Wait Till Your Mother Gets Home! by Chris Zito

For the last three plus years my wife, Kimi, and my son, Vince, have been inseparable.  I went to work, she stayed home.
She was with her baby boy, I got a nice meal every night.

That all changed two months ago when, in the greatest of all radio traditions, I lost my gig. In radio we often refer to this as being “on the beach.”  It sounds so much better than “unemployed,” or “out of work,” or “living on ramen noodles.” So my formerly professional wife brushed up the old resume and hit the placement agencies. Boom. Work. Hey, what happened to the recession I’ve been reading so much about?

Off she went yesterday for her first day of temp work. Vince and I had the whole day to ourselves. Dad’s in charge: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Up to now my interaction with Vince has consisted mostly of giving him someone to watch SpongeBob with, someone to climb on, and someone to occasionally shout,
“Listen to your mother!”

I’ve been as much a goofy playmate as a parent.

But I’ve been a dad for thirty years? It’s like riding a bicycle right? Wrong.

Every kid is different. Every day is different. Every kitchen is different.
“Can I have a juice pouch?” Vince asks? Sure, kid. Just as soon as I find them.

Things were confused but manageable all day. About two rungs below mayhem. Then we got a little behind on chores. Then lunch ran late.
A friend called, then someone called who might be able to help me find work, then I remembered I hadn’t watched last week’s 30 Rock on the dvr…oh come on, that last one didn’t really happen! I’m more responsible than that! I wouldn’t watch that in front of Vince. So we watched a little SpongeBob together.

The place wasn’t quite as tidy as usual.

1:30: The big melt down. The kid was hungry. The kid was tired. The kid was LOUD!
When my mom had enough of us when I was a kid she would break out the old, “Wait till you father gets home!” If that didn’t stop us, she’d call him. At work. While he was working. This she reserved for emergencies. My dad was a salesman working on a straight commission and any interruption could be costly. We would listen to her from around the corner recounting our transgressions. And you prayed that she didn’t mention your name specifically because that meant you got most of Dad’s “attention” when he got home.

Things have changed. In order to calm Vince down, I called his mother and put them on the phone together. After she calmed him down she reviewed the few basic instructions she had left me and we were able to get to lunch. And get back to SpongeBob. And whenever Vince started to feel anxious or afraid that he wasn’t in the best hands I would reassure him, “Wait till your mother gets home.”

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
-Chris Zito

BTW…anyone remember this show? Late sixties, early seventies maybe?


One Response

  1. love this entry, reminds me of my husband Ray and our first, i could not leave them alone for more than 30 minutes. i don’t know who was crying louder when I got home. then ray discovered zac liked looking at the trees, so for 30 minutes or more when I left he would stand near various trees, bouncing back and forth. so funny no matter how long I was gone they would be in the back yard under a tree when I got back

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