Bug jumped in the car and was excited.
“I miss my friends…I can’t wait to see them at camp.”
It was going to be a week of camp during the day. Bug would be climbing imaginary rock walls and conducting exciting experiments. She would be running and playing with her old friends. We pulled up to the camp area and noticed emptiness.
She looked at me, “We must be the first ones here.”
I walked up to the door and did some expert CSI investigating. “The Case of the empty parking lot.”
We walked up to the door. I pulled it…locked. I knocked on the door and said, “Hello?” Maybe the first game of camp was a really really good game of hide-and-seek. Nope, no answer.
Clue #2 (the breakthrough clue)
A phone number on the door. Hmm. I will call it.
“Hello, this is Ken.”
“Hi Ken, this is Dan. I am at your door and it is locked. I thought camp started at 7AM.”
“Yes Dan it does start at 7…7AM, next week. It is on our calendar.”
“Thanks Ken, calendar? Who looks at calendars? You mean those rectangular shaped booklets we used to hang on walls back in the 1800’s? We don’t own one of those.”
“We sent you an informational booklet about it two weeks ago.”
“Ahh…you sent it? By mail? Who even gets mail? You physically sent me a letter…a letter? Like they did in the olden times? What did it start with…’dear dan, fourscore and seven years ago..’ Are we pen pals now?”
Case solved. And it is usually solved with the same answer…it’s my fault. I looked at my little one and we made the sad walk back to the car.
“Daddy? No camp…what do I do now?”
And it hit me…yes, what do we do now? I have work in 7 minutes. Little did my daughter know she would be sitting at my work for 6 hours.
Armed with a backpack and two pencils with no erasers, I had to find a way to make the next 6 hours fun for her. This was “Spend a day with Daddy at work camp.”
She sat down…and I thought about what I could give her to keep her busy. So I thought about what keeps me busy for hours.
“Bug? Want some food? How about some fruit? Chips? Cake?”
Food. That’s what keeps me busy for hours. Don’t judge me.
She happily ate everything I gave her. But it wasn’t enough. So I grabbed printer paper and handed it to her.
“Baby, how about you draw for a bit….draw a zoo!”
And in five minutes, my little Picasso gave me a picture of a zoo.
“Uhh…how about basketball? Draw people playing basketball!”
And in five minutes, she handed me her masterpiece.
This game was not long enough. But, something caught her attention.
“Daddy, I found coupons on this table! Mommy will be so happy, she loves coupons!”
“Oh yeah, she does….find all the coupons you can find…cut them out…and she will be saving money in no time….don’t stop til you find every single coupon in this place.”
And every few minutes she would run up to me with her findings.
“Daddy..look….a coupon for…adult diapers! You can just be an adult and use the bathroom anytime! And you don’t need a toilet…you just go…right there. This coupon will make it cheaper!”
“Oh yes, we definitely need those. And now we can get them for twenty-five cents cheaper. We will be rolling in adult diapers…making it rain with adult diapers. Yay us!”
She ran off to her make shift desk and went back to work.
“Daddy, I found a coupon for broccoli medicine!”
“What? broccoli medicine? Medicine for vegetables that are not feeling well?”
“Yes! Look!” She handed me the coupon.
“Oh no baby, that’s for BRONCHITIS medicine…not broccoli….broccoli is B-R-O-C-C-O-L-I. But that was close.”
Five hours had passed and I was so proud of my little coupon cutter. I had one hour left to go. First day of “Daddy made a mistake and now I have to sit at his work for six hours camp” was a success. But, that one hour never came to be. Two of her classmates entered my work with their mom. I told her of the goof I made and offered to take her to get ice cream. I was so happy.
“Bug, Cash and Oliver are on a play date. Wanna go with them to get ice cream?”
“YES!! I got coupons…and now ice cream. BEST DAY EVER.”
For that last hour, I glanced at the spot she sat in for the last five hours and missed her.