When there’s a ball in the house, by God, our dog can’t stop thinking about it.
She carries it around in her mouth, dropping it at my feet, whining, hoping against hope I would pick it up and just throw the damn thing down the hall. Just once, come on, Dad.
Same thing goes for my son, except it’s the iPad.
"Can I play on the iPad?" is the first thing out of his mouth in the morning.
He wakes me up to ask this. Sometimes, I open my eyes and he's just standing there. Looking at me.
“iPad, Dad?” he asks me, like I’m Don Draper, and he wants to pour me a drink.
“You want to play with me on the iPad, Dad?” he asks after dinner and we’re doing the dishes.
He hangs around, lying on the floor, raising his feet in the air, dropping them down, stomp stomp, rolling about, groaning, making noises, chirps and tweets.
"Just once, come on, dad!" he groans.
The dog comes up to me and drops the ball at my feet. Whining. My son lunges for her. Pepper growls.
Not this shit again, she groans.
“Jesus, get out of here,” I bark at the both of them.
I kick the ball away and Pepper tears off after it, like the road runner, legs spinning on the hard wood floor, desperately trying to get traction and when they do, she has to skid a sudden stop, sliding past the ball which has bounced off the wall. But she doesn’t care. She is chasing her ball.
“Come on,Dad!” my son complains, “No fair!”
A part inside of me agrees. He’s right, I agree. It is unfair. And the guy on my right shoulder, with the pitchfork and business suit also agrees.
Get this kid out of our hair, he urges.
“Just go play on the iPad until dinner is ready,” I tell him, and he is up and running. Away. In my favourite direction. Away from me.
And Pepper comes back. The ball in her mouth. She drops it at my feet, and looks up at me with eyes that say, I’m never going to stop asking you to throw the ball for me.
She needs an iPad.