I was working hard on an article (read: trolling the internets pretty much doing everything but working hard on an article) in my office (read: bedroom), when there was a knock on the door. “Daaaaaaaaaad?” A voice called out from the hallway.
I rolled my eyes. Can’t they see I’m working here? Well, maybe they could if the door was open. But, that wouldn’t have stopped them anyway. What’s a brother gotta do to get a seconds worth of peace around here? Do I gotta start locking myself in the bathroom again? “Yes, Jakob?” I called out. Yea, I knew it was him. You can call it parent’s intuition. Either that or I recognized the voice. Whichever.
“Can I come in?”
I closed my eyes and sighed heavily. You know, I should’ve went the Prince route years ago and changed my name from “Dad” to an unpronounceable symbol. Then those kids would really be screwed. “Sure…”
The door flung open as Jakob bounded into the room. “Dad. I gotta tell you something, Dad.”
I watched him bounce up and down in place, like a kid who’s been standing outside a locked bathroom door a little too long. “Okay?!?!?”
“But, you’re probably gonna get mad.” God! I can’t tell you how much I love that statement. Oh. Wait a minute. I already did. Here. Second paragraph down. Why be repetitive?
“Spill it, Jakob.” I commanded, starting to get annoyed.
He looked at me for a moment, still bouncing leg to leg. “Ummmm…”
“Fine.” He said, finally. “Jethro told me to come in and tell you, he knocked the gate down.”
My head involuntarily pitched forward, all the strength in my neck suddenly disappearing. WTF?!?!? Like I don’t have enough to do every day that Jethro’s got to create more work for me to do around this house? “How did he do that?” I asked, my teeth slightly gritted.
Seeing my anguish, Jakob took a step back. “Ummmm…he tried to jump over it and knocked it down.”
I stared blankly in front of me. Two thoughts ran through my head simultaneously. First, why on god’s blue marble is Jethro jumping the gate? If he’s prepping for the London Games, again, it’s too late for him. He should’ve started practicing years ago. And honestly, that’s all I need for him to break something thinking he’s got some sort of chance making it in the high jump.
The other thought was how the hell did he manage to knock the gate off to begin with?!?!? This isn’t your average size gate. This thing is a 6 foot long, chain link gate. This oversized gate was the leftover brainchild of the prior administration I was once associated with (read: my babies’ mamma). Let me tell you something, I hate this fucking gate. And not because it was her idea to get it. Awwww…who am I kidding? It’s totally because it was her stupid idea to begin with. The gate is too long. And because it’s too long, all the weight screws up the hinges (that’s what they call foreshadowing in the industry). And because it doesn’t sit right on the hinges, the weight from the front of the gate drags on the ground, making a nice size trench through the lawn. Plus, the best part is that it’s a smidge too short. This special ordered gate, which was returned not once but twice, doesn’t butt up against the post, leaving a 2 to 3 inch gap, which Snowflake the magician manages to squeeze his ass through and wander the neighborhood like the mayor of Dogville. Great idea, babies’ mamma! Great idea!
“What is wrong with you brother?” I asked, somewhat rhetorically perturbed.
Jakob shrugged. “I dunno. Maybe he was practicing for the summer Olympics again?”
See? I told you!!! “Is he hurt?” Five minutes into our conversation I’m finally asking the boy if his brother is hurt. What? I’m a caring father!
“No.” Jakob replied, starting to bounce in place again. “He’s fine.” He grabbed my hand. “C’mon, Dad. He told me to hurry.”