Special post by Jacob Beaty
Jennifer went to the market to buy vegetables, and I stayed home with the boys and Sophia. I finished what I was reading on the internet about geology and propped Sophia in her bouncy chair. Michael was recreating a soccer game on the floor of the living room using colored plastic bottle caps for the different teams. I thought I would sit down with my book in the living room, watch the baby a little, watch Michael a little, but mostly read.
I sat down with the book and read half-way through one sentence. “Daddy, look!” Michael then showed me how the white cap with red letters was Messi and how he could kick the rolled up gum wrapper ball. I re-read the first half of the sentence. “Daddy, look!” the white cap with blue letters was Ronaldino. I re-read the first half of the sentence, and managed to make it through two more. All the while, Michael was saying, “Daddy, look! Daddy! Daddy! Look, Daddy, look!”
The red caps were Real Madrid. I read a sentence. “Daddy, look!” Real Madrid scored a goal. “Daddy, look!” I read another sentence. “Look, Daddy!” I ignored him and kept reading. “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” I looked up. I don’t even like soccer. There was a fight with the goalie. Michael was making punch impact sounds with his mouth and producing a spray of spittle with each hit. I tried to read another sentence, but had to read it again for the sound of spitting concussions. He was adding to the drama by making some sing-songy string of seven distorted notes, repeated endlessly like a drunken rendition of the Mario Brothers background music.
“Daddy, look!” Some other story about the bottle caps. “Daddy, look!” I read another sentence and put my finger on the spot. The white team was subbing in blue caps, they’re not as good, but Messi was injured. I lost my spot on the page. After some searching, I found it. “Daddy, look! Daddy, Daddy, Daddy! Look, Daddy!” It was like a battering ram! He was relentless! Even a pencil can break down a door with enough hits.
Jennifer left me for over an hour. She finally came through the door, arms loaded down with bags of vegetables. She set them on the floor and walked into the bedroom for something, it doesn’t matter. I followed her and told her about my day, well, the hour. She walked back out of the bedroom into the kitchen to deal with the vegetables. I followed her and kept telling my story. I think she was trying to get away, but I wasn’t going to let her. “Honey, listen!”
“Now you know how I feel!” she exclaimed with a grin. “It’s going to be great when you’re working from home.”
“Oh no, I’m going to have my own private little special little office!”
“I want my own office, too!”
It’s a good thing I have so much patience.