, but it seemed to make them happy.

The children, not the squirrels.

They're good kids, and I really do try to know best, but sometimes I flub even that.