Today, my daughter did not have preschool because plumbers were working on the main sewer line in the school. My wife and I both prepped her for this, and she checked in this morning at breakfast, “Do I have school today?”
She knew the answer, but she was checking that the world and the word of her parents had some consistency and reliability.
“Do you know the answer to that question?” I asked her.
“Yes, no school,” she replied, and then to my query of why she added, “Because the pipe cleaners are coming.”
It is one of those moments of paroxysms of internal laughter, the kind that send mental milk up your nose because you are laughing so hard inside. I wouldn’t want to laugh at my daughter if I could help it, and this time I managed to hold it in.
“Yes, they are coming to clean and fix the pipes. Sometimes we call them plumbers, too,” I managed to respond.
What followed was a great day with both kids. We moved at their pace, went to the Boston Children’s Museum (where there is a surprising amount of TV characters in the displays), had a picnic lunch, and made a run to the local pasta shop to replenish our supplies of frozen pasta. Throughout the day, my 1.5 year-old son did a ton of walking, though this did not lead to better napping. Everything went great until dinner and bath when cranky kids were fairly contrary. Overall, though, it was a good day, and visions of anthropomorphic pipe cleaners will be with me for days.