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part 3
by Will Nuessle

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The third and final part of this training now commences. Hope you’re feeling rested, soldier…

Mission Nine: Sacktime II

Having realized his error of the night before, Alpha will employ Bravo’s suggestion of putting the Pack ‘n Play in the tent so that Charlie can sleep in a kick-free zone (or KFZ). This will work admirably well right up until 0300 when Charlie begins to scream at the top of his lungs in his sleep. Mission is considered a fail if Alpha or Bravo flee the campsite to wander the woods forever.

Mission Ten: Field-Stripping II

Charlie will again awaken by 0530, and either Alpha or Bravo[1] will be required to change his diaper. In the process of changing said diaper, after cleaning Charlie and with both of Charlie’s legs captured by one hand, the recruit will encounter a live spider in the diaper bag and must deal with it immediately. Mission is considered a fail if any member of Team BABY is bitten by said spider, if Charlie falls to the ground, or if Alpha/Bravo faints.[2]

Mission Eleven: Establish a Beachhead

Having ‘enjoyed’ several days at camp, Team BABY will now drive to the coast. Once they have found the beach at La Push, WA, Charlie will be released to ‘stretch his legs.’ Mission will be considered a fail if Charlie falls in the Pacific/, if Charlie eats more than three handfuls of sand,[3] or if Charlie is abducted by werewolves.[4]

Mission Twelve: Return to Base (or RTB)

Over the course of two days Team BABY will drive to Home Base, with added challenge: against all odds a monsoon rain will be falling as Team BABY goes to leave their Mesquite, Nevada hotel at 0830. Hotel has no awning. Team BABY must pack their gear and all team members into the car. Mission will be considered a fail if Charlie is dropped, if any fragile or perishable item is broken, or if any team member is left behind. Mission will not be considered a fail if morale is at or well below normal levels.

Mission Thirteen: Search and Rescue

Team BABY will make a final dinner stop within 200 miles of Home Base. Against all odds Team BABY will find a chain restaurant with a play place, but will fail to notice the “Ages 6-12” sign until far too late. Once Charlie has climbed well into the play structure, Alpha and Bravo are tasked with retrieving him from said structure within sixty minutes. This mission is considered a fail if Charlie is injured, if any other children are injured, if any police/paramedics/firefighters/news people are called, or if Alpha or Bravo sneak out and drive away, leaving their team members behind.

Mission Fourteen: Bivouac Bingo

Due to circumstances beyond their control, Team BABY will arrive home just after 0100, or Oh-Dark-Thirty. They will discover that the well-meaning house sitter has locked all outer doors, and that they do not have the appropriate keys because Alpha is a moron. Team BABY are tasked with sleeping in the car until daybreak. This mission is considered a fail if Alpha gets stuck during several attempts to make ingress through the doggie door, or if he breaks any house windows. Waking any neighbors will also result in mission fail. The mission will not be considered a failure if Bravo does not sleep due to Alpha’s snoring.[5] Bravo is not, however, allowed to physically harm Alpha in any way.

If All Missions Are Successfully Completed:

Congratulations! Alpha and Bravo are hereby officially recognized as Extreme Parents. When Charlie is old enough, he will officially recognize how Lucky He Is.

[1] Still Alpha
[2] This really happened. It wasn’t a very large spider, but still was the first time in my life that I ever grabbed one with my bare fingers. Mission accomplished, and I admit to feeling remarkably manly
[3] We lucked out there – was only two handfuls, and resulted in a lovely Waterford crystal
[4] Twilight joke
[5] Bravo is the one who snores. Names reversed for sake of marriage. Burn footnote after reading

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