"See? He's exhausted," I say.
"Don't push it," I tell him.
I am an early and constant riser. At 7 a.m., I was walking both dogs, standing for what seemed like hours as they licked last night's rainwater from the neighbors' ivy. To them, it's better than Starbucks.
Then I wiped their muddy feet — that's eight very soggy, very reluctant paws — made coffee, ran out for doughnuts, bought a yellow calla lily for Easter, picked out 12 packs of seeds and returned to the house by 9 a.m., at which time I called around to see if our softball game was canceled due to rain. It was.
"Dad's been busy," notes the little girl.
"Thank you," I say.
"We've earned our rest," says the baby.
"Well put," I say.
"Jeeesh," says the wife.
A little nap, that's all. You'd have thought they caught me putting hemlock in their iced tea.
As a friend recently noted about wives, the personal traits they found so appealing in us in the first place now seem to annoy them the most. In my case, that's a smoldering sexuality and a keen intellect.
Plus, a spontaneous side that leads me back to bed at 9 in the morning for a quick nap, from which I'll awaken refreshed and more dynamic than ever.
Who'd she think she was marrying, a machine? No. She was marrying me. The Willy Wonka of the American suburb.
"Did Dad just take a nap?" the boy asks when I stumble from the bedroom.
"It was more like a short coma," I explain.
I have another plan. In addition to rehabbing the backyard for summer, I want to put in a dog wash. "A dog wash?" You must be saying to yourself. "How brilliant! How moist!"
Yes, a little dog wash over along the side of the house, where I currently store the wheelbarrow and the empty clay pots.
It'll be like a mini-shower for the dog, with a flexible nozzle and a tiled basin with a built-in seat. I'll be able to bathe the dogs without lifting them awkwardly into the utility sink. When I'm done, I can tie them in the sun to dry.