Today was a big day. Today we launched the latest beta version of Ouchie, the app I’ve been tirelessly working on for the past year and a half. This is the app that I was developing all while simultaneously running a profitable production company, remodeling our first home, advising another startup, and helping a friend develop a web series. Oh and also while raising a two-year-old girl.
But none of these accomplishments matter because more importantly, today was the day I committed a crime -- a toddler crime, to be precise, but nonetheless a crime. Specifically, it was a crime spree. This criminal behavior commenced at exactly 5:23 p.m., when I made my first mistake. Upon arrival at daycare for pickup and was asked by the victim, who we shall call The Victim for the sake of this report, if there was a snack in the car, I exclaimed, “Yes. A banana.” And thus, crime number one was committed: the snack choice. The most serious offense though was yet to come. We got into the car and got situated in our seats, at which time The Victim proclaimed sadly that she’d like her banana. Prior to making a right into a busy intersection, I handed the slightly peeled banana back to The Victim. It is during this transaction that The Victim was truly faulted. The screaming and crying commenced. There was arm flailing and incomprehensible words through yelps. The Victim was clearly distraught and had been harmed beyond repair.
Clouded by confusion and guilt, I confronted The Victim, asking in the calmest voice I could muster, “What’s a matter? Do you not want the banana?” as I tried to grab it back. That was my third offense. In less than five minutes, I had committed three crimes. Wanting to see eye-to-eye with the poor Victim, I pulled over the car on the nearest side street. “What do you want? What’s a matter?” She sobbed, “I needed it over there!” and pointed towards the window and door. “The banana comes through over there.” Ladies and gentleman, I had not given her the snack by the door when she got into her car seat.
I had two choices at that moment. Get out of the car and deliver the banana to this sad, tiny terror. This could have ended my reign of lawlessness, possibly not. Or, I could just put the car back into drive and proceed home.
Today, my good, big day was the day I decided to be righteous. I kept on driving.
The Victim cried all the way back to the house. We got out of the car, banana untouched, when The Victim nearly gave in. She implored, “Can you open for me, please?” Foolishly I fell into the trap. I peeled the banana. WRONG! This final, inexcusable act sent the much distraught victim to the floor in a giant puddle of harm.
I walked past The Victim, put together a bowl of grapes, pretzels, and cheese. The Victim was resurrected. The handcuffs unshackled. My record wiped clean. The banana remains half peeled and yet uneaten on our table.
Have I learned my lesson? Yes. A hangry child means parent purgatory. Will I be a repeat offender? Very likely.