Fisher comes in from bed to sit on Daddy’s lap while Daddy fumbles around, trying to add pictures to “A Bug and a Bee” web site…
F (touching the little ridge on Daddy’s lip, sleepy voice): Daddy, what this is for?
D (touching Fisher’s ridge): It’s where your mouth meets your nose. What do you think it is for, Fisher?
F (still lightly touching Daddy’s lip): I don’t know.
D: Maybe it’s just for show, Fisher. Maybe it doesn’t do anything.
F: Maybe, Daddy.
F (touching Daddy’s chin): Daddy, what this called?
D: That’s called a cleft.
F: Daddy, I don’t have a cleff, right?
D: Right. Not everyone has a cleft in their chin. What do you think a cleft is for?
F (touching Daddy’s cleft, quiet voice, magic coming, no doubt): I know, Daddy. Maybe when the stuff in your nose, er, er, comes out, er, er, it comes down here (touching Daddy’s top lip)…uh, uh…and if your mouth is closed…er, er…because you don’t want to swallow that yucky stuff…that’s yucko…it comes over your lips…uh, uh…and your cleff catches it here (touching Daddy’s cleft)…eh, eh…it just stays there so that it can’t…uh, uh…get on your shirt because sometimes…er, er…if you don’t have a cleff, it can go all the way on your shirt (touching Daddy’s chest)…uh, uh…and that’s yucko, right?
F (coyly, one evening this week): Daddy, where did you put the wipe ‘n’ dipes?
D (changing Cory into pajamas): What, Fisher?
F (smiling): Did you put the wipe ‘n’ dipes outside?
D: Oh! I can see someone wants a polar morning treatmenttomorrow!
F (laughing, grabbing Daddy’s arm): No!
D: Hey, you know what, I could put the wipe ‘n’ dipes in the freezer instead of outside. That way, they’ll be double dog cold for tomorrow morning! You want me to do that?
C/F (laughing): No!
D: That’s such a good idea. Thanks, Fisher!
Daddy puts wipe ‘n’ dipes in freezer to much no’ing and laughing. Daddy goes to his room and returns to muffled exchanges and giggles between the twins, stays hidden to see what they are up to…a kitchen chair and a toy grabber later and the wipe ‘n’ dipes are hidden behind a couch pillow.
C: We tricked Daddy!
F: Cory, we tricked Daddy!
You can’t fault them for not realizing how hard it is to mask a conspiracy in a 1300 square foot house, but, um, leaving the freezer door open? With the chair right there? And the grabber still to hand?
Daddy’s Salon (“salon” pronounced with a cartoonish French accent, of course) generally offers morning hours only when Papa’s in London. One day the staff in the salon leaves the “wipe ‘n’ dipes” out in the 56-degree living room, far from the twins’ overnight space heater…
D (greeting Cory for the first time that morning, in obsequious, spa personnel voice): Oh, Miss Cory, it is so nice to see you again! Welcome back to Daddy’s Morning Salon!
D: And, how are you doing this morning, Miss Cory?
C (faux shy, smiling, Fisher also smiling, looking on from behind her): Good.
D (gesturing toward the leather couch and patting the pillow placed on it): Oh, Miss Cory, I’m sure it will brighten your morning considerably if we were to relieve you of that wet diaper. So clammy. Might I offer you our changing services again today?
C (Fisher laughing): Yes.
D (helping Cory to lie down on the couch and pillow): Here, you go, Miss Cory. Did you have nice dreams last night? You do look well rested, if a little groggy today.
C: Daddy, the couch is cold.
D: Oh, so sorry, Ms. Cory. (Maneuvering a blanket between her and the cold leather.) Is that better? I want you comfortable for something new that I would like to introduce you to. (Taking off diaper and jammie bottoms.) Our technicians have developed the perfect, let’s say…polar…experience for those slow mornings, you know, when you need just that extra jolt.
Cory smiles at goofy-voiced, gesturing Daddy.
D: Now, see these wipe ‘n’ dipes? Well, I just brought these from outside, where they got as cold as that frost on the ground. Oh, the greeting they provide to your morning. Well, you really just have to experience it…truly bracing!
C (laughing, wriggling): No!
D: Oh, yes, fresh from the wintry outdoors, these wipe ‘n’ dipes are guaranteed to clarify quite a few things for you, right quick, provide a sharp separation between night and day, as it were.
C (laughing, wriggling, Fisher’s smile widening): No!
D (wiping her undercarriage, Fisher laughing, Cory wriggling and belly-laughing): Oh, Miss Cory, it’s clear you do enjoy our Polar Morning. Packs quite a wallop, doesn’t it? Starts your day with just the right umph!
F: Daddy, my turn, my turn! Do me!
D (working Cory’s clothes on while she laughs): Oh, Mr. Fisher, I didn’t see you there…I’ll be right with you…I am with a client, you know, so sorry, a bit under-staffed this morning. Have I mentioned a new treatment we have here in the Morning Salon?
F: Do it to me!
Since then (and somewhat weirdly), clients of Daddy’s Morning Salon can be somewhat surly when “Polar Morning” isn’t offered, which happens mainly because the wipe ‘n’ dipes weren’t prepped to the right temperature by an evening staff that can be a touch lazy sometimes…
Morning announcement… F: Daddy, I uh uh didn’t go eh eh pee pee in my pants! D (glancing over): Really, Fisher? F: Uh-huh. Cory didn’t go pee pee in her pants, either. D (with only partially feigned excitement): Wow, guys, are you sure? C (across the room still): I show you, Daddy! (Pulls down jammies, peels off pull-ups, and points to them.) It’s dry!
D (with over-the-top gestures): Get out of town! Are you sure? Are you sure you both didn’t just change into dry pull-ups before coming out of your room?
F/C (big smiles): Noooo!
D: Ima gonna go check on it, so you better not be teasing me! (Slapping thigh.) Are you sure?
F: Yes! You know what that means, Daddy, right!?
F: I get the big ice in my ice and water!
C: And I get the big ice, too!
On a trip to London, the cute bartender in our swanky hotel served Papa some scotch in a rounded glass with one big, spherical ice ball to chill it, claiming it reduces dilution as the ice melts…(who knows from bartending or scotch…it probably just looks cool). Papa bought the molds, and voilla! “The big ice” now serves as a highly effective sugar-free table reward in our house…all the incentive with none of the regret.
Who says you can’t adapt your pre-parenthood hobbies for a kid-filled world?