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A Letter To A Day Home

Dear Jennifer,

I want to thank you for agreeing to look after Tighe this coming year. You are the ideal person in my mind to look after our son.

We spent a great deal of time trying to find a great day home for the odd days we needed but in the end all we found were two places — that unfortunately turned out to not be our cup of tea. The first one was close to home, affordable, and seemed nice. A doting elderly couple were starting up a day home and seemed great but were running a puppy mill in their backyard, grow-op in the basement, meth lab in the guest bedroom and repeatedly refused me entry into an all ages rave they host. I contemplated reporting them to the police but left a tip on the Hell’s Angels phone machine that they were encroaching on their territory for crank and let nature take its cruel course. I ought to take in their mail that is now two feet deep on their porch but haven’t the space in my paper recycling container.

The second place was wrong from the start but was very cheap. I must admit I tried too hard too long to make things work that just wouldn’t. Firstly, even though statistics show that recidivism amongst cannibals once rehabilitated is rare it is an outside 5:1 gamble. Secondly, why do I have to pose nude for photographs to apply? Thirdly, they seemed to smell a little too much like garlic–they claimed it was a side effect from medication to control psychotic breaks–I think it was just garlic.

Well you are our choice and I hope you know that I don’t take parenting or parenting in absentia lightly. I have a few ground rules to lay down so as to avoid the seemingly inevitable screaming matches and hatchet fights I always get into with all my dealings:

Tighe might be allergic to nuts (I am not and I like to receive nuts as a stocking stuffer)–we have a kid’s Epi pen–it has a lot of instructions–a ridiculous amount but you need to read them–I haven’t finished reading them, I’m on chapter 17. Once you read the instructions I would appreciate you not telling me how it turns out.

Tighe naps start around 12:30 to 2:00 (yes damn it PM!). We usually induce him to sleep by exhausting him in a primal scream therapy session. However, I find your screaming shrill (remember that time at our house with the barbeque, the bet, and the explosion) and would appreciate it if you could play a screaming CD that I have recorded–and copyrighted!

Tighe doesn’t eat fast food. I’m a bit crazy on this particular point–like Catcher In The Rye crazy–to borrow my therapist’s expression.

You are Catholic (and I was until Bishop Henry excommunicated me 2 years ago)–Tighe is not–please do not serve Tighe Catholic communion since the miracle of transubstantiation will be wasted on him. Please do not tell Tighe about Purgatory–it is too complicated to explain to a two year old. If you do, I’ll tell Jonathon about the sale of indulgences by the Church and the vagaries of Vatican II –I mean it!

Never tell Tighe not to think about a purple horse. I was once told not to think of a purple horse and

On Monday, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays we talk to Tighe in Latin (prebyzantine–v is pronounced as w) and Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays we speak to him in Greek (ancient of course). Odd calendar days mean reading Linear B and even calendar days are for Coptic. Holidays are a treat and we speak an archaic dialectic of Kiswahili using American Sign Language. It is important that he learn his language routine, please respect my wishes and do likewise.

Tighe likes to read books. We have an assortment of great books for him to read. Please do not prompt Tighe while he reads and please do not condescend to read to him–he’ll pretend to like it but will actually be humiliated and angry.

We call onions carrots and carrots onions. It is a “cruel experiment” (to quote our case worker from Social Services) I’m performing on Tighe please do not refer to carrots as carrots or onions as onions. Also, please refer to mirrors as leaks.

We wish to pay you wholly in Canadian Tire money–for complex tax reasons. But, please do not ask me to pick up anything (including Christmas decorations) from Canadian Tire due to a long standing court order I wish to abide by.

If I ever arrive to pick up Tighe with a man pretend to be the boy’s mother and act as if we are an estranged couple. If I ever arrive to pick up Tighe with a woman pretend I am a CIA operative there to kidnap the child and weep and run hysterically and play act a fight scene with me once I catch you–please do not run too fast or I will not be able to catch you.

If a man named Julio E Inguinono ever comes to your house and demands a saliva swab from Tighe for DNA testing do not comply. Tighe is our son and certainly not a young El Salvadoran named Lope Inguinono, a tourist kidnapped by a crazed infertile Canadian couple. Mr. Inguinono’s tragic story that began at the Calgary Tower in 2003 is not my affair.

Well Jennifer that’s about it. Thank you for agreeing to look after Tighe I have a good feeling about this.


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