Life with Jellybean is like living with a TMZ reporter.
Every little secret and embarrassing moment is thrown out there for strangers to ridicule and nothing is left to the imagination.
Now I know what it’s like to be Lindsay Lohan – minus the cocaine and craziness.
Take for example the answer Jellybean gave to the simple question of, “So what does your Daddy do?”
“He works really hard and orders pizza.”
I can only imagine the look on the daycare teacher’s face when Jellybean blurted that one out. Granted, we’re not exactly tight with her teachers – defined by the fact that I know them only as “Miss. Tonya” or “Miss Christy”. Given that I’m usually dropping my child off in the morning dressed like I’m about to go pick up trash on the side of the road (a perk of working from home), I gotta think their minds were running wild with that revelation.
At least she put “works hard” ahead of “ordering pizza,” both of which, I must confess, are fairly accurate descriptions of my daily duties.
But the child could’ve thrown in a few superlatives for good measure.
Something like “uproariously funny writer” or, “award-winning freelance writer,” or “adverb-advocator” or “A man who will always be measured by the weight of his words and not the amount of his paycheck.”
Seriously, is that too much to ask of a 2-year-old … perhaps. Heck, I’d settle for “Man who makes all of my tiny dreams come true.”
Instead, I “work hard and order pizza.” I guess it’s better than a punch in the face, but I must admit to a bit of bitterness.
But the humiliation and underselling doesn’t end at the schoolhouse door.
While sitting in the waiting area of MasterCuts for The Diva to finish getting pampered – (seriously, they could’ve washed Medusa’s hair in less time and that’s with half the staff being turned to stone), Jellybean felt the need to make me a punch line for the row of nearby customers.
“My sister’s getting her hair cut,” she said in her Outside Voice, “but my Daddy doesn’t need one ‘cause he doesn’t have any hair.”
Yes, I am bald. Yes, it’s fairly obvious to all who meet me. Do I care? Not especially. Because my hair started falling out before I could legally buy a bottle of Boone’s Farm, I got over never being able to cultivate the world’s most majestic mullet. That doesn’t mean I need my baldness broadcast to entire world.
I already have to live with the fact that the very same MasterCuts we were patronizing gives me the children’s discount because of what little I’ve got to work with.
Jellybean, in her defense, was just trying to make conversation. And here we’ve preached the whole “Don’t talk to strangers” bit time and time again. I suppose we should’ve amended the warning by adding of, “especially when you run the risk of publically humiliating your father.”
She never does that to her mother.
But I know Jellybean loves me even if the way she expresses it is a bit creepy. Just yesterday she told me, “Daddy, I when I was a baby, I lived in Mommy’s tummy. So next year, I think I’m gonna live in yours.”
Now that’s just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. And there’s nothing embarrassing about that.
Contact Brett Buckner at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brett Buckner is an award-winning freelance newspaper/magazine writer who was raised in Albany.