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He groaned and opened his eyes, then blearily stared at the beaming child standing next to his bed.
“Good morning, Grant.” Opening his eyes a bit wider, he noticed that his room was still fairly dark. He reached over and clicked the side of his phone to see that he had multiple Snapchats from “Frank” and “Group of Idiots,” and that it was 5:47 in the morning. That was fucking early, even for Grant.
“Grant, it’s really early. Do you want to lay in bed with me and maybe try to get some more sleep?”
Jumping up in bed even before he said the words, “Okay, Daddy!” Grant snuggled himself under the comforter. His father began to doze back off.
Grant’s knee started pressing into his back; he physically flipped him over. Still, he felt him wriggling around like a Tickle-Me-Elmo.
Christ, could the kid just lay still so I can get five more minutes of sleep?
Fuck, I’m never getting back to sleep.
Eyes still closed he responded, “Yes Grant?”
“Daddy, why is your room painted blue?”
It’s actually an ugly shade of turquoise son.
“Because that’s what the people who lived here before us painted it.”
“Oh. Okay. Daddy, why did they paint it that color?”
Because they have bad taste.
“I don’t know, bud. Let’s get some sleep.” He felt Grant lay back down. Maybe he was going to actually get some-
“Hey, Daddy, yesterday it was really hot at the playground but I drank lots of water but it was still really hot.”
“Grant, do you just want to go downstairs?”
The child sprang up instantly on the mattress and hollered, “Yes!”
Splashing almond milk into his freshly poured cold brew, he stirred gently, listening to the ice clink against the glass. He wasn’t too thrilled to be up and at em this early, but that was a common symptom of fatherhood. Grant was over at the kitchen table spooning some cinnamon apple oatmeal into his mouth and watching an episode of Curious George that he had to have seen at least seven times before.
He took a hearty, satisfying sip of cold brew, then got Grant’s attention. “You know what we’re doing today, buddy? Not a whole lot, that’s what.”
It’d already been a long extended weekend. With his main source of childcare (his parents) on vacation, and his backup source of childcare (a very sweet woman who lived down the street) unavailable, he’d taken off work on Friday to take care of Grant. He loved his son, but that kid could really take it out of him.
Friday had been a Grant day. Aside from getting a few work emails sent out during the morning, they’d made it an ideal four-year-old day. Despite it being a million fucking degrees in South Texas, they’d braved the playground. Grant downed two bottles of water and had a blast; his father sweat through his red shirt and looked gross in front of all the moms there.
They followed up the playground with ice cream, then some swimming, which wiped them both out and led to an early bedtime. Saturday was all about the lawn. While Grant spent most of the afternoon playing in his sandbox or drawing with chalk on the sidewalk, he went head-on into preparing his lawn for summer. He was still hoping that his super liberal friends would never ask how much water he used on his grass.
After two action-packed dad days, Sunday was going to be all about some rest and relaxation. Grant wasn’t really much of a rest or relaxation guy, so today was going to be the first in a long line of lessons on how to chill.
“Grant, we’re going to watch golf all morning since the moved the tee times at The Memorial up. Sound like a plan?”
The child looked at him, not really understanding anything about what he said besides “watch” and “golf.” But he nodded and said “Great! Can we go to the playground?”
“Um, we’re gonna stay here and watch golf. And relax too. Relaxing is good, relaxing helps you… grow big and strong.” Growing big and strong was his excuse for eating veggies, and he felt like relaxing was just important for everyone’s health as veggies.
Roughly an hour later, after they’d both finished breakfast and he’d had two cups of coffee, he fired up PGA Tour Live and connected his laptop to his TV and told Grant to come sit on the couch with him.
“Okay, Grant, remember this guy? In the black and red? That’s Tiger, we love Tiger. We need Tiger to make a lot of putts today and win.”
Grant looked at the TV, then back at his father. “Is Tiger a great guy?”
“Uh….yeah buddy, he’s great. Best person. Just cheer for him.”
Three minutes after settling in to watch Big Cat, Grant was off the couch and on the move. He ventured into his playroom and came back with his toy baseball bat and foam baseball.
It’s like he knows the one thing that’s going to get my lazy ass on the couch and active with him on this Sunday.
He’d done everything short of begged Grant to get into sports, so he wasn’t going to turn down the kid asking him to play baseball. He threw him some soft toss BP in the entry room of their house, counting on the foam ball and Grant’s lack of raw power not to break anything.
Not like anything in this shithole is valuable anyway. But I really did just want to sit on the couch.
Twenty minutes later, despite enjoying when he made contact with the ball, Grant threw his bat down in disgust after he accidentally hit himself in the nose with it. His father chalked it up as a successful round of BP.
Now back to my couch and to Tiger.
Grant headed over to play with action figures, and just as he sat back down to watch Tiger tee off on 8, he noticed a push notification on his phone. It was a text from his mother.
Mom: Did you get that paperwork done for Great Hills Academy???
He sprang up and ran over to his desk. He’d meant to finish the admission application and financial aid forms for Grant’s (hopeful) new school earlier; like, four weeks earlier. It was due in three days, meaning he’d have to drive it over there himself in the morning. And he knew he’d have to fill it out now or he’d just forget again, and his kid would grow up to be a fry cook.
Goddammit, I just want to relax and watch Tiger.
By the time he’d finished the numerous pages, and tallied up every single figure from his 2015-17 tax filings, Tiger had fallen out of competition and he was forced to watch Bryon DeChambeau power down the stretch.
Watching this clown win a golf tournament is the exact opposite of R&R.
The second he’d sealed the envelope with the paperwork and put it on the shelf near his front door as to not forget it, Grant called from the bathroom.
“Daddy, something broke!”
Rushing into the bathroom, he saw the toilet paper holder had ripped out of the wall, almost as if a four-year-old had leaned on it and it hadn’t been able to support his weight. He looked from the two small holes in the wall to Grant, who was sitting on the toilet acting as if he hadn’t touched the thing.
“Welp, guess we’re going to Home Depot today, bud.”
He helped Grant wipe his ass, then lectured him on why you can’t lean on the toilet paper holder. Making his way up the stairs to get dressed, he was a little downtrodden.
This kid is wearing me out. I needed an R&R day like I need air to breathe. Maybe we he will actually nap later. Actually, who am I kidding, he won’t. What a Sunday.
Just then he looked at his phone and saw another text.
Leo: Got any plans tonight, Daddy? Of course you don’t. Sarah has a friend in town visiting who’s moving here soon. She’s cute and single and could use someone to take her out for a drink. We’ll watch Grant for you, he can even spend the night since Sarah doesn’t go in tomorrow (I really need him to be terrible, Sarah has had some baby fever lately). What do you think? .
If you’re enjoying following “PostGrad Single Dad,” be sure to go listen to the latest episode of “The DadGum Podcast,” live on Grandex Labs.