Fix It Felix

Yes, the title for today is a joke, I couldn’t come up with a better line, to be honest.

I sometimes pride myself on the ability to do a lot of things, from cooking to (sort of) cleaning to playing music to writing here fairly often.  I don’t often think too much when I’m asked to do something by my children.  It’s not that I believe it’s not that hard, I just don’t often think about it.  That’s what, as a father or mother, you have to do.  If I often thought about the amount of work I have to put in or the amount of money I have to spend just to be parent to these four children you’d find me in a corner of the room going “thbthbthbthbthbthbthb.”

So it was today.  (Not the sitting in the corner part, it was the thinking part)

We got a box with Christmas presents – sort of a start the new year off smashingly thing – from family.  I had to take one child to an appointment and had to make dinner but the presents sat there on the table and the hyperactivity was too much.

“Fine, open them,” I told them.

Noah's Sock Monkey...a previous repair.
Noah’s Sock Monkey…a previous repair.

Inside one of the presents for my son, Noah, was a pair of sock monkey mittens.  Along with a gift for me the monkeys had some sort of damage from the gorilla from UPS.

“I LOVE these!” he kept saying.

But one eye on one mitten . . . a couple pieces of black thread making an “x” on the top . . . was loose.

“Can you fix it Dad?”

I looked, closely, and with all honesty said I’d have to look closer at it later to see.
“Because it looks like it’s going to fall apart.”
“It won’t fall apart, monkey.”
“I think it will.”
“It won’t.”
“But it might.”
“If you keep playing with it like that, it will,” I told him watching him chase his brother around the room attempting to bite his arm with self same monkey.

The evening pretty much went on like that.

Look, I have to admit when I’m beaten.  I’m not Fix It Felix, I don’t have a golden hammer given to me by my father that, with one touch, will fix everything.  (Do you get the idea I see more kid movies than anything else in my house?)  It wasn’t simply sewing the seam of a ripped sock monkey back together it was more like knitting.  I don’t know how to knit.  I’m not sure I would know how to knit without a lot of work.

“I can fix it for you, kiddo,” my daughter Abbi tells him.
“No, Daddy can do it,” he says.

Yeah.  Not sure that’s the case.

I will bulldoze headlong into most things but with this sock monkey I knew I was beat . . . but he didn’t want to hear that.  By evening’s end the monkey was on the kitchen table.
“Can I put it here Dad?”
“Why?  You worried it’s going to spontaneously come apart in the middle of the night if it sits on your bed?”
“Yes.”

I rolled my eyes.
“Abbi will look at it, Noah, I don’t know if I can fix it.”
“I think you can, Dad, can you look at it tomorrow?”

So here I sit, writing, taking a break from what I was doing . . . looking up how to repair knitting on the internet.

It isn’t that he doesn’t want his sister to fix it.  He wants his Dad to do it because . . . well, this is a guess but . . . I’m the one stable factor in his life right now.  At least the one constant stable factor.  Schools changed.  Houses changed.  My job changed.  His sister went to college.  His other sister went to a different school, high school.

Dad’s the same.

And Dad can fix anything, right?

Umm . . . time to go back to Google.

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One thought on “Fix It Felix”

  1. It’s not the magical, omnipresent ability to fix and do that makes the difference. It’s your willingness to turn towards a dilemma, puzzle through it, try some things, and create a workable solution that show your kids how to handle this baffling Life thing.

    To hell with native abilities. When you choose to work on the stuff you’re NOT good at, you lay the foundation for success. I’m guessing that your kids not only like to watc you figuring out solutions, but need to witness your process. They see that they are allowed (encouraged) to muddle along to their own form of mastery.

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