OK, folks. I have to come clean. I feel like a schmuck for even bothering to write my last post, wherein I blathered about hunkering down for a week of the purest form of single fatherhood, with my kids' mother halfway around the world. Because you want to know the truth?
"Ardu-Week" was a doddle.
Sure, it began inauspiciously, when Robert poked me awake Saturday morning with ""Dad, I think I sort of accidentally clogged the toilet," and I spent several disoriented, pre-coffee minutes fetching loaves of TP out of the bowl. And after we left Robert with Grandma Jellyspoon to prepare for their train ride, TwoBert was genuinely distraught over not seeing his brother for a week. Before he fell asleep in the car, he sobbed, "Daddy, who will I fight with?"
(Whom, goddammit. What are they teaching first-graders nowadays?)
(When future anthropologists study the fall of American hegemony, they will determine that object pronouns were the tipping point. You watch.)
But it didn't take long for the two of us to find our rhythm. During the day, TwoBert attended a day camp, where he made catapults and paper and masks and his own newspaper and vanilla-ice-cream-in-a-bag, and played tag and sledded and splashed in enormous, filthy puddles and fell back in love with Uno and learned all sorts of interesting things, like "UNGULATES MEANS YOU HAVE HOOVES, DADDY!"
In the afternoon, drunk with cinematic autonomy, he aired the first annual TwoBert Afternoon Film Festival, featuring a red carpet of Reepicheep, Chewbacca, and Shaun the Sheep. But the real joy was watching the brothers Skype with each other, seeing their eyes light up when their images came on, and then watching it all devolve into fart noises and insults. Robert notably IM'ed, "I miss you like I miss restroom bacteria." And TwoBert responded by burping with his mouth an inch from the camera.
The best thing about TwoBert is that, at six years old, he is truly six. Robert was 6 when he was 4, and now that he's almost 10, he's really 47. TwoBert is just coming into his own as a reader, and each night, after we read together, we'd have our Separate Reading Time, where he'd sound out "Get Fuzzy" cartoons and I would prop "The Hunger Games" in front of me while he sounded out "Get Fuzzy" cartoons.
It was a weird week for TwoBert, with no mom, no brother, no school, and a daily camp full of strangers. And when Robert stormed into my house yesterday afternoon, they attacked each other like puppies who'd been kenneled all week, each ecstatic that he had his fighting partner back.