If it wasn't for the fact that Joy was performing at a church Parents' Day event, I would've forgotten it was Father's Day today.
But every day is Father's Day, really. And today was no different.
In one day, I laughed with my kids, shouted at my kids, sniffed my kids' butts to find out where the poop smell was coming from, exchanged silly stories with my kids, chased the kids to bathe, scolded one kid for not closing the door when he changed thereby showing the world his birthday suit, waited 40 minutes for my order of pizzas for the kids' dinner at my in-laws, repaired a plastic-pearl-encrusted cat hairband for the youngest kid, felt pride as that same kid sang on stage and did a split without stage fright, gave my two younger kids $5 each just because, and fussed over the oldest kid who was sick.
Faithie had a throat infection, which she told me by holding my hand to her throat and giving a little demonstration cough. This is a first. She has never managed to communicate what ails her when she is sick, because of her autism. Until now.
I had mixed feelings of wonder and worry. But we had no time to feel much of either because we had to make sure she took some medicine to sooth her throat so she could eat some food. Oh, and clean up the mess after she threw up the first round of medicine.
On the car ride home from my in-laws, we were telling each other stories, and Joy told us about a classmate who said her mother works at The Ship restaurant.
I said, that's cool, your mommy and I used to date at the old Ship restaurant.
"I thought I heard Sh*t Restaurant, and was wondering what kind of restaurant that was!" Joy laughed. "I asked her is it a kind of poop place? And my friend said SHIPPP! As in BOAT!" said Joy, by then in a major giggling fit.
"Maybe the food is brown!" laughed Isaac. Trust him to have the poop jokes on hand.
The wife and I couldn't help laughing at the poop story, because we are basically 11-year-olds inside. But I still managed to throw in a "Watch the language ah, don't use the S word, ok?"
Because that's what fathers are supposed to say.
In an earlier conversation, Joy asked me, in all seriousness, "Papa, do you regret that I turned out to be a girl?"
I said, "Of course not! Why would you think that?"
"Because people seem to like sons more."
"Nonsense," I said. "Girls and boys are equally good. I am equally happy to have each one of you: Cheh Cheh, Kor Kor and you. I love all of you just as much."
"When I grow up, I will look after Cheh Cheh. I will live with you and Mommy and force my husband to live with you too," Joy said.
"Well, I don't think you should force your future husband to live with us, you should decide together," I said. "But I am very happy to hear you are willing to care for your oldest sister this way, Joy."
Then the son piped in, "Papa, when I grow up, I will sign you up for a massage package!"
"Er, that's good too, son."
A lifetime commitment to care for each other, and a future massage package for me: what more can a father ask for on this day?