I love you Daddy. That’s what my oldest triplet has been hitting me with for the last couple of days. If he wasn’t my son, I might be moved by such an open and random declaration of affection. But he is my son, and this is an obvious attempt at emotional manipulation and I am not fooled.

I’ll admit, the first few seconds after he first hit me with the ILYD, I may have turned into some vague form of human putty, but the brain got smart when the heart played stupid. I mean I saw how he said what he said, all doe-eyed and sweet and thrown over his left shoulder. It was nothing to him, because he went right back to playing whatever game he was playing on the iPad.

I knew then that he was playing me, but I just wasn’t sure what his angle was. Was it the fact that he was sitting there playing games on the iPad when he was really supposed to be banned from it? Or maybe it was some pre-emptive butter-up for for some future related fiasco, like another destroyed ceiling fan, or a package of Oreo’s consumed for breakfast, or bringing a fresh pile of poo in his pants to me with the words “I boo-booed.” spoken in a deadpan/matter of fact tone.

He’s also been saying it randomly to his mother, his brothers, and his sisters, building goodwill shotgunning these “I love you’s” all willy nilly. I might believe this kid if it weren’t for all the misery he puts (and will continue to put) me through, but then again, maybe I should take these while I can get ’em. Collect them now and put them away for one of those days when he tells me what a jackass of a father I’ve been. I’ll be able to pull one of those vintage ILYD’s circa 2014 out and think about how I doubted it back then, and now, it’s the best thing ever.



It was just one of those weird things. I found myself going to O’Reillys to pick up some screws for the set of license plates that were just mailed from the dealer. This was my second trip in less than twenty minutes since the first time I came by, I left my wallet at home.

I park and walk in thinking that it’s gonna be like it was maybe fifteen minutes earlier, one or two other people in there like it is any other time you walk into an auto parts store. But it wasn’t.

There were at least five or six people standing in line when I walked in, which sucks because something about people who work at the auto parts store, they aren’t concerned with moving the line along. I don’t get to dwell on that too long though, because there’s a man in a dusty beanie and sweats looking at me and he says “Peacoat!”.

Peacoat? I’m wearing a peacoat. Does he know me? Did we go to school together and I totally don’t recognize this dude? Nah, I don’t know this dude. Ignore this dude.

I ignore this dude and make my way towards the aisle with the screws. He says it again “Peacoat!” and I wonder what this dude is up to. I’m too focused on getting these screws to pay this man any real attention, but the second peacoat has me thinking this dude is unstable. So in my best baritone, I respond with a gruff ” ‘s up bruh?”, and go get my screws.

That seemed to be enough, because before I made it back to the line to pay, he walked out. Maybe he had some weird form Tourette’s where when he saw a peacoat he has to say “Peacoat!”. Or maybe we did know each other at one point and i just couldn’t place his name or his face. Whatever it was, it was weird.