After I got home from work today Rachel thought it might be a good idea to take the kids for a swim. I agreed. It's 65 degrees, sunny. Why not? So while Miles and I cleaned up his toys outside, my bride whipped up some some Baked Potatoes Supreme and packed up the towels and suits. After some delicious spuds, we loaded up and headed over to the Hood River Aquatic Center. On the way we passed China Gorge -- a Chinese restaurant I avoid at all costs. Miles loves the pandas out front. I mean...what's not to love about giant, wooden pandas? For some reason they just seem weird to me; like when an car salesman has a three-story gorilla balloon tethered to a Dodge Stratus.
In any case. As we drive past, Miles says something like this:
Miles: "That mommy panda is holding the baby panda bear. The little panda is upset."
Me: "It's upset?"
Miles: "Yeah. It's upset."
Miles: "Um....the daddy panda isn't there."
Rachel: "Where do you think he is?"
Miles: "He's probably at work."
I could dive deep into this and try to figure out what this means. I'm sure I could spend some money on a therapist and they might interpret this many ways. Hell, I've been wrestling it with it all night. Am I the daddy panda? Am I gone too much? Is this why I'm craving General Tso's Chicken? I'm not totally sure I want to know. For now, I'll take it at face-value and chalk it up to my three-year-old creating a cool backstory about a local landmark. I'm sure next time we drive by he'll go deeper...something Tolsty-esque.
Miles: "In all panda history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the pandas, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful."
Miles: "That's what the baby panda bear represents."
Me: "You want some more Goldfish crackers?"
The money I would spend on therapy and private school would probably be better served tonight by hiring a young priest and an old priest. After we got back from the pool. Miles complained of a tummy-ache. We sat him down on the sofa, covered him with soft blankets, fired up The Berenstain Bears on TV and gave him his giant plush bunny to snuggle with. After a half-hour or so I was rocking J.J. to sleep and Rachel cuddled with Miles. She had just set her MacBook down Miles started crying. Really crying. Matt Damon at- the-end-of-Good Will Hunting-crying. And then...he went completely Linda Blair. Blankets, bunny and bride: covered in dinner. It's damn-near midnight and I'm still washing blankets and the bunny for a second time. Apparently the flu-bug is still in effect.
If any of you are looking for any early Fathers Day ideas for me, I'll take one of these biohazard suits.