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“Ok Grant, what’s the verdict? How’d you like Daddy’s famous banana nut waffles?”
Grant washed down his final bite, wiped some syrup and milk off of his chin, and responded “I like Grandma’s waffles better” then took his plate to the sink.
Why don’t you go fuck yourself you little ingrate, I put some work into those waffles, those things were goddamn delicious.
“Ah, well Grandma does make good waffles I guess, but I thought mine were pretty good. Anyways, it’s a nice Saturday morning; what should we do today?
Grant pondered, then exclaimed “Let’s watch Paw Patrol!”
I’d rather give myself a swirly.
“Ehhhh not right now buddy. How about this: The house could use a bit of cleaning. Lets open the windows, throw on some music, do some cleaning, then we can go to the playground or something later. Deal?”
Grant agreed and excitedly went to get his “vacuum” which was really a toy lawnmower. “I guess we’re vacuuming first” his father called out after him, walking over to the closet to unsheathe his own vacuum from its charger. The thing was his sole Black Friday purchase the year prior; despite initially being so proud of himself for this grown up purchase, he consistently lied to himself about its piss-poor effectiveness.
He hit the power button and started rolling over the living room carpet (running the vacuum over the same spot multiple times due to its shittiness) while Grant zoomed around with his fake vacuum. He looked at his father and said with glee “I’m helping!”
“Yep, you sure are buddy, just make sure you’re carefu-OW SHIT!” he yelled, as Grant sent the toy careening into his ankle.
While he grimaced and held his ankle like he’d been stabbed, Grant yelled “DADDY! That’s a bad word!”
He looked at Grant, still holding the lawnmower in his hands. “Yeah buddy, you’re right. I’m sorry for swearing, But if you ever send that toy into my ankle again it’s going to become my toy, do you understand? That hurt really bad.”
Grant looked semi-remorseful and said “Oops, sorry Dad. I was just doing a really good job of vacuuming.”
You’re doing a really good job of trying to put my ankle in a fucking cast, so chill out.
“Just be careful next time Grant.” He nodded, smiled, then went back to running like a maniac while pretending to vacuum.
Oh, it’s going to be one of those days, isn’t it?
Dropping the vacuum back on the charger after a job not-very-well-done, he tried to plan out the next phase of Saturday cleaning. Grant was already on one this morning; ready to test his goddamn patience at every turn.
Grant would be more useful helping him put away laundry, but the kitchen looked like a war-zone and needed to be swept badly. His decision was made.
“Ok Grant, let’s sweep the kitchen. Why don’t you grab your broom and you start a pile over by the pantry and I’ll start one by the table.” He quietly prayed that Grant would futilely sweep by the door while he quickly moved throughout room sweeping every other area.
Grant’s enthusiasm for helping was undone by his sweeping technique, which made it appear as though he was trying out for the Olympic curling team. His toy broom moved violently, crashing against the walls, as his father quickly tried get most of the dust and crumbs off the floor before being interrupted.
Pushing together what was to be the final pile of the sweep job, he marveled at how well sweeping had gone. Beginning to think if maybe he should go ahead and mop the kitchen too, his thoughts were interrupted by Grant shouting “Hey can I sweep that in the dustpan?!?”
Before he could even get out the words “Uh sure buddy,” Grant flew over to his majestically put together dust pile. Enthusiasm overtaking common sense, he reared back like Sidney Crosby for a slap-shot and sent the contents of the pile flying into their recently vacuumed living room.
Grant stood breathlessly, first smiling from exhilaration, then slowly obtaining a look on his face that resembled Gob Bluth’s “I’ve made a terrible mistake,” before looking up at his father.
“Oops, sorry Dad.”
Cleaning with this child is my hell.
“It’s alright. Let me just vacuum this up and then we’re going to go clean something upstairs.” There was seemingly less to fuck up there. At the very least, rarely was anyone besides he or Grant up there.
Laundry went off without a hitch; Grant’s limited set of skills still allowed him to be useful. Throwing clean laundry out of the basket and yelling “sock drawer!” or “underwear drawer!” was simple enough for the four-year-old to comprehend and follow through with. His father was pleased with his helpfulness, especially since he didn’t realize half of his underwear had ended up at the bottom of his t-shirt drawer.
“Ok Grant, last thing for the day and then we can have a snack, then get to the playground. Let’s take the trash cans from upstairs and go empty them out.” Embarrassingly, it’d been many moons since he’d done this, but again, no one was ever up there except him and Grant.
Grant took off like a bottle rocket to grab each of the trashcans and bring them to the foot of the stairs. Seeing him precariously teetering with the trash can from his father’s bathroom that’d been the subject of a game of trash can Tetris for at least a week and a half, he quickly intervened and said, “Hey why don’t I carry this one down? You can help me with that one.” He motioned towards the half-full trash can from under his desk.
Once again eager from being given a job to do, Grant emphatically grabbed the trash can and said “I’m a great helper, I’ll go dump this out!” As he took one hand off the small trash can to reach for the railing on the stairs, the small plastic tub quickly slid out of the remaining arm around it.
Like slow motion from a movie, the pair watched the trash can bounce violently off every step, unloading its contents with each point of impact. A paper coffee cup with a small amount of its contents left in it landed face down on the carpet stairs, guaranteeing a stain. Tissues soaked with souvenirs from last week’s sinus issues flew like snot-ridden snowflakes.
Making its final descent, the can flew off the bottom stair and crashed into Grant’s tiny Paw Patrol table. His small box of kinetic sand rested on the edge with the top off, and upon impact was sent onto the freshly swept floor.
Grant looked up at his father, who was wearing a scowl reminiscent of Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the WHCA Dinner. “Oops, sorry Dad.” .
If you’re enjoying following “PostGrad Single Dad,” be sure to go listen to the latest episode of “The DadGum Podcast” with Dillon Cheverere, live on Grandex Labs.