Friday, January 19, 2007


They’d had just about as much as they could take. The ice, the piercing, polar-like ice of the previous weekend had finally started to melt from the streets, parking lots and lawns; it would only be another day or two and the sidewalks and bike path would be free of the odious mess that had meant nothing less than a feeling of incarceration these last several days.

Sure, it had been nice to start out with – a break from the normal routine of riding their bikes. “I’ll pick you up after school” he had said. It almost had a nice ring to it. What they hadn’t counted on was what followed the ride home. “Um, aren’t you going back to work?” they’d asked. “Nope, I’m just going to finish out the day from here.”

They cursed that wretched contraption – the internet – and it’s ability to allow him to work from home. “What are you doing there?” they asked when he opened a new spreadsheet on his screen. Spreadsheets. They knew, only too well, that feeling of impending doom. The only thing worse than his spreadsheets was what lay behind tab “3” in the Franklin planner… A new spreadsheet. Would it be an update to the list of chores? And then it happened … he entered their names and the time.

Without a word they knew the part they had to play; “So, uh, what are you working on?” Maybe, just maybe, it was something for his job. Yeah, why should they worry? And then it happened -- “I’m keeping track of your TV time.” It couldn’t be. How could they salvage this? What could they say to distract him, throw him off course? “Why?” It had come out too quickly. They’d not thought it out. They watched, as if in slow motion, as he picked up the Franklin Planner and turned to tab number 3. “Remember our family meeting this fall when you agreed to only two hours of TV/video games a day on school days?”

But the wait was now over. One last day of riding in the van. On Monday, things could get back to normal; he wouldn’t get back from the office until after 6:30 and he’d never figure out that they’d been watching TV before he got home… “Dad, could you turn the radio up? I wanna hear the forecast.” “Sure,” he said.



Fritz said...


That was cute.

Noah said...

Your kids just got "owned"