A Father’s Day Test

_INTERCEPTED COMMUNICATION_

DATE: THE NIGHT BEFORE FATHER’S DAY
PARTICIPANTS: ZANE (son, two years old, body composition is 90% raisins); EDMUNDO (stuffed animal, elephant, goes by ‘Mundo)

Zane: Hey ‘Mundo. Any chance you’re awake? We’ve got to make Father’s Day plans. I spent most of today trying to take my diaper off in public and almost touching gum on the sidewalk so I didn’t plan anything special.

‘Mundo: Let’s talk about this in the morning. We’re going to wake up at dawn anyway, so we’ll have plenty of time to plan. Plus, you dropped me off the top of a slide today, ran me over with a stroller, and body slammed me against the pillow 6 times as you were getting comfortable for bed. I’m concussed. Let me rest.

Zane: Your brain is literal fluff. You’ll be fine. Think! We need something big! It’s the one day out of the year that he has to prove his worthiness. We’ll think of challenges and trials that he has to accomplish. If he fails, we don’t have to respect him as a man and role model! He was great in year one, barely passable in year 2, but if he botches this year, if we catch him slipping even one bit, we’re shipping him out and bringing someone better in.

‘Mundo: Uhhhh, this is not correct. We should just make him some waffles, let him watch some Game 7 2016 NBA Finals highlights on YouTube, maybe let him sleep in a little later than we norm —

Zane: No. I know what we’ll do. I’ll wake up 7 times tonight. It won’t seem out of place because I do that pretty regularly and — get this — I even laid the groundwork for it tonight by taking 90 minutes to get in bed. And, you’re right, we usually wake up at dawn, but tomorrow let’s wake up a little earlier and time it for the exact moment when mom and dad have just gotten our sister to fall asleep after her middle of the night feed.

‘Mundo: …A tie. Some socks. Maybe a golf club.

Zane: Great idea! When he gets out of bed we’ll run to the living room, take out our plastic golf clubs and slam them against the ground. Maybe against his shins!

‘Mundo: [unintelligible mumbling but definite disapproving noises]

Zane: [maniacal cackling]

‘Mundo: Father’s Day is about love and appreciation. Let’s just give him a hug and scribble in the card that Mom got him.

Zane: Shhh, Edmundo, you know so little about how families work. You’re no help. Now go stand watch while I flush his wallet down the toilet.