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Children, left to their own…

So this morning had a plan. At 5:15am I would be on a video conference with London that would end at 6am. At 6am I would rouse Noah, make sure he was fed, clothed, etc and send him off at 6:54am to his last half day of the 5th grade. At 7am, I rouse Sarah, make sure she is fed, clothed, etc and instead of sending her to the bus at 7:34am I would drive her to make sure she was at school early (8am) so that she could participate in BNN’s filming the 8th grader’s last day.

Plans! Technical issues got the video conference off to a late start. I got Noah started then checked on him to find him staring blankly at our barren kitchen. He didn’t want cereal so I ran down options: oat meal, cream of wheat, eggs, … We hit on eggs! So I roll into EduDad and prompt Noah to get a frying pan while I get a bowl and crack two eggs into it. Noah looks in the closet where we keep glassware, then he looks in the drawer under the stove, and finally in the cabinet by the stove where pans are kept. He adds some milk to the eggs and we beat them well. The pan is oiled and cooking commences. I instruct him on when and how to stir the eggs and I return to my video conference. 20 minutes later I check on him and he is still stirring the most well-done eggs you’ve ever seen. I failed to tell him when to remove the eggs! "I was waiting for you to come upstairs so I could ask what to do." Why didn’t he come downstairs and ask for help?! Of course, I feel rotten. With one minute to spare, he slams down his burnt eggs and goes to his bus.

I rouse Sarah and return to my conference call. We wrapped at 7:46am which was still enough time to get Sarah to the school but she’s AWOL! And Noah left the stove on! I call Sarah’s phone, the one she left at her friend’s house, and leave a voice mail but I know what she’s done. In her desire to be an independent teen and trying to not interrupt my work, she has acted on her own. However, as a parent, I want her to always say goodbye! I want her to say good morning. I want her to sneak into her mother’s room and get her mom a peck on the cheek! AND we had a plan. I was supposed to drive her to school.

I find the choices they made this morning amusing and good for their growth and learning; however, I feel that I bungled being a dad this morning. I feel I let Sarah down.

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