Twin Four-Year-Olds Discuss Music, Existentialism

Two furious, monstrously wonderful boys, whom we occasionally consider punching, live in our home. They have been there for four years now, and have spent a majority of their days doing and saying ridiculous things.

One time, one of them pulled a poop out of the toilet. One time, one of them said he needed to be released from his car seat, because he didn't fit anymore because his penis was too big. One time, during a soccer game, one of them simply stood there, holding his hand to his chest, shouting to the referee that his heart was beating too fast.

More. More. More. There aren't really shitty aspects of fatherhood, but there are definitely complicated aspects. A tiny, vital example:

Were we to gather the courage to peek into the Snack Cabinet when Wife is in the restroom, we need to be fortunate enough to luck up on a foodstuff with at least six pieces left. If we eat one when there are less than six left, the delicate and entirely crucial Snack Cabinet ecosystem gets thrown out of wack, a sin only slightly less offensive than murder at the Serrano household. The balance of snackdom is as such:

One left: Boy A and Boy B split it. (Sucky.) Two left: Boy A and Boy B each receive one. (Sucky.) Three left: Boy A, Boy B and Wife each receive one. (Sucky.) Four left: Boy A and Boy B each receive two. (Sucky.) Five left: Boy A and Boy B each receive two, Wife receives one. (Sucky.) Six left: Boy A and Boy B each receive two, Wife and Daddy receive one. (Awesome.)

But one of the brilliant parts of being Daddy is that anything you say, ANYTHING YOU SAY, is immediately law. It doesn't even matter how contradictory or silly it is. It just is.

One time, we told one of them to bring us the remote control, then fussed at him for touching the remote control because he's been warned to never, ever touch the remote control. He was crushed by the grip of logic, even though it was a clear case of entrapment.

One time, we told one of them we'd beaten Manu Ginobili in a game of 1-on-1. He did not even consider an alternate outcome.

One time, we told one of them to try and jump down four steps at once, even though he'd never even been able to make it down step at a time with any fluidity. Four steps for a then-three-year-old is like 22 steps for a grown man. Had he given it any thought, he'd have surely abandoned the idea. But he didn't. Do you know what that fool's response was? "Okay, Daddy." And then he jumped.

For an all too brief period, the only difference between Dad and God is that God lives in the clouds and Dad lives in the next room.

The point: We spend a considerable amount of time digesting music, for this job and just for personal consumption in general. The boys do too now. They were passive about it at first, but now they proactively seek it out. They know what they like, and they know what they think is stupid.

So last night we corralled Boy B, who wandered downstairs at 11:30 p.m. or so to go to the bathroom, and told him he could listen to any five songs he wanted to at that very moment. He was excited. He sat on the lap and we flipped through YouTube for two minutes. His picks:

"Blow Up," Dante Higgins

The boys enjoy Dante Higgins, in part because he has an easily identifiable voice, but also because he says sentences in bursts that they can grab hold of. To wit, there have been many occasions when they were out playing somewhere and one of them has shouted, "I AM NO WAKA FLOCKA!" as he sped by. When asked why he likes this song, Boy B's response: "'Cause it's Dante Higgins." Unassailable, if not altogether curt, logic.

"Iron Man," Black Sabbath

This is their pre-sports-game, get-keyed-up song. We listen to it loudly on the way to their soccer/baseball/basketball games. They are cute little babies when we depart for the game, but after three minutes of the Prince of Darkness, they're like a box of goddamn wolverines. When asked why he likes this song, Boy B's response: "It sounds like a monster."

"We Will Rock You," Queen

When asked why he likes this song, Boy B's response: "Because it's we will rock you-y."

"Bodies," Drowning Pool

Wife is marginally concerned that the boys enjoy music this aggressive and visceral. Conversation when Boy B asked for this song:

Us: Do you know who sings this song, son?

Boy B: Yes, sir.

Us: Who?

Boy B: I don't know.

Us: ...Dude. Do you not know what "Yes, sir" means?

Boy B: Yes, sir.

Us: What does it mean?

Boy B: I don't know.

Us: ...

"Film Noir," Andrew Karnavas

The boys are big Karnavas fans. It has become the official Dinner Time CD at the house. When asked when he wanted to listen to Karnavas, Boy B's response: "At time." When asked why, Boy B's response: "Because it's sad. It makes me sad."


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