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Never Make A Promise

Samuel and I were sitting in Paulio’s Pizza Cafe on S. Cooper near Mansfield having lunch recently (they have great lunch specials).  Our normal table was taken (yes, our normal table was taken), so we found another table in the middle of the restaurant.  Paulio’s has two flat screen tv’s, one at each end, and every time I’ve been there, the tv’s have been tuned to some sort of sports programming.

The tv in my view broadcast one of the semi-final games of the World Cup.  I thought that the other tv was showing the same thing (mistake #1).

Instead, someone had changed the channel to the History Channel.  (Wait, it wasn’t that bad.)  No, they weren’t showing some documentary on a war or genocide or some equally disturbing topic.  At this moment, at this time, they happened to be running programming that would appeal to a 5 year old (as well as some adults I would presume), a documentary on the history of comic book superheroes.

Every thirty seconds, Samuel stopped eating his pizza, pointed at the screen and identified another character that had come on the screen.  His interest in the comic book documentary made it difficult to persuade him to leave when we were done, which we needed to do so that we would be on time for his afternoon camp (Sporties For Shorties).

It was then, in the midst of these negotiations, that I made a fatal mistake.

“I’ll find out when it’s on again, and I’ll DVR it. I promise.”

If I could only go back in time and take back those words.

Reminder #1

In the parking lot prior to dropping Samuel off at the afternoon camp (a mere twenty minutes after the Promise had been made), the following exchange took place.

“Are you going home?” he asked.

“No, I’m going back to work, then I’m going to come back and get you.”

“When are you going to record my show?”

“Tonight.”  (Delay, delay, delay.)

Reminder #2

Two hours later I picked up Samuel from the afternoon camp.  We walked to the car, and I buckled him into his car seat.

“Daddy, did you record my show yet?”

“No, I haven’t been home.  I went back to work.”

“When are you going to record it?”

“Tonight.”  (Keep delaying.)

Reminder #3

Samuel came back to work with me and played in my office for about an hour before the Dear Wife came to pick him up.  Just as he was gathering up his toys to leave, he offered this nugget, “Daddy, don’t forget to record my show.”

“I won’t.”  (I intended to eventually do it, but with reminders like these how would I ever forget.)

Reminder #4

The next morning (6.30 a.m.), I heard Samuel moving around in his bed.  Since I had to leave for an early morning meeting, I thought I’d go in and say “Hi,” before I left.

“Good morning, buddy.”

“Good morning, daddy.  Did you record my show yet?”

“Not yet, but I will.”

“When?”  (Talk about persistent.)

Reminder #5

After my early morning meeting, I returned home before going to the office.  I was greeted at the door by Samuel.

“Did you come home to record my show?”

“Um, no.  I have to do something else.  But I will do it today.”

“When?”

Reminder #6

I came home for lunch.  Samuel and the Dear Wife were already eating at the table.  I opened the fridge to get the bread, and while doing so, Samuel stopped eating long enough to address me.

“Daddy, are you going to record my show?”

“Yes.  Today, I will do it.”

“When?”

“Today.”

In a span of 24 hours, Samuel has reminded me of this promise 6 times and I imagine that until I DVR this show, he’ll keep reminding me.  Of course, I thought it would be relatively easy to record (once I got around to it), but trying to find out when this show will run again on the History Channel has been a pain in the rear (if I had only known).  It still hasn’t been done, but no one appears willing to let me forget my promise.

Think twice before making any promises, no matter how simple they appear to be.

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