I’ve Been Through The Family On A Horace With No Name

Do you ever listen to older music? Specifically, I’m talking about The Beatles. If you don’t you should, they’re really, really good. Anyway, the specific song I’m referring to is John Lennon’s Come Together. In this tune, amongst several strange and meaningless lines like, “He shoot Coca Cola” and “He got choo-choo eyeballs” is the line, “Got to be good looking cause he’s so hard to see.” Wait a second, I goofed. Yes, that line is there but it’s not the one I was looking for. Hold on let me check the lyrics again. Hmm Hmm Hmm Oh, here it is. The line I want to bring to your attention is, “One and one and one is three.”

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As you all should know, the line is mathematically correct. Frankly, it’s one of the only lyrics in the song that does make sense, and I’m not really sure why it’s even there. But more to the point, one plus one plus one does indeed make three. I’m not sure if John Lennon used old or new math to come up with it, but ya know, this was 1969 and he probably wrote the song before he had kids. I, on the other hand use Family Math, and in family math one plus one plus one equals six.

I bet a lot of you have an odd look on your faces right now. It’s okay. Some of those faces are probably pretty funny. But most, undoubtedly, just look confused. So, I’ll just take one additional sneaky look at your goofy faces and explain. Through my years of parenting, I have discovered you never have one child you always have two. The good one and the evil one.

Now, like most of you, I have done less appropriate things and blamed them on my evil twin, Horace. Up until recently, I thought this was just some game to pass responsibility on to someone else. Now, as I am deep in the realm teenager-world, I am not so sure. Maybe we do have an evil twin, doing things we get blamed for. I’m not sure they’re all named Horace though. Being always called by the wrong name is most likely what made them evil in the first place. Although, this is really not important. What is important is that I can now observe both twins, of my children, in a way I have never seen before.

My oldest is a great example. First, we are speaking happily about colleges and the future. Then before you know it, the twin sneaks in, takes the place of the good twin and screams about being way too stressed with no free time, and their immediate need to play more video games. It’s getting to be like a bad made-for-TV movie. You know the ones. The hero is sitting in a room totally unaware there are twins. Bob walks in and talks intelligently, leaves to get a snack, next Bill enters with no idea of the conversation, or snack. Cue the laugh track.

All three of my children, the engineer, the artist, and the princess, exhibit this strange behavior. So, I must conclude there have to be two of each. Come to think of it, the artist might be quintuplets. If that’s the case, I don’t even want to think about the ramifications. I’ll just let it be twins to keep it easy.

I just wish I could tell the difference. As a father, it’s really bad not knowing who you are talking to. I can’t tell you how annoying it is to be comforting a child, and having them asking me why. Or the reverse: assuming the child walking through the room is fine and not speaking, only to be yelled at for not understanding the problem. My wife can tell the difference, though. She takes one look and knows exactly who she’s talking to, and always says the right thing.

In retrospect, I guess she always could. Even when they were babies, she knew. She would say things to me like, “Your son made a mess,” or “Your daughter needs a time-out.” I don’t care for the fact that she made the evil twin my child. Then again, she carried them inside her body for nine months, so I guess it’s only fair she should be the one to choose.

The thing that really messed me up back then was: how do the kids change places so darn fast? You see, I remember times when she would call down the stairs, saying that my son needed changing and she was busy. As the good helpful father, I gladly obliged, found the little angel and went on diaper duty. Now, I swear, I was looking at the kid the whole time. I never blinked from opening stench, all the way to the powdery close. I then picked up the tot and carried him to the sofa. Next, I held him until my wife got there and cooed, “Give me my precious little one.”  I was somehow holding her good kid, not my evil one. How did it happen? I mean, he was in my sight the whole time! But it did. The twins traded places, and snuck it by me every time. Think about it. If they were that fast as babies, what chance do I have of seeing them change places now? I mean, some hope.

In a way, I am glad it’s my kids who are the lazy ones. They stay home and let the smart, good kids of my wife go to school. That way, they get really good grades. However, it also means my side is responsible for the homework. As an outsider, you can’t believe the whining I endure. But the grades stay respectable, so I’m okay with it.

When I discovered all this, I was more than a little concerned. I began to wonder if my children were some alien changelings from the planet Zok. I mean, they looked ordinary enough, as teenagers go, but how can you tell? I asked around with the other parents picking up their kids from school. I found out all the teen have evil twins. I guess that makes it a normal thing on Earth. But then again, I remember when I was a teen. Well most of it. There were a few chemicals involved.  Anyway, I can remember acting in silly stupid ways which were not understandable to adults. Maybe there was an alien inside me back then that died when I started accepting responsibility.

That’s another biggie. The thought of responsibility can reduce almost every teen to his knees. I better give NASA a call. Although I do wonder what can be done about an alien invasion which dies at the first hint of being responsible for its own actions? HMMMM

What do you think?

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