Do You Think that Donald Duck and Darkwing
Ever just sit and have coffee and discuss parenting.
Especially in terms of adopted children and the struggles with that?
“Sometimes I just stare at the ceiling and realize two people had to abuse a kid and three people had to die just so I could be happy.” Darkwing would swish his beer can around before taking a swig.
Donald would snort. “I can’t even take care of all three all the time. My uncle has to help-”
“I can barely take care of one. I’m waiting for the day I screw up past the point of no return.”
“Aren’t we all,” Donald mumbles, before the two clink beer cans in solidarity.
But at the end of the day, there’s something to be said of how the kids latch hold of the both of them. They’ll give each other a look (maybe we’ve got a chance) before corralling their kids to bed, the complaints of “I’m not tired!” echoing through the halls.
I do. I do every day.
It’s more, “We don’t know what we’re doing with these kids, and we’re hoping we’re not screwing them up like we are.”
I kind of imagine them discussing laundry matters and school work. Gosalyn’s immune system isn’t as strong as it could be, and Drake has to make sure she takes all of her vitamins in preparation for the day.
Donald complains that he wasn’t responsible for the color coding system. It was Della, and he didn’t have the heart to change it. He keeps up with it, and has to buy color detergent because he doesn’t want their colors to fade every time they go into the wash.
There’s always going to be that fear. That worry where they didn’t do something wrong. They should’ve done this instead of that, but their kids seem happy, they are happy they tell themselves. And they’re alive and healthy. This helps comfort them.
So happy thoughts.
Drake complaining that Gos has this ratty old shirt she won’t let him throw out. It’s too big for her, and it has dozens of holes and she tore her room apart looking for it when he took it away to be washed.
Donald nodding, and offering to show Drake how to patch it up, and a few tips on taking care it doesn’t rip. Drake sharing a few tips he’s picked up repairing Gos’s toys.
Sharing disaster stories about home improvement projects, and the best way of removing yourself when you crash through a wall.
Sharing pictures and videos, and the two of them crowding around their phones, because even if they are sharing these videos, they still want to watch.
There’s a play, a community thing, and somehow both Gos and Dewey have parts. (It’s launchpad’s fault, he’s helping build the scenery) and Donald and Drake working together to put together their costumes. It turns into a competition, everyone is laughing at them, but then Dewey and Gos is up on stage (for about 2 minutes, they don’t even have lines) and both Donald and Drake have video, so they set up a viewing side by side to compare, the sounds better on one, the camera was steadier on another.
And somehow, nothing they do seem to break this odd little friendship they’re building. Not missed meetings (crime never sleeps! Scrooge grabbed Donald for an adventure!), not the weird stories, or occasional lie, or failing to talk for months on end, not the fact they are both super competitive.
It’s a friendship grabbed in the inbetween moments, they have too much in common, they know not to rely on the other, but somehow, it works for them.
Oh my goodness, yes.
Gosalyn has a terrible immune system. But so does Huey. He was the runt of the bunch and it’s consoling to know that so far, he’s turned out fine. But they still trade vitamin brands that worked best.
They exchange recipes over text. Stuff that Gosalyn loves and stuff the triplets can’t stand. All organic baked ziti that the triplets would kill for and Gosalyn’s beloved beef and noodle stew that he’ll make whenever she’s laid up.
Darkwing will send Donald pictures of Tuffy and instructions on how to patch up beloved dolls and Donald exhibits an incredible knack for fixing dents and scratches in any video game.
Sometimes it’s as simple as a picture. Drake texting over a snapshot of him in bed with Gosalyn ticked to his side. “Rare moment,” he’ll add “Enjoying it while it lasts.”
“You don’t know the half,” Donald texts back, a picture of all three of his boys quietly reading the comics at the breakfast table.
They’re their own little single parent support group.
And for what it is… it helps.
While we’re at it, they definitely are a support group. Which means that they talk at the best moments. And talk through the worst.
Tantrums are a common theme that gets texted about. Either the three are holding a riot, practically unionizing against him, or the single tiny terror has blockaded herself in her room and has come to the conclusion that he’s practically Joseph Stalin and she’s living under the cruel reign of a dictatorship.
They talk through the resolutions, too. Either if they apologize or, more likely, when shame faced small children hook to their waists and mumble quiet please for forgiveness into their torsos.
On laundry day, Donald jokes that he’s washing apologies out of his shirt and Drake bitterly comments that his sweaters are too heavy with guilty tears and thank god for oxyclean.
Hospital visits are tougher. When Gosalyn ended up in the ER with a random bout of seizures or that one time she’d had pneumonia and he’d found her in the early morning practically coughing out a lung. When the triplets all got chicken pox or when two of them broke a wing and the third had nearly broken his neck and so much of it was Scrooge’s fault…
They share anger. Frustration. Grief. Loss. Uncertainty.
When they’re afraid they’re not good enough.
When they tell the other that they are.
It’s always good though when the pictures arrive on the others phones. Of children fully awake and happier with their favorite dolls tucked under their chins.
Gosalyn holds Tuffy and wears her favorite torn shirt. He took Donald’s advice and patched it using bits of an old Darkwing cape. There’s a short and blurry video of her rasping out complaints and demands. ‘Dad’ she’s barking out through a sandy throat, ‘dad I’m cold! You’re supposed to lie down next to me, dad!’ The caption reads “Hooray! My arch nemesis, The Bossy Terror, returns!”
And the triplets all have their best grins, all holding tiger dolls. Every child has jello. The triplets like green. Gosalyn will only eat orange.
“Good day,” Donald texts. “No pain! Ordering pizza!”
“Better day here, too. Going home tomorrow. Promised her I’d make soup. Updates to come.”
They’ll meet up for coffee later and discuss the relief. The shared panic. The way they could all finally breathe.
Support groups are usually bigger than theirs. But that’s okay. They’ll make do.