I forced myself up from the sofa with all the grace of a dying Walrus and looked at my phone. 8:03 AM. I had plopped myself down there in a sleepy stupor fifteen minutes earlier so that I wouldn’t miss my guests’ arrival.
As I neared the front door, I could hear happy giggling. And snickering. And talking. The people on the other side were very much awake and far too happy for the grumbling blob of a man who was about to answer that door. I had stayed up the night before until 4:06 AM, trying to undo the damage hackers had done to my website.
I swung it open to the excited faces of my niece and nephew. “Uncle Dan! Uncle Dan!”
They were in the house before I could even crack a half-fake smile. Their mom, my best friend, pushed past them. Tobi looked at me and sighed. “Are you sure this is okay? Thank you so much, you don’t know how much this means to…”
Shhhh. I told her, still fighting the lack of sleep. “I am so happy to take your kids for the day. You don’t even think a thing about it.”
At least I think I said that. With how tired I was, I actually have no idea.
“Aw, you’re the best Dan-o,” she said as she pulled her four-month old baby out of his car seat and handed him over.
At some point, AJ (her boyfriend and the third part of our bestie threesome) walked in. “Dude, you seriously don’t know how much…”
Shhhh, I told him. “It’s seriously my pleasure.”
At least I think I said that. With how tired I was, I have no idea.
I took the baby from Tobi and forced a smile at him. He grinned so big you’d think his face was Photoshopped. “We’re gonna have fun today, aren’t we?!” I said as I bounced him playfully. He grinned even bigger.
AJ began telling me what time he would probably be hungry and how much water goes into his bottles. Or something like that. My brain was far from registering such complicated details.
I ushered them out the door, knowing they were in a hurry, not wanting them to worry that it was putting me out too much to watch their kids. And then I called my niece and nephew in for a very important meeting.
“What should we do?!” I asked. I was thankful they both chirped out that they wanted to start things off with a movie. I actually did have a fairly long to-do list that had to be done before the end of the day that day. A to-do list that should have been done the night before, but was just as hacked as my website was.
I also wasn’t worried about it. I’m a dad. Maybe not a stay at home dad, but a dad nonetheless. I have a kid. I could juggle this. I could have fun with them, be productive, get it all done, and send them on their way thinking I was the awesomest uncle ever.
I cranked up the movie, and made sure they were situated and comfortable.
Then, with the baby resting on my knee, I bounced him quietly while I tried to dive into some work.
Two minutes later.
“Uncle Dan, I’m tired of the movie. I want to do something else,” my nephew said from behind me.
I laughed. “How can you be tired of it? We just turned it on!”
“I just am. I don’t wanna watch it. Can we play a game?”
I sighed and looked at his eager face. He was being so dang sweet. I looked at my computer again. I guess it could wait for a bit.
I went and pulled out Old Maid and we had an intense game. “Now go watch the movie for a while,” I said when we were done.
“Okay,” he happily responded and disappeared around the corner.
I sat back down at my computer and attempted to start getting some work done.
Before I could even remember what I had been working on…
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