Child Rearin'

Published on January 6th, 2016 | by Richard Black


Status Update: A Report From the Front Lines

UF_RestrictedData_011615Mission Control:
Lieutenant Black, one of our finest young officers, has been tasked with putting three little girls to bed while his wife and her best friend are out for the evening. The subjects are Anna (a bright and high strung child who was recently traumatized by viewing the movie “The Good Dinosaur”), her sister Sherry (a possible narcoleptic), and his daughter Darcy (whom ate three Cheez-Its and four pounds of chocolate for dinner).

We have the utmost faith that Lieutenant Black will perform his duties and bring honor to this institution and his family.

Status Update to Mama Bear: 7:45 PM
Morale: Cautiously Optimistic.
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: Excellent.

This is Lieutenant Richard Black reporting for babysitting duty. My wife and her friends have left for the evening and all girls (Anna, Sherry and my daughter Darcy) are in bed after having brushed their teeth with the same toothbrush. All is quiet and I have opened up a beer in celebration.

Status Update to Mama Bear: 8:05 PM
Morale: Resolute
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: Good

Anna is having a nightmare. She is sobbing and asking for a dreamcatcher that has been left some 500 miles away by her mother (most likely in retribution for a comment I made some time ago about how hard it must be to find shoes that nice for feet that big). Anna’s mother is a sadistic woman and diabolically intelligent. In all likelihood she has been planning this very moment for years.

I have remedied the situation by lying because children are gullible and the law prohibits me from shoving sleeping pills down Anna’s throat. In substitution for the ostensibly lost dreamcatcher I have used one of my daughter’s stuffed animals, a cheetah, as a totem to ward off bad dreams. I have told her that cheetahs are very fast, that they are so fast that they can catch bad dreams before they take root in her young and fertile mind. Anna asked me what the cheetah’s name was and, as I did not know, dubbed her Kim Kardashian after the most fearsome and lightening fast female predator of which I am aware.

Anna is dubious and I have stayed in bed with her to provide some measure of comfort before she falls asleep. The other two girls have not moved and slumber peacefully.

Status Update to Mama Bear: 8:10 PM
Morale: Optimistic
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: Rebounding

I am still in bed with Anna. She appears to have fallen asleep. I have edged my way off of her air mattress and moved cautiously downstairs. Darcy appears to be suffering from some mild gastrointestinal distress. Sherry remains, essentially, unconscious.

Status Update to Mama Bear: 8:11 PM
Morale: Fair
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: Poor

Anna was not asleep. As soon as I left she began sobbing. It is a sound reminiscent of a baby seal being clubbed. I have joined her again in bed and have read her one of my favorite poems, “The Raven”, to calm her nerves. All children I am told like birds.

Anna is a very bright girl and even at the age of four she has a thorough understanding of Poe. I hope her active mind will focus on the literary nuances within the poem and be soothed by it’s rhyme and meter. Sherry is still unconscious and my only concern is that she will drown in her own saliva. Darcy is restless but still asleep. Her hindquarters are producing a sound not entirely like, but not altogether different, than that of an elderly cat attempting to communicate its dying wish in the form of flatulence.

Kim Kardashian has moved to Anna’s pillow and is ready to pounce.

Status Update to Mama Bear: 10:30 PM
Moral: Snake’s Ass
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: In Decline

The situation has deteriorated markedly. I have spent the past two hours consoling Anna and alternately sneaking into the bathroom to take shots of Robitussin. Anna’s mood continues to deteriorate. She is having nightmares about ravens and the walking dead. When asked about the character Lenore in Poe’s “The Raven” I explained that she was most likely the narrator’s dead lover. Children, I am told, fear the unknown and Anna being a bright girl probably needed to know precisely what it was tap tap tapping on that chamber door.

I was  careful to explain that zombies aren’t real, at least in this universe, which lead to a discussion of  the multiverse and the infinite possibilities thereof. Although she is not asleep her eyes appear to be screwed shut which I take to be a promising sign.

Other than her salivary glands I have no indication that Sherry is still alive. Darcy’s farts have rendered the second floor of our home uninhabitable to anyone over the age of five or who hasn’t consumed an entire bottle of cough syrup.

Status Update to Mama Bear: 10:30 PM
Morale: Titanic 45 minutes After Impact
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: All Hands Abandon Ship

SOS. SOS. SOS. WE ARE GOING DOWN. WE ARE GOING DOWN. Anna is in full scream mode. I have taken her downstairs to watch the movie “Aliens” in the hopes that its portrayal of the unbreakable human spirit will give her the courage she needs to face her demons and finally fall asleep. Kim Kardashian is nowhere to be found and presumably lies somewhere under the sheets, her natural habitat.

I have not been able to check Darcy’s pants but it smells as if she has passed a dead walrus. Sherry still has not moved and, at this point, I can only assume that she is comatose.

Status Update to Mama Bear: 10:35 PM
Morale: Hindenburg
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: There is no God

ALL HANDS ON DECK. WE ARE EVACUATING. WE ARE EVACUATING THE SECOND FLOOR!!! Showing Anna the movie “Aliens” has backfired. She is terrified and I have relocated her permanently to the couch downstairs to watch the Christmas classic, “Die Hard”, in order to get her into the holiday spirit.

The upstairs portion of the home remains uninhabitable do to my daughter’s gastrointestinal distress. I can hear her. I know that she is still among the living. Her flatulence sounds like small arms fire. Sherry hasn’t made so much as a whimper and, while I am not a religious man, I have prayed for her safety. Without proper gear however I can neither confirm nor deny her current status.

Status Update to Mama Bear: 10:58 PM
Morale: Chernobyl
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: Norwegian

DANGER CLOSE. I REPEAT. DANGER CLOSE. PLEASE LEAVE THE WINE BAR AND SEND ALL ASSETS TO OUR LOCATION. Darcy has projectile vomited over the room. The sheets, the duvet, and my mother’s quilt are all covered in recycled Cheez-Its and chocolate. Sherry remains immobile. Given the stench she cannot possibly still be alive.

The velvet duvet cover, formerly a shade of burgundy, is soaking and staining the tub a shade of claret.

Anna is now fully awake and shows no inclination of falling asleep. Have started the movie “Deer Hunter” to keep her occupied. All kids like deer.

More vomit. Running out of old towels. I gasp for breath and fill my lungs with air before making runs upstairs to strip the bed in 90 second intervals. Washing machine is going constantly but is making an ominous “clunking” sound. I don’t believe that it can keep up this pace.

Having exhausted the supply of linens Darcy has been placed on the wooden floor for ease of “clean up”.

If I don’t make it please tell my wife that I love her.

Mama Bear 11:34 PM
Lieutenant Black we are finishing our last round of Pinot Noir. Once we pay the tab we intend to bring the entire clientele of Vin Du Set Wine bar to your location. Please have crackers and a brie out for company.

PFC Black 11:35 PM

Mama Bear 11:38 PM
Lieutenant Black we will be inbound shortly. A round of Cabernet has been ordered but we are closing out our tab. Please stay strong.

Status Update to Mama Bear: 11:52 PM
Morale: XXX
Prospects for a Pleasant Evening: XXX

Evacuated to basement. Anna is shaking in a corner. She has created a makeshift blowtorch with a can of Raid and a lighter to kill spiders. She mumbles constantly but I can’t understand the words. Something about “one shot, one kill”. Vomit covers the first floor.

Darcy has been placed over a drain. I worry that the high level of methane in the air might explode and have turned off the furnace. An old tent is the best I can do for…safe area…using dryer sheets instead of masks to deal with the stench…going back to find Sherry…no one…behind.

Mama Bear 12:41 AM
LieutenantBlack. New friends just showed up. Red Zin is incoming. Disregard prior request for brie as chocolate fondue is inbound. We will be at your location as soon as we finish our last wine flight. I have full confidence that you can deal with the situation.

Notes From Mission Control
Lieutenant Black was found comatose but huddling over three children in the basement of his home. Despite all odds he managed to fight his way to the second floor and retrieve Sherry.

Medevac copters lifted all four members of the household to a hospital in rural Kentucky, one of the few places that was in network for his family’s insurance.

Lieutenant Black, Sherry, Anna and Darcy were treated for the effects of extreme flatulence. All girls are resting and expected to make a full recovery. Darcy has been enrolled in a scientific program, bankrolled by the Army’s division on special weapons, to study her colon and it’s ability to produce voluminous amounts of toxic flatulence.

Lieutenant Black remains in ICU. We remain hopeful that he will return from a vegetative state. His wife has yet to come home from the wine bar. Both she and her friend were last seen leaving the building with a group of sailors just home from a lengthy six month engagement at sea.

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