“We are bored, Daddy.”
“Why don’t you guys play together?”
“We don’t have anything to do.”
I looked over their pint size shoulders and saw toys spilling out of their rooms all over the floor, splattered on the walls, hanging from the ceiling, overflowing the garage and taking over the world.
I kicked aside an art set and drawing tablets to step closer and kneel down so I could look them in the eye. This is not easy when there are four sparkling blue eyes beaming back at you, but I’m a professional Daddy; I know what I’m doing. “Sons. I feel you. I am sorry you are so bored. All these stupid toys sure get in the way of having fun. And your wild imaginations are stifled by your busy schedules and obligations. Sure, you don’t even know what time it is because every second at home is play-time but that sounds stressful to me.”
I put my hands on their shoulders and put my head down so I could weep. “Daddy, why are you pretending to cry?”
“Because I am so sad for you. Boredom at ages almost 7 and 9. There is nothing to do, oh my!”
“Daddy, are you joking? You aren’t being serious are you?”
“Well, you could do homework. That takes about 15 minutes. You could read. You could play with any number of your millions of toys. You could go outside and play. You could ride bikes. You can hit tennis balls. You can make up a game. You can eat bugs for all I care. But you have got to be kidding me - you are bored?!!!??”
“Umm, can we watch TV?”
“Fuck no!” Okay, I didn’t say fuck, but I screamed it on the inside.
“Can we have a snack?”
“Can we have a snack?”
“Sure, there are fruit and vegetables in the fridge. Have at it.”
“Can we have a real snack?”
“Hell to the no!” Yes, I did actually say that. It slipped out.
“Can we play the Tackle Daddy game?”
“Only if I can tickle you.”
I proceeded to tickle them mercilessly. Even saying “I’m a monkey’s bottom” (our version of Uncle) didn’t stop me. Once I had them both securely pinned to the floor under my arms and legs, I said, “Boys, I’m bored. I have nothing to do.”
“Don’t you have to pack?”
“If you mean for New Orleans (Jazz Fest) this weekend; yes. If you mean for moving into our new house next week; yes.”
“You are all done with work though, right?”
“No little men. It is Tuesday. I have to work all week. We have tons going on.”
“It seems like you have lots to do Daddy. You shouldn’t be so bored.”