This morning, I explained why Daddy’s voice sounded “funny,” and at first Robert had some fun whispering back—albeit with arched eyebrows. But our interactions soon became terribly frustrating. He offered up all sorts of bon mots while we crayoned together, but I couldn’t respond. He ran over to the corner and started pulling books off the shelves, and I couldn’t shout after him. And when he shrieked at the sight of a little butt ointment (“No cream on my butt!”), I couldn’t convince him that I wasn’t trying to kill him.
The silver lining is that yesterday was also my wife’s birthday. I came home with a fistful of flowers and some Thai takeout, and we indulged her guilty pleasure by watching an episode of ER with a particularly moronic and Sweeps-friendly plotline—a deranged war veteran ran amok in a hijacked tank. She got to make all the snarky comments, and I could only nod and slurp my noodles. Sometimes the best gifts are unplanned.