Daddy is munching on the last bits of his dinner as he says, “Okay, time for baths…”
Well, actually, first he says to me, “Did they go outside today, do they really need a bath?” To which I reply, “Yes, they need a bath. They’re dirty.” (And, in my head, I add I also need the sweet, sweet thirty minutes of total silence that comes when you take them to the bathroom.)
“But, Daaaaady,” says Nuha in her sweetest impersonation of an entitled princess, “I wannna play for just five minutes before bath… you came home laaaate.”
I know I’ve said this before, but I’m in awe of the kid’s genius.
She’s five years old and she possesses the enviable skill of honing in on a man’s weakness in order to manipulate him for her own personal gains. I was well into my twenties before I figured out I could even do that, and, truthfully, I’m not close to her level of accuracy.
Crushed by the guilt of the extra half hour he probably spent chatting someone up outside the elevator, he obliges her request. They walk toward the playroom, followed by a stumbling toddler carrying his sister’s cast off pink Tinkerbell blanket. An item which he affectionately calls “Bankie.” The boy has a somewhat sad, blank stare in his eyes that says “Why can’t I have normal adults in my life? Ones who put their children to bed at a reasonable hour?”
I would like to add here, with regard to “Bankie,” that I purchased a blue and brown blanket of the same exact material as the Tinkerbell one, but Bankie was irreplaceable by then. I finally cut Bankie in half so that the incision would go right across Tinkerbell’s face. Somehow, I’m less concerned about it all with just half of a Tinkerbell being toted around than I would with a whole one.
Not that there’s anything WRONG with a boy who likes Tinkerbell. I’m really just trying to protect his sexist gender conforming father from self imposed humiliation at big sister’s soccer games.
Yes, I’m that great of a wife and that bad of a mom.
So, anyway, off to the playroom the hapless trio goes.
“Okay, Daddy,” Nuha announces, “We’re going to play ‘Find the Fairy.’ “
“Alright, what are the rules?”
Now, I am in the other room, but I can only imagine the look he got that was preceded by, “You find the fairy.”
There is a long pause.
Long pause again.
“But,” my husband says in a rare tone that he reserves for firmly sticking up to our daughter, “if we play this game, I’m going to need to know the exact parameters of how this game begins and ends.”
Yes, he actually uses the word “parameters.”
I laugh. I twitter this sentence because laughter is best when it’s shared with relative strangers on the Internet.
I think to myself, He’s getting good at this. Because that fairy, if left to my daughter’s devices, will most likely be found in a remote village in Tibet underneath the tomb of a thousand year old old shaman which is located under fourteen hundred feet of compacted glacial ice and rock laden earth.
In short, it could take hours to find this fairy.
Nuha responds, “Do you need me to define the middle parameter, too?”
Yes, she really is five.
“Let’s just play,” he says.
I would feel sorry for him at this point, except (1) I am enjoying myself way too much and (2) I’ve been having conversations like this for almost ten hours today-do-you-really-want-my-sympathy-honey?
“Okay, first we look around for the fairy and then you…. (insert five year old stuff here)...”
“I’m confused,” Tariq says earnestly, “Wouldn’t the ferry be in the water? I mean, don’t we need a boat?”
“No, Daddy, it’s not a water fairy.”
“What? The only kind of ferries I’ve ever heard of are ferries that are in the water.”
“Nooo…. Tinkerbell isn’t a water fairy… she’s a tinker fairy… there are all kinds of fairies…water, light, baker (insert 32 gagillion kinds of fairies here) ”
“Ohhhh, I thought you meant a ferry like a ferry that carries cars across the water.”
“Huh? What kind of fairy carries cars across water.”
“A car ferry.”
“Why would someone need a car fairy? Why wouldn’t they just use a bridge or something?”
Has anyone noticed that they haven’t started playing the actual game, yet? Okay, just making sure. Because that’s pretty hilarious, too, because the preceding paragraphs only reflect the planning phase of “Find the Fairy/Ferry.”
Eventually, though, they do play and there is a sound that is more lovely than silence. The sound of giggling and friendship and fun and family.
And, then, that sound is interrupted a short moment later with,
I erupt in laughter that I’m sure the neighbors heard.
It’s been five minutes. Actually, more than five minutes.
There’s no way I’m shutting this thing down, though because this is way too cute.
And also? I’m still trying to figure out how to boil it down to 140 characters.
P.S. Yes. This really happened. I am so not this creative.