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Ding Dong

knock-first-plzThey say he who finds a wife finds great gain. I say he who finds a wife with a daughter finds even greater gain. He also finds privacy to be scarce. While I enjoyed my past life as a bachelor I wouldn’t trade it for what I have now. I relish being a husband and father. Lola, my 8 year old dahjah, brings much joy and entertainment into my life. She’s witty like her mother, but has a loud personality, and a deep sultry voice. She’s also a quick learner. Usually it takes a while for a child to learn the concept of knocking. Unless you put them on an accelerated learning path.

It was a typical week night in the Axelrod household. Around the time when we all start getting ready for bed. I turned on the shower head. It hissed to life. Steam began to billow up to the bathroom ceiling. I de-robed and threw back the shower curtain, about to step into a warm cascading waterfall to wash away the remains of the day, when I realized I left my toiletry bag in the bedroom. I don’t like starting my nightly routine without having everything I need first.

The towel was hanging from its hook. My better judgment said “hey, maybe you should put on a towel first. You are completely naked after all.” Whereas the fly by the seat of your pants part of me said, “Pants? Who need em?”

I agreed with my latter half. It would only take 5 seconds. With that I brushed aside my better judgment and flew without any pants into the bedroom to retrieve my toiletry bag. I was about three-quarters of the way to my work bag when I noticed the bedroom door was cracked. Odd. I could have sworn I shut it before going into the bathroom. I should probably close it before someone comes in.

No sooner did I have the thought when a little pair of feet came racing through the hallway toward the door. I saw the window from the corner of my eye, wondering if I had time to jump through it. There was also the bed behind me. I could have time to roll my up in the blankets like a burrito, or cover my nakedness with my wife’s teddy bear, Rufus.

They say in life threatening situations there are two responses that are triggered. Fight or flight. There’s also a third response, to freeze.

When Lola burst through the door we looked at it each other in wide eyed, wide mouth horror. I never wanted it to be this way. I wanted the first man she saw naked to be her husband on her wedding night. We both screamed while I dove into a crouching tiger, hidden penis stance.

She ran back to her room.

“I have to go?” She frantically told her father who she had been talking to on FaceTime.

“Why?”

“I have a lot of homework to do, and I still have to shower and brush my teeth,” she said then abruptly hung up on him.

My heart was pounding I figured the first thing I should probably do is tell her mother what happened. She may be concerned. I grabbed the towel off the hook in the bathroom, wrapping it around my waist, wishing I had done so in the first place. My wife was in the kitchen cleaning up.

“Honey, you may need to go talk to Lola,” I told her.

“Why, what happened?” She sounded concerned.

When I told her what happened she couldn’t stop laughing. Not the reaction I was expecting.

When we went to Lola’s bedroom to console her we found her hiding under her purple blanket, where she stayed for the remainder of the night. No amount of soothing would bring her out.

In the morning as I was getting Lola’s snacks packed for school I felt anxious. Finally her door opened. She staggered out looking like a purple ghost. I tried to console her, telling her it was ok, that these things happen. She was still too embarrassed to look at me.

At school she kissed her mom goodbye. Instead of hugging me goodbye, as she normally does, she shook my hand and said, “Nice to meet you,” as if I was a stranger she was meeting for the first time. Then she stepped out of the car and hurried into the school yard.

Usually it takes a while for a child to learn the concept of knocking. Unless they walk in and see you naked.

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