Well my time as your host is drawing to a close. The wife should be returning soon from the land of crooked teeth, tweed and an appallingly low threshold for becoming a celebrity (“Hey is that the guy from the closed circuit tv feed in the Balham tube station?”). It will be the end of admittedly overly inside jokes, offensive comments and updates on the latest rules of the land (#6 was Lunch), but not the end of the endless fount of entertainment sprouting from the mouths of babes. So consider this the season finale when all the loose ends are tied up and the hero returns.
Over the last week I have witnessed wondrous things. G & H have taken mercy on their old man as if sensing his inadequate preparation for the job of sole parent. They have hugged one another, shared books and secret forts, yelled only occasionally and taken some decent naps along the way. But today the cracks are beginning to show, at breakfast the little guy was plowing through cinnamon rolls at an impressive clip, until I finally took mercy on his bowels and cut him off. A howling fit ensued and G helpfully intoned “that’s enough Colin!”. That’s right G has for reasons yet to be clear to me taken to calling his little brother “Colin” in times of distress or bossiness. I have asked him about this for the last several days and he simply replies “That’s his nickname”.
THAT’S HIS NICKNAME? “Why pray tell is that his nickname”, I ask, figuring that since we’re all adults here dispensing nicknames and whatnot there’s no need to simplify our conversation. “I don’t know”, comes the mostly unsatisfactory reply. “Why Colin, where did you hear Colin”, I ask. “I don’t know”, he inevitably replies and goes back to whatever he is doing. In this case he was trying to protect his cinamon rolls from his little brother Colin. So I figured that this new moniker was fair game. Yesterday I tried it on myself, figuring why not maybe the little guy will respond to direction when called Colin. “Colin, come here, let’s put your coat on”, I say. G looks at me as if I just walked in from the moon. “Who’s Colin”?, he asks. “His name isn’t Colin” he says, as if it is the most absurd thing ever uttered by mankind. In my head I flashed forward 10 years to the time when I, by then an old even less cool man, I will be trying to in some way work myself into my sons’ worlds by bringing up some hip band I can’t stand to listen too, or offering to go with them to wherever the heck it will be that kids hang out in 10 years (please don’t let it be some virtual pod that you access by placing a needle into your eyeball), and they will just look at me as if I am a man trying to follow a mermaid into the sea, shake their heads and say, whose THAT band, that was soo 10 minutes ago and plug needles into their eyes to get away from my retro coolness.
Perspective like that doesn’t come to you when you spend all day at work, come home tired and see two boys driving their mother insane. So I am in some ways really thankful for the chance I had this week to wrestle, built shanty towns and so 20 different things out of egg crates (thank you Calgary Public Library for putting THAT book right in G’s eyeline), removing screaming children from multiple locales (the grocery, the library, a meeting with my boss at work), having a paper ripping and throwing contest, falling on our butts at the hockey rink in the park, waking up at 2 am (I plan on going back to sleeping through these opportunities for bonding on the return of the queen), and seeing them run to the kitchen for our daily ice cream consumption. I am grateful and so ready for it to be over.