"Daddy!" my 3-year old says. "The clouds are on the ground! Why are the clouds on the ground Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?"
This will go on for the next 30 minutes unless I answer him. He is like the alarm clock but with no snooze button. He won't shut off until he has an answer that makes sense to him.
"DAAAAAADDDDDDYYYYYY! Why Daddy, why?"
This is a part of being a father that is commonly overlooked. When many of us first realize that we are going to be a father and what that really means, we imagine a scene of father advice. We will take our son's and daughters to some stoop somewhere. We will sit with them, often with an arm over their shoulders, and impart fatherly wisdom. Wisdom so good that each and every word should have a chapter in a book written about it.
"Son," you'll say. "A man's worth is determined by his treatment of others. A man with a poor soul will corrupt other's around him while a man with light in his heart will lift up other's when they need it most."
Shit, that sounds awesome. I'm going to file that one away to use someday. Let's try one for my daughter.
"Daughter," you'll say. " This world is yours to build or destroy as you see fit. Let no one tell you which to do for the choice is always only yours."
God damn. I should write a little book of these.
But that's not what I'm doing this morning as me and Bacon Hoss walk to the store parking lot at 8:30 in the morning. Why so early? Because you weekenders fuck up my grocery shopping that's why. So if I need to go to the store on the weekend we go early in the morning. I imagine that all you that don't have kids are sleeping in on your Saturdays. Me and father's like me were up at 7:15 am because 3-year-olds kick you in the face until you wake up and get breakfast ready.
Then once you are up and on the way to the store they begin the toddler quiz show which is very different from a 9-year-old or 10-year old quiz show. In the older quiz shows the questions are a little more specific and usually has something to do with what their friend Sammy said to them over the weekend. Sammy likes to talk a lot of shit.
The toddler quiz show is always something that they see and don't understand. It's your job to put it into the context that they can grasp.
Why are the clouds on the ground my toddler asks.
I take a breath. This is going to get long. I'm about to talk about condensation and dew point which will lead to a conversation about weather patterns and water molecules. That, of course, will lead into a discussion of atoms and matter and the relationship of temperature to the state of matter. Gasses, solids, and liquids will come into play now. Eventually, we will make it back to what fog is and why it is on the ground. A complete and total education for my toddler.
"Daddy!" he screams. "Why are the clouds on the ground!" His words are louder which is my cue to stop talking and to start explaining.
"The clouds are going to sleep baby, just like you."
Somedays as a father you just aren't up for discussing the state of the universe. Some days you just need to get the brats for dinner.
And a cookie. But cookies at 8:30 in the mornng are awesome.