“Can you reach that for me?”
“How do you cook a spaghetti squash?”
“Why is the Xbox going so slow?”
“Did we use Drano in the sink?”
“What’s the Internet password? Again?”
There is only one person in our house who knows the answers to all these questions.
We call him: SolutionsGuy.
We also call him other names. Notably: Husband and Dad.
(Yeah, we actually have nicknamed him SolutionsGuy. My stepson even made up theme music for him a while back.)
Because he does solve pretty much everything. As long as it’s sometime after 9:13 in the morning and before 2:08 at night, the man is unstoppable.
He has (or can find) the answer to anything.
That includes life stuff.
When my stepson mentioned some trouble he was having at school, I didn’t really know what to say. I offered a few suggestions, but felt highly awkward about it. I didn’t have a solution.
But you know who did?
When my stepdaughter said she wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t really know how to help her. Give her medicine? Just tell her to hydrate? Take her to the doctor?
SolutionsGuy to the rescue!
I guess some of his solutions-oriented-ness comes just by nature of being a dad. He will know things about the kids that I haven’t been able to figure out yet. He’s been through a lot of this stuff before, so he knows his way around parenting and pest control, yard maintenance and handyman stuff.
Often, his ridiculous productivity is manifested in assorted lists he leaves around the house. Every weekend, there’s a new list. For shopping, for chores, for long-term projects, there’s a list for all of it.
And between 9:13 a.m. and 2:08 a.m., he is on top of all those lists.
I say 9:13 as an arbitrary time that seems to be his approximate ideal waking-up point on a weekend.
I say 2:08, however, with more intentionality.
Because it was 2:08 in the middle of the night, when my stepdaughter came to wake me up.
“I had a bad dream,” she said. “Can you tuck me back in?”
“Of course,” I replied, bleary-eyed.
I checked the clock. It was 2:08.
Dragging myself out of bed, I was on my way to her room, when all of a sudden, the silence of the night was shattered by a loud
I jumped, and whirled around to find our bed suddenly empty — my husband wasn’t there —
Fully awake now, I hurried over to the other side of the bed.
And there he was. On the floor.
“Oh my gosh, are you OK?” I asked him, realizing he’d rolled off the edge.
But instead of answering, he grabbed a handful of the blankets that had been pulled down to the floor with him, and snuggled up to them, making himself at home on the rug.
He was still asleep.
Shrugging, I went to tuck my stepdaughter in, informing her of what her dad was unconsciously up to.
“I’m gonna see if I can get him back into bed,” I told her. “I’ll let you know how it goes.”
It took longer than I’d anticipated.
I poked. I prodded. I whispered. I talked louder.
He muttered back at me, but rolled over and curled into the blankets again. The man was not waking up. This was one problem SolutionsGuy was not interested in solving.
Finally, after almost 15 minutes of convincing, I managed to get him aware enough of the situation to get himself off the floor and into bed again.
“Izzn thelistt?” he mumbled at me once he lay down.
“The list!” he repeated emphatically. “Is it on the list?!”
“Is what on the list?” I chuckled, pretty sure he wasn’t actually awake.
He frowned, his eyes still closed. “Fine, laugh at me,” he pouted. “But is it on the list?”
My stepdaughter found this story hilarious when I told her, as did my stepson the following morning.
But no one was as amused as my husband, who didn’t remember a thing from the encounter.
We aren’t sure what was on that particular list, but he tried. Even when he’s asleep, he’s trying to be SolutionsGuy (though not very successfully).
So we’ve determined, as long as it isn’t 2:08 in the morning, he’s much more apt to solve life’s problems.
Originally published in The Herald News on June 16, 2019.