March 17, 2013

Ryan's World - I enjoy showing off my superhero skills

I'm not sure how I did it, but I passed my procrastination gene on to my children. It is not uncommon for me to put off writing a story I feel that will be difficult to write until just before deadline. Some of the loyal readers and co-workers are probably thinking, “Yes, and it shows.” I prefer to think of it as my superhero skill of being better under pressure. Unfortunately, both of my daughters have adopted this same philosophy. Unlike me, they are not better under pressure. Their last minute projects usually means dad has to be a superhero and show off skills.

On a recent morning, my youngest daughter was ready for school 20-minutes early. Not to toot my own horn, but when my wife gets our precious children ready for school it is usually hurry, hurry, hurry and out the door you go. I, on the other hand, usually have my youngest ready at least 15-minutes early so she can sit back, relax and get her mind ready for learning (or at least that's what I hope she is doing). I prefer to think the reason is because I'm so skilled at getting them moving in the morning. My wife and kids tend to think it's because they don't want to deal with my grumpiness. On this particular morning we were ahead of the game – breakfast eaten, hair and teeth brushed, lunch sitting by the book bag and dogs in the kennel.

I kept a close eye on the clock and counted the minutes until she had to start watching for the bus while she was readying her mind for school (or thinking of gossip to share with friends). Just as we hear the bus pulling up to the house and she opens the door, she turns to me and shouts, “I forgot my library book on my bed! Can you take it to school for me?” My little procrastinator had 20-minutes to go upstairs, grab the book and put it in her book bag, but nooooo, she had to rely on her superhero father to do the right thing.

As I've mentioned before in one of my columns Valentine's Day boxes are something I enjoy helping create with my children. This year we made one of my top three favorite boxes. However, I learned that procrastination does not work well with paper mache. For some reason my daughter put off making her box until the night before. Most people would learn that the project should be started sooner. Procrastinators don't think like that. The lesson we learned is that we need one of those big industrial sized fans used in barns. That should definitely dry it faster and I'm sure we will find a need for it in the future.

I made sure I was out of bed early enough to finish the project at the last minute. Even though we had it over the heater with the fan blowing (I’m sure the industrial fan would have worked better) all night, the long paper mache was still a little moist (only the top layer and paint were dry). With a steady hand, I carefully cut out all of the little holes for Mr. Potato Head's appendages. I also skillfully crafted the slit to accept the special cards and a door on the back to retrieve the cards. Superman with his laser vision couldn't have done a better job. My youngest daughter woke up once to see her superhero dad accomplish this feat without even breaking a sweat. Two-minutes later, she was back in bed.

While I don't enjoy staying up until close to midnight as my daughters finish up the homework assignment they remembered right before heading to bed, I do enjoy showing off my superhero skills.

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