My morning routine is not a particularly easy one, but it is at least reliable in its difficulty. I know which points in the morning usually push my eldest’s buttons, when he’s going to drag ass, and when I need to gently cattle-prod him along so as to keep the whole operation from coming to a complete and total stop. I know that he will always want to climb into his carseat by himself, and that any attempt to lift him into the seat will be met with the resistance of a thousand armies. I know that the left turn onto the freeway will be met by angry howls that I am going the wrong way, and that all reminders that we went this way yesterday, the day before, and every other day will be met with vehement denials.

Baby brother, by the way, is totally chill through all of this. It’s all I can do to ask “why can’t you be more like your brother?” That’s supposedly bad. They did a study. It’s on the internet.

But before either of those obstacles are met, we also have to get through the morning toy selection. The kids stay with their grandparents during the day, and their house is well stocked with toys. Still, eldest feels the need to select an item from his home stash to bring along nearly every day. Thing is, the selected toy is always forgotten in the car upon arrival at the Grandparent’s house. Office_sheepAlways. That is, until today, when the selected toy was actually a pair of tiny sheep that do absolutely nothing. They do not move, they do not make sound, they’re just hard plastic sheep meant to act as accessories for a train set or some such. I’d been at work maybe ten minutes when my wife called from her office to tell me that eldest was having a fit because he forgot his sheep.

“I told him that the sheep had to go to work with daddy.”

“Why did the sheep have to go to work with daddy?”

“They just did.”

To provide proof of my need for sheeply assistance, I was asked to submit photographs of the sheep in action. These were emailed to the grandparents in hopes that all toy-related anguish would be soothed. Yay for camera phones and obliging co-workers.

After work, I went to pick the boys up. I made sure to bring the sheep home with me. I handed them to eldest, foolishly expecting him to light up at the sight of the objects whose absence had caused such distress that very morning. It was more like “cool, where’s mom?”