“Making a human is hard work, you know? This is why women shouldn’t have to do ANYthing else. And I know that sets feminists back 100 to 200 years, but I don’t care. If you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t have to do ANYthing. It’s the truth.” — My Wife
Me: Hey sweetie, if The Baby in Mommy’s Tummy is a girl, what do you think we should name her?
Daughter: Bubble Guppy.
Me: Like, one of the characters’ names on Bubble Guppies? Like Oona, or Deema?
Daughter: No. Just Bubble Guppy.
Me: Okay, what if it’s a boy?
Daughter: Bubble Guppy Boy.
Me: Well, that settles that.
I took a deep breath as I plopped onto the couch. It had been a marathon day for our family, kicking off with a frantic search for the baskets of goodies the Easter Bunny had hidden for the Twins in the living room the night before, followed by church, a breakfast/Easter egg hunt at my in-laws’, a lunch/extended hangout at my parents’ house (which also included my in-laws), and an epic, multi-generational game of Spoons resulting in literal bloodshed for several family members.
We’d just gotten back home from the festivities at about four in the afternoon. My daughter, who had fallen into a post-candy coma in the car, was still passed out on the couch, while my son was assessing his toy/sweets inventory on the living room floor, unpacking his three Easter baskets (yes, the Easter Bunny visited both grandparents’ houses, too) and lining up his loot.
I am not a napper, but after the day we’d had out in the Arizona heat, I was just about to nod off when the silence was broken.
It was my wife. I’ll admit that my initial reaction was annoyance because she’d used her Desperately Important Tone of Voice, which is usually reserved for Dire Emergencies, like when it is critical that I retrieve a box of her scarves I did not even know existed from the top shelf of our closet, or when a bug that was “crawling across the floor, trying to eat her” turns out to be a ball of lint. You know, the heavy shit.
Sighing lazily, I rose from the couch. “I’ll be right back, Buddy,” I told my son.
“Okay, Daddy,” he said, eyes still on his gear. “I’m just going to sit here and line up all of the things that the Easter Bunny brought me because I got a lot of things and I’m putting them in a line so I can see the ones that I have and then I’m going to play wiff them.”
“Sounds good, Buddy.”
I headed into our bedroom, ready to be underwhelmed by my wife’s latest “crisis.” But when I saw her standing in the bathroom with ET-sized eyes, I knew right away that something was different. This might actually be A Big Deal.
“Hey, Daddy!” called my son, strutting into the kitchen while I was stirring a pot of pasta on the stove for dinner. “Do you want to play a game wiff me?”
“Sure, Buddy,” I replied, putting down the spoon. “What game should we play?”
Lately everything I play with him is a “game.” My personal favorite is “Which One Is Loud?”—a game in which Daddy is presented with a host of toy animals and must choose which of the animals is the loudest. Once a champion is named, next comes the second loudest, the third loudest, and so on, until all animals have been properly ranked in decreasing decibel order. In the early rounds, I always find it particularly challenging to decide between a lion’s roar or tiger’s roar, and then later, between a sea turtle and a goldfish. (I guess the turtle splashes louder?) As the Final Judge of Loudness, my son often illogically overrules my decisions—sometimes claiming a shark is louder than an elephant—but as he is the creator of “Which One Is Loud?” I must respect his authority.
Yeah, I choose my battles.
. . .
My son wasted no time and gave me my first game instruction.
“Roar like a lion!”
I happily and enthusiastically obliged. “Raaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwhhh!” Was this game a derivative of “Which One Is Loud?”
“Okay, Buddy,” I said. “Now what?”
“Zoom like a car!”
“Vvvvvvrrrrrrrrrrooooooooooommmmm!” I was actually pretty proud of this one. I even did a little vibrato at the end to create an idling engine effect. Surely I was winning the game. “Okay, what’s next?”