A challenging day or two a week ago has Daddy arriving for pickup armed and ready.
D (stopping them and lining them up at the playground gate): Everyone, before we board, we need to get clearance that our vehicle is ready. My apologies.
They watch Daddy as Daddy watches the car a few feet away.
D (nothing having changed): Okay, folks, we’ve received clearance to move onto the tarmac. If you would please come with me, we can make our way across the park…I mean, tarmac to our vehicle. Right this way.
D (opening the door to the backseat): Welcome, Mr. Medeiros, may I take your luggage?
F: Oh, thanks, Daddy.
D: You’ll be sitting in seat 2A today. If you’ll just make your way across the car…there…and Ms. Medeiros…(she’s smiling)…you’ll be next to your brother in 2B. Here, can I take your luggage as well?
C: Daddy, can I tell…
D (depositing their backpacks in seat 1B): Of course, you can, but before we get into all that, here, hold on, let me just get this door for you.
Daddy closes her door and moves around to settle into Seat 1A.
D (turning to them): Now, my name is Mr. Wickey. I’ll be your captain for this trip. Can I ask you to buckle your seat belts for the short jaunt home today? If you need help with your buckle, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
C: Daddy, can I tell…
D: Sure, sure, Ms. Medeiros, but before we jump into that, I do want to let you know that I’ve prepared a bowl of warm nuts for our journey. (Handing them each a bowl of cashews.) Now that you’re buckled, I’d love to have each of you enjoy your nuts while we are waiting to depart. We have to wait for our signal to takeoff, so each of you has plenty of time to finish your nuts.
They move cashews from bowls to mouths, smiling at Daddy. Daddy watches. Other parents pull up. Others pull away. Daddy sits there until both can show off an empty bowl.
D: Okay, Mr. Medeiros, Ms. Medeiros, let me take those away for you. Did you enjoy your snack today?
D: Good, good. Now, we can begin our journey. It’s always best to start a journey off with stable blood sugar. It’s just the thing for a journey, even as short as today’s. Does one of you have a story for me? (Silence.) Come on, guys, can anyone tell me a story from your day?
F (cheekily): A captain isn’t supposed to talk to us like that.
D: Oh, no?
D: How is the captain supposed to talk to you?
F (putting on airs): Oh, Mr. Medeiros, how are you so good today, can I get you something for your super trip home today?
D (laughing and reaching around to nudge his closer knee): That’s right, Mr. Medeiros. Please forgive my impertinence. Ms. Medeiros, are you ready for departure?
C: Yes, Daddy, now can I tell you something?
D (still chuckling): Yes, of course, Ms. Medeiros. How can I help you?
C: I missed you today, Daddy Captain.
D (stopping a little short): Well, thank you, Cory Bee. I mean, Ms. Medeiros. It is such a pleasure to drive you home.
She smiles and looks away, out the window, something in her tummy.
F (continued airs): Mr. Captain Man, can you please drive now? It’s getting on to be time…
Yes, now it is.