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  • Paul Cumbo

Two Minutes in the Van with Three Children


For your entertainment (and by way of warning to those of you who are contemplating having children), I offer this

Un-Edited Transcript of a Two Minutes of the Ride Home

Thursday afternoon, July 25, 2019

The Participants:

DADDY: Me

THREE: Our three-and-a-half-year-old son

FIVE: Our five-year-old daughter

SEVEN: Our seven-year-old son

THREE

Daddy?

DADDY

Yes?

THREE

How come some buildings are water towers?

DADDY

Um

THREE

Like how come only some buildings are water towers?

DADDY

Well, because only some buildings are…well, used as water towers.

THREE

And why do they have a thing that lets the water out?

DADDY

Because that’s how they work.

THREE

What is that thing?

DADDY

That’s called a pipe.

THREE

(Incredulous, disbelieving.)

You said it’s a pipe! A pipe!

DADDY

Yes.

THREE

For the water?

DADDY

Yes, for the water.

THREE

Except, Daddy?

DADDY

Yeah?

THREE

What if the pipe was an octagon?

DADDY

Well, I guess that would be okay anyway. I'm glad you know about octagons.

THREE

Yeah, they're shapes. I know all about them.

DADDY

I see.

SEVEN

You don't know ALL about them, just some things.

FIVE

I see the bank.

THREE

No, I see the bank ‘cause it’s on MY SIDE.

FIVE

Yeah but I saw it first.

THREE

(Screaming suddenly)

YOU CAN’T SEE IT BECAUSE IT’S ON MY SIDE OF OUR VAN AND YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO LOOK THROUGH THE WINDOWS ON MY SIDE OF THE VAN BECAUSE THAT'S SO ANNOYING!!!!!!!!

FIVE

(Screaming louder, at a higher pitch)

YES I CANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!

THREE

DADDDYYYYY!!!!

DADDY

What? Dear God will you both stop shouting.

THREE and FIVE

(Simultaneous indecipherable whining about windows and the bank)

Meanwhile, SEVEN

Daddy?

DADDY

Yep?

SEVEN

Are we almost home?

DADDY

Let’s hope so.

THREE

(calm now)

But Daddy?

DADDY

Yes?

THREE

Why are some houses octagons?

DADDY

Um, well...

FIVE (interrupting)

No houses are octagons. Houses aren’t allowed to be octagons. It’s against the law.

SEVEN

No it isn’t.

FIVE

Yes it is.

DADDY

Actually, out west in the Navajo Nation, there are houses called...

SEVEN and THREE

(Rising to shout)

No it isn’t!!!!!!!

FIVE

(Full shouting)

YESSSSS ITTTTT ISSSSSSSS!!!!

DADDY

Stop it! There is no law on the books prohibiting octagonal houses. There are some octagonal houses. Just not here. Now stop.

THREE

(calm again)

Daddy?

DADDY

What?

THREE

Where’s mommy?

DADDY

At work.

THREE

But I want her to pick us up and drive us instead of you.

DADDY

I long for the same.

THREE

Why are you long for it?

DADDY

It’s…just an expression. It means I wish that, too.

SEVEN

Are we almost home?

DADDY

Fortunately.

FIVE

Daddy?

DADDY

Yep?

FIVE

When we get home, I’m going to poop on your head.

DADDY

Please don’t.

THREE and SEVEN, in unison:

Poop on his head! Poop on his head!

DADDY

There will be no pooping on anyone’s head.

THREE

Houses can be Octagons.

FIVE.

No, they can't.

DADDY

We are home.

#parenting #parenthood #van #kids

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