It is early Tuesday afternoon, and I am playing the Mists of Pandaria expansion for World of Warcraft. I have taken the day off from work under the auspices of caring for my 3 year-old who has a bad cough. I’m still a little foggy-headed from a rough night’s sleep spent listening to and trying to soothe that coughing, but he has rapidly improved throughout the day, and the lure of some game time finally convinces me that my services are no longer needed in the capacity of hapless nurse.
The windows are open. The soft breeze of a perfect Minnesota fall afternoon is flitting through the house, and the temperature is fixed dead on at 72 degrees Fahrenheit. My toddler is finding time between coughing bouts to learn to use the potty. It’s his second day of success, and he is a ball of prideful sunshine, occasionally proclaiming, “I need to use the potty, again,” through a charming grin of small teeth.
I am sipping at a Sonic chocolate shake. My wife is leaning against the door jamb to the bathroom, and my youngest child is boosted on a special toilet seat announcing the general condition of his excretory system. It is 4:00. At this point, my eight-year-old son has been missing for about three minutes, but no one has realized it yet.