What do badassery and I have in common? Historically, not much. But this weekend I stepped it up.
I watched 7 kids. All by my lonesome.
Due to a series of overlapping commitments, projects running over their deadlines, visiting relatives, and the fact that my wife and in-laws were all tragically born without a logistically-oriented bone in their collective bodies, I found out Saturday morning that I'd be watching my 3 youngest children and 4 of their cousins for the bulk of the weekend. This isn't normally a big deal -- surprisingly, this isn't the first time this has happened, and to be fair, the extra 4 kids are old enough, interesting enough, and well-mannered enough that they don't require much extra effort except for in the food preparation arena (it's like a damned Army mess hall at chow time).
There's also one next to me in the front seat.
What makes this weekend different, and what elevated me from a normal underpaid babysitter is the field trip I decided to throw in. You know, in addition to dragging them to church and a pair of youth soccer games (including team pictures!).
I took these guys roller skating. And it was awesome. Everybody had fun (even the 2 year old who I wouldn't let skate). They won prizes. They did laps. They had snacks. And practically nobody cried. Which is amazing. Because taking my kids in public usually leaves me bawling.
So, that is pretty much my whole resume. The ball is in your court, Ben Thompson. I figure that willingly taking 7 kids to a roller skate without once rolling up into the fetal position and sucking my thumb in the corner ought to put me in the annals of badassitude, somewhere between Attila the Hun and Dwight Johnson.