A MONDAY.

Hey Daddy?

Yes?
I said.

Can I go outside?
he asked.

I thought for a moment.
I suppose so...just out of curiosity, you just came in from playing outside, so why are you asking me now?

Well sometimes,
he said, without trace of smile,
you let us go outside and play.

Sometimes?!?! 
I exploded. You spend forty million minutes outside every day. What do you call that?

Well I just want to go outside for a little while,
he said calmly.

Fine.
I rolled my eyes authoritatively.
You can go outside for one second.

He stretched a smile from one ear to the next, cupping chin in his hands and looked up:
Can your sweet little boy PLEASE play outside for a few minutes and not just for one second?

I rolled my eyes externally.
Fine. For a few minutes I guess.

Okay, thank you Daddy.
as he ran off to play with LEGOs in the living room.


____

I wish Mama worked halftime like you.
she said.

Umm, yeah.
I said.
Mama does so much for our family. I know that she would love to spend even more time with you. Fortunately she doesn't work more than three days a week, which is cool. And that way she also gets to help other people by doing something she's really good at, and also help us pay our bills and buy food and clothes and stuff.

Yeah, 
her brother chimed in.
I wish she just worked a little bit like you.

Umm, 
I said.
I actually work quite a lot, but -

he interrupted 
- I know, I know you do other work, I was talking about when you teach. When you do teaching then it's just a little bit. 

Yes...
I said.
And I am so happy to be able to spend so much time with you guys a lot of the time. Frequently, I'm also working in my office downstairs at night after you're sleeping. And I film commercials and things like that, so my schedule when I work is very different than Mama's. She goes to work, and then she's done and comes home. I end up doing a lot of my work at home.

I know you do other work,
he said, exasperated. 
Like weedwacking with your weedwacker.