Off the Record

Mama, I Don't Want to Die! My 4-Year-Old Identifies With Freddie Mercury

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Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 7:30 AM

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I have twin 4-year-old sons. They have normal names, but I mostly call them Bay and Meechy. I tried to explain to them how they earned those nicknames once. It took a good three minutes (the names' origins are vaguely associated to The Wire and the Black Mafia Family, naturally). As soon as I was done, Meechy, completely stonefaced, asked me if robots poop. "Of course robots poop," I told him. "Where do you think we get screws and bolts from?"

He just looked at his feet and smiled.

Being a father is just about the best job on the planet. Sons make accidental kings out of ordinary men. Right now, everything I do is groundbreaking and superheroic, even though everything I do is lame and ordinary. I did that thing where you walk behind a couch and pretend like you're going down stairs. That shit was comedy gold to them. Pretending to pull your own thumb off? I invented that. Rhyming "cat" with "hat"? Yep, Daddy was the first.

I showed them how to dive into a pool this past summer. It was as impressive to them as if I'd picked up the sun and thrown it across the solar system. They have a framed picture they found it in my closet of Manu Ginobili doing something amazing on a basketball court. I told them it was me. They didn't even consider that it was anyone else. They asked if I'd hang it up for them. I'll be sad when they learn about Argentina.

The other morning, Bay and I were sitting at the computer watching music videos on Youtube because my wife had left the house and told me to make sure to practice reading with the boys.

The boys already love music. I imagine part of the reason for that is because we listen to a lot of it together because this job necessitates such. They've been to a few concerts already (earplugs, big time) and have developed their own inexplicably bad tastes. I tried playing Wu-Tang's 36 Chambers for them. We made it less than a full song before Bay asked to listen to The Black Eyed Peas. I love him profoundly, but he knows jack shit about rap.

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