I was replacing the leaky pipe connected to our bathroom sink. It wasn’t going well.
My wife left for the store with our oldest daughter about half an hour earlier. As I struggled to understand basic plumbing, with half my body stuffed inside the cabinet, I was routinely interrupted by one or both of my four-year old twins.
“What’s he doing under there?” one would ask the other.
“I don’t know. Dad, what are you doing under there?”
Each time I pulled my head out from under the sink to find out what they wanted, they took it as an invitation to join me.
Fortunately for fathers across the world, four-year olds automatically assume you know what you’re doing. The two of them climbed under the sink with me and my son asked to see the hole where the water drops out. I tried to explain while his ever-helpful sister popped up above and turned on the water to demonstrate.
I dried off my glasses and the inside of the cabinet and said, “Why don’t the two of you play in the other room and let me finish fixing the hole?”
They left, rather dejectedly, and I climbed back underneath the sink.
A few moments later, they reappeared in the doorway, each holding a pan.
“Can we play with pans in the kitchen instead?” my daughter said.
Wrestling with the wrench and the pipe I said, “Uh-huh.”
“Can we make play soup in the pans?” her brother said.
To be honest, I didn’t grasp the full meaning of the question. “Uh-huh.”
A little while later, I followed the giggling and found the two of them sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor surrounded by mud, grass, and every pan we owned.
My daughter – the cook – was stirring a recipe of water, dirt, and sprinklings of freshly ripped grass. Judging by his hands and arms and feet, ripping grass from the yard was my son’s job.
“You want some soup?” offered the cook.
“Guys.” It was all I could think to say.
“You said we could play with pans in the kitchen,” said my son.
“Yeah, you said we could play with pans in the kitchen,” said his sister.
I did say that, didn’t I?
It didn’t really matter to me what the neighbors thought as they saw the three of us hosing down kitchen cookware in the backyard. My only hope was that they wouldn’t mention what they saw to my wife once she got home.
Sorry, got to go. More later.