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Changing Stations

Five days into Papa’s ski trip to Whistler, it’s time to change the station.

On Saturday morning, the twins are still not bored of bickering patches. Daddy is. While they aren’t looking, he sneaks away to the bedroom, closing the door, locking it, and lying down on the floor behind it, knees crossed and pressed up against it. Ten minutes of muffled bickering pass before they figure out that Daddy’s gone. They call through the house. Eventually, their voices settle outside the bedroom door.

C: Daaaaddddyyyyy?
F: He’s in here, Cory!
Daddy makes particular devastating use of “tranq” in a Scrabble game against an unsuspecting stranger.
F: Cory, you stay here! Ima go get the screwdriver!
C: Daaaaadddyyyyy!?

The station quickly changes from 101.6 “The Bicker” to It’s On 97.5. They work together to pick the door lock with a screwdriver. Their excitement turns to bafflement as they try to push the unlocked door open. Daddy’s knees are in the way.

F (exerting himself): Cory! Something is in there!
C: Let me try! (Exerting herself.) You’re right, Fisher. It’s blocking the door.
F: I know!

They get various things from the house to push under the door into either Daddy’s knees or shoes, trying to figure out what the object is. The next ten minutes see and hear various pokes and grunts and hilarious commentary.

C (at one point, as Fisher probes with a dowel rod): Fisher, hold on! (Coming back after a minute or two.) Out of the way, Fisher!
F: What, Cory!
C (something big’s apparently coming): Out of the way! Let me do it!
F: What is it, Cory?

Fisher withdraws the dowel rod. Daddy braces his knees.

C (clearly brandishing something, yelling): ALOHOMORA! (Nothing.) ALOHOMORA!
F: Cory…
C (serious, spell casting voice): This is the magic of pens. If you do not open, you cannot have this magical pen. ALOHOMORA!
F: It’s not working!
C (determined): ALOHOMORA!

Pause.

F: I don’t think that pen has a phoenix feather in it. We need a flashlight!
C: Okay, you get the flashlight. I’ll try more. (Sounding sure this is going to work.) ALOHOMORA!

She pushes against the door. No luck. Daddy imagines her shaking the pen, like “what’s wrong with this thing!?” Fisher returns.

F (shining light under the door): Cory, look!
C: What is that?
F: That’s Daddy’s shoes! See, I could see the laces!
C: But, Daddy’s shoes aren’t big. They can’t block the door!

They push with the dowel rods and other suitable kids’ toys. Daddy stays still and silent.

F: I know, Cory! I’m going to look through the back! Come on, Cory! Let’s go outside in the back!
C: Oh, yah! Then, we can see what is blocking the door.

When they go outside, Daddy sneaks out of the room and hides in Fisher’s top bunk. It takes about ten minutes more before Cory randomly spies him up there. Smiling, she joins Daddy on the top bunk, both hiding from Fisher. She keeps snuggling and smiling and making shhhhhing motions with her finger on her lip.

D (whispering after five minutes without sound from or sight of Fisher): What is Fisher doing, Cory?
C: Oh, he’s just getting a ladder to climb up onto the bedroom win…
D (crap! game over): Let’s go surprise him!

Daddy and Cory get out there right to find Fisher next to a poorly positioned ladder, humming to a good song on 94.3 The Climb, thankfully just in time to prevent the dial from landing on 106.7 The Fall. Everyone has a good laugh, especially at the would-be Hermione — ALOHOMORA! — thwarted by a dodgy wand…

Strolling Down Memory Lane

The twins find their preschool portfolios stored in a box out in the shed. They sit down together on the back patio.

C: Fisher, do you remember this picture that I painted with the pink and purple sparkles?
F: Oh, yah, I do, Cory! That’s so pretty! I remember doing that paint.
C (turning the page): That’s a firefighter sticker!
F (incredulous): We went to the firehouse in preschool? (Holding up something from his trinket box.) Look what I found, Cory!
C: Oh, cool! (Staring at the picture with firefighter sticker.) We were like little kids when we did this stuff.
F: Yah, we were like eh, uh, er almost babies.
C: Daddy, I thought you just threw all this stuff away!
D (most of it, sure): No, Cory Bee, we don’t throw all of that old stuff away, you silly goose.

Nearly a couple of hours pass as they wander together down memory lane, using their old pictures and projects to clear the fog of the past, um, two years.