I imagine a closed door meeting with the HR person, going something like this:
HR Person: Denver Dad, you've been Director of Daddy Affairs, for how long now?
Denver Dad: It's been two years, eight months, and counting.
HR Person: Right. And, you've been doing a pretty good job, for the most part. That bit of projectile vomiting at the grocery store aside, your performance has meet standards and even exceeded in a few places.
Denver Dad: That's right. I drove to Minnesota and back with Chunk and didn't even raise my voice.
HR Person: Is that true?
Denver Dad: Okay, no, I did raise my voice. But, it was like only once to twice.
HR Person: That's not bad.
Denver Dad: Thanks! And, I took Chunk to see “Ratatouille” in a real theater and everything. That wasn't exactly a picnic. Neither was taking him to ride the light rail, just for fun, because he loves trains.
HR Person: That's great, but you know why we're having this particular conversation, right now, don't you?
Denver Dad: I won some sort of lotto and get a month of paid vacation?
HR Person: Hahaha... man, that's rich. You're a funny guy when you're not all depressed and morose.
Denver Dad: Umm... thanks.
HR Person: The reason I wanted to talk to you, Denver Dad, is that I noticed your performance has been... well... slipping lately.
Denver Dad: Listen, I've been under a lot of stress at work and I told Denver Mom I'd make it up to her. It was just that one time.
HR Person: Sigh. No, I mean with your duties as a dad.
Denver Dad: OH! Right. Sorry. I got a little confused.
HR Person: I was hoping you could tell me a little about what's going on with you and your son.
Denver Dad: Well, frankly, that kid is crazy.
HR Person: Crazy?
Denver Dad: Totally crazy. He cries when you put him in his car seat, but then he won't get in his car seat voluntarily. He whines constantly. He gets up at five thirty in the morning, every morning, like he's keyed off some freakin' atomic clock or something....
HR Person: I thought you were an early riser too.
Denver Dad: I am, but I wouldn't mind sleeping in until six in the morning... you know... just once.
HR Person: What else?
Denver Dad: We're still on that whole “momma do et” kick, which between you and me, has gotten more than a little old.
HR Person: And?
Denver Dad: Why would a kid voluntarily sit in his own poop? I mean, really... just say, “Dad... I dropped a load.” It takes like three minutes to clean up. It's not a big deal, but he acts like its some horrible secret that I'm not allowed to find out about.
HR Person: I've read that kids have issues surrounding their potty habits, because it's one of the few things they can really control.
Denver Dad: Are you kidding me? That kid controls everything. It's like having Dick Cheney has your son.
HR Person: I think you're exaggerating a little.
Denver Dad: You're right. I'm exaggerating. Chunk doesn't have a shotgun.
HR Person: So, how are you going to handle these recent setbacks?
Denver Dad: Well, I was hoping to just hide from him.
HR Person: Hide from him? That was your plan?
Denver Dad: That or track down the receipt the hospital gave us and see if I can get my money back.
HR Person: It's that bad?
Denver Dad: Some days it's not bad at all, but others... I'm pretty sure that demon that possessed that kid in “The Exorcist” got my son.
HR Person: Again with the exaggeration?
Denver Dad: Listen, pal, you haven't been locked at home with him. He's a monster.
HR Person: I'm still going to have to write you up.
Denver Dad: Pffft! You think I'm scared of a piece of paper? Listen, when we're done with this little meeting, I have to go back to him. I'm hoping you write me up really slowly so I can savor the time away.
HR Person: Just sign here. The yellow copy is yours.
That's pretty much what the last month has been like. Sorry I haven't been around, but like I said, it's hard to post glowing anecdotes about the joys of fatherhood when being a dad has been kind of a bummer lately. He's a great kid, that hasn't changed, but he's been challenging. The true wonder of it all is that I haven't killed him yet. Or, that he hasn't killed me. Glorious, eh?
More soon. I promise.