F: Not everyone speaks the body language, right, Cory?
C: No. One of the teachers at the Y does.
F: They do? Which one?
C: I don’t know.
F: Well, men up there in Eric’s castle don’t like all that bladder. So, that’s why Ariel needs her voice.
C: Right. Because iffin she just uses her body language, they might not know, so…
C: Hey, Daddy?
D (listening from the other room): Yes?
C: Do you speak the body language?
D (smiling): Yes, some, Cory.
F: Oh. Like you speak some Spanish?
F: Oh, that’s good. Cory, Daddy speaks some of the body language. So, he doesn’t always need his voice.
C: Yah, Daddy can speak a little, just a little, of the body language. Daddy, can you show me?
Uh, Daddy scrambles to think of the alphabet in sign language to show the poor unfortunate souls.
D: What do you think, Fisher?
F: Um…I don’t think so.
D: You don’t? Why not?
F: Because they just have er, eh, uh wings and so they don’t have hands, right, Daddy?
D: Well, they can have arms, with hands, and they could have wings on their backs, couldn’t they?
F: But how could they just have wings and arms?
D: Because their wings could grow out of their backs, Fisher. I don’t know for sure, but it’s possible.
F: Did Miranda or Aunt Donna die the littlest?
D: What do you mean?
F: Uh, eh, er…
D: Do you mean who died first or who was the younger when she died?
F: Who died er, uh, eh the youngest.
D: Miranda was younger when she died. She was much younger than Aunt Donna, Fisher. Miranda was still a child.
F: But, does Miranda as a angel have hands and wings?
D: What do you think, Fisher?
F: I think she can have both hands and wings as a angel. Because her wings could just grow on her back.
D: Could be.
F: Aunt Donna can have both hands and wings, too.
F: Can angels talk?
D (after a pause): What do you think, Fisher?
F: I don’t know, Daddy.
D: Nobody knows for sure. But, what do you think?
F: Um, I don’t think so.
D: Why not?
F: Because I have never heard a thing that I er, eh, uh couldn’t see.
D: You mean, you have never heard a voice that didn’t have a body that you could see?
F: Uh huh. And if I can’t see someone, then they can’t talk. So, I don’t think that angels can talk.
D: Maybe angels can talk, but only other angels can hear them. Do you think that’s possible?
D: Well, I hope that angels can talk. Do you know why?
F: Why, Daddy?
D: Because someday if I am ever an angel, I will want to sing to you at night sometimes. Before you go to bed. Not every time like I do for you now. But, sometimes. And if I didn’t have a voice, then I wouldn’t be able to. Even if you can’t hear me singing, I still want to sing for you. If I couldn’t, that would make me sad.
F: That would make me sad, too. I think that angels can talk.
D: You do?
F: Uh huh.
D: Why did you change your mind?
F: I don’t know.
F: Daddy, can you sing me a song now? So, I can hear you.
D: Yes, Fisher, which one?
F (reaching over in the dark, touching Daddy’s chin): You choose, Daddy.
D: Okay, Fisher, I’ll choose.
Seemingly random, metaphysical discussions before bedtime are the worst…and the best.
In response to a prior post or two about Cory’s…trips on the “tantrum train” (formerly known as the “crazy train”), a couple, three people, who knew Daddy like forty years ago or something and then only very well, ridiculously claim that Cory is so much like her Daddy, that the resemblance (not talking physical here) is so uncanny, that, well, the only thing to observe is that karma is a bi…um, an itch. Where do these crackpot people get this stuff?
A few days earlier the kids left their Crayon Tower on a sunny table. Three-quarters of it melted into that weird, impossibly white, waxy mush. A new one is ordered, and a day or so after Daddy’s smug childhood “friends” smirk about what went around coming back around, Cory and Daddy dump out all the colors and, you know, separate them: all the shades of green go here, all the orange-ish crayons placed together here, etc. Fisher shovels in spoonfuls of Cheerios mixed with dried cranberries, as he watches. Whew, that task’s done. Check it off. Crayon Tower ready for use.
The next morning, while Daddy is scrambling some eggs…
C: Daddy, I want to put the colors together with you.
D (not really listening): Uh huh.
C: So, we can just start over and do it.
C (muffled noise): Daddy, come! Can you please sit next to me?
D (turning to see the Crayon Tower dumped over next to Cory’s placemat): Cory!
D: Why did you dump that out?
C: Daddy, I just…
D: We just fixed that yesterday!
C: But, Daddy, I just want to put the colors together with you again.
D (reaching for a stern voice): Cory, now we have to do it all over again!
C: I know, Daddy! But, I just want to do it with you.
D (trying really hard to maintain some disapproving tone): Cory, that’s a lot of work, and we still have to eat breakfast, and…
C: But, we can just do it, Daddy.
D (sighing, terribly put upon): Cory, aargh! All right, I guess we are going to have to…
C (smiling): Come, Daddy! Sit in your chair.
D: Cory, I really…
C: I can do the pinks. You can do the purples, okay?
D (suppressing a smile as he moves the finished eggs to bowls for the two of them): All right, Cory, but it is really not a good idea to dump them out after we organize them. Then, we have to organize them again.
C: Here, here is a purple. I’m doing the pinks.
Fisher begins scooping forkfuls of eggs into his mouth, as he watches.
D (faux reluctance): You think that’s purple? You don’t think it should go with the blues? Remember there’s more room for the blues than for the purples?
C: There’s lotsa space for the pinks, right, Daddy?
Seriously, people. The tree’s, like, right here ————>
And the fruit’s, like, way, way over here ——————>
Spring Break increases anxiety, at least initially, because the kids get dropped off at a new YMCA “after-care” facility. New teachers. New students. New toys. New campus.
C: What if we don’t know anyone there?
D: Then, you will make new friends, and you’ll know those new friends by tomorrow.
C: But, what if I miss you?
D: Well, if you miss me, you can…
F: Daddy, can you pick us up early?
D: Yes, how about I pick you up at 5?
F: 5 p.m.?
F (shocked voice): P.m.?
F: But, that’s in the nighttime. That’s too late! Can you please pick us up at 5 in the afternoon?
D (having planned a 4 p.m. pickup all along): Okay. Better yet, since you asked so nicely, why don’t I pick you up at 4?
F: Wait. 4 p.m. or 4 in the afternoon?
C: Fisher, p.m. means afternoon.
An unheard discussion of “p.m.” v. “nighttime” v. “afternoon” begins while Daddy runs into the main Y office to confirm something. Upon return to the car, they have not been kidnapped and they have moved on from the time thing.
F/C (when the car door opens): Boo!
C (both laughing): Scared ya!
F: Daddy, we made a choice. If Cory misses you, Cory is going to er, eh, uh come to tell me that she misses you.
D: Uh huh.
C: And, if Fisher misses you, Fisher can come tell me that.
F: That’s a good choice, right, Daddy?
D: Yes, that’s a great choice.
C: But, Daddy, what if we both miss you?
D: Well, I don’t think you will both miss me at the same time, but if you do, maybe you can tell each other?
F: That’s a good idea! Cory! Cory! If we both miss Daddy, we can just go tell each other, okay, Cory?
C: Okay, Fisher.
Cory clings to Daddy at drop off. As Daddy talks to the staff about sunblock, though, Fisher keeps coming over to Cory and whispering, “I see a girl from Almond School, Cory!” “Cory, Cory! I think that’s Julia over there! So, it’s okay, right, Cory!” Jitters fade as Mr. Adam (known from Winter Break) comes over for high fives…and Mr. Patrick (known from their regular Y) swoops in for daps…and Bailey (Fisher’s classmate) arrives…and…smiles start to break through as Daddy moves to exit.
C: Daddy, are you going to pick us up at 4?
F: 4 p.m., Daddy, right?
D: Yes, Fisher. 4 p.m.
Daddy hightails it before the p.m. v. afternoon v. nighttime thing starts up again. There is zero chance their “miss Daddy” plan gets implemented, but it’s good to have formed one. There are definite advantages to having twins (or more than one kid close in age, for that matter).