Fatherhood: A play in one act.

The characters: Dad (me), C (age 7), M (age 5) and my brain (sleep addled).

The setting: the bathroom at 7:15 am on a school/work day

Dad is in the shower. It is early and he is trying to wash while sleeping standing up. It is Friday, and this is what keeps dad going.

Enter C (remarkably dressed in his entire uniform), he begins to brush his teeth.

Dad: Hey buddy.
C: How did you know it was me?
Dad: I recognized your voice.
C: I could have been M.
Dad: I would know the difference. You don’t sound the same.

Enter M (not quite a fully dressed), he also begins to brush his teeth.

C: (singing) Yankee Doodle went to town, riding on a pony…
M: Daddy, what is a pony?
Dad: It’s a baby horse, M.

Dad is now trying to get out of the shower under the watchful stares of his two sons.

M: So, it has a horn on its head?
Dad: No, son. That’s a unicorn. A pony is just a small, regular old horse.

beat

M: Why didn’t Noah save the unicorns with his Ark?
Dad’s Brain: Yellow Alert. We are not fully awake. Did he just ask about Noah’s Ark?

beat

Dad: I don’t know son, maybe they just missed the boat. (Dad chuckles with the memory of a cartoon of two unicorns arguing over what time the Ark was leaving…)
M: I think they were just playing and forgot.
C: No, Noah saved all the animals. Unicorns are just imaginary. God wouldn’t let his animals die.

Dad’s Brain: Red Alert. Possible brainwashing detected.

Dad: What about the dinosaurs?
C: Dad. (He gives a sad look to his father) The dinosaurs died millions of years before Noah came along.
Dad’s Brain: Cancel Red Alert.
Dad: Okay. Good point.

M is now contemplating his toothbrush. He turns to his father…

M: Dad, did you know that a spin brush can help burn 30 calories?
Dad: I’m sorry?
M: It’s true. Using a spin brush helps fight calories!
Dad: I think maybe you mean cavities?
M: Yeah, cavities.

Dad contemplates what commercial they have been watching.

C: Dad, did you know Arm and Hammer makes toothbrushes too?
Dad’s Brain: Did he just say Arm and Hammer?
Dad: No, I didn’t, son. I know they make toothpaste, so I guess it makes sense that they would make toothbrushes too.
C: Yeah, I want to buy an Arm and Hammer toothbrush.
M: I’m not wearing any socks.
C: I am. Clean ones.
Dad: I think my brain hurts.
Dad’s Brain: Yes, I do.

Scene.

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