Ding Dongs and Duracells

This is what my son asked to put on the grocery list this week: Pez, batteries, and chocolate donuts. I asked if that’s all we needed from the store for the entire week—maybe we should add some milk, or some veggies—but he stuck to his guns. Pez, batteries, and chocolate donuts. Childhood obesity aside, you’ve gotta respect the kid’s whimsical outlook on life.

It reminds me of a story my mom likes to tell about how I tried to run away as a little kid. She told me I couldn’t run away because I didn’t know how to cook or tie my shoes. I said I’d eat cookies and wear loafers.

Cute, until you realize I was 12 and still couldn’t tie my shoes.

Anyway, there was a time, not too long ago, when I would’ve taken my son’s challenge and stocked the grocery cart with nothing but ding dongs and Duracells. Carpe diem, mother fuckers.

But I don’t carpe diem so much anymore. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve matured, but mostly it’s because I have to get up in the morning and spend a solid 12 hours catering to every whim of my two children. At about 6am, my kids will start asking me, “what are we going to do today, daddy?” I can hold them off with cartoons for a while, but by 7am, if I don’t have a firm plan for the day that includes a craft project and the slim possibility of them being able to pet a live lion, it’ll get “Lord of the Flies” up in here real quick.

I can remember the last time I seized the day. Actually, I can’t remember the actual seizing of the day, but I remember the day after, when I spent a significant amount of time throwing up loudly in the bathroom while my daughter cried outside the door, and repeatedly asked her brother, “what’s wrong with daddy?”

Yeah, that’ll fix any inclinations to carpe the fucking diem.

And let’s say I did some carpe diem-ing with my children, threw caution to the wind and fed the family chocolate donuts for breakfast, lunch, and snack. Do you know what happens when my kids skip their nap? The cat will get shaved.

These days, I have a new motto: Seize the tomorrow. Carpe, uh, tomorrow (sorry, the only Latin I know comes from Dead Poets Society). It takes copious amounts of planning, saving, resting, and monitoring of blood pressure levels to truly seize the tomorrow. Most of the time, I fall completely short, and only manage to seize the couch.

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