A day in the life of . . .

The Morris residence, 6:45 am. An alarm blares. Little Joey runs into his daddy's bedroom, jumps up on the bed. "Lets go, let's go, let's go!" He reaches for Mr. Morris' face, but a grumpy hand pushes him away. Joey is excited for the new day; Mr. Morris is not.

The morning routine is, well, routine. Mr. Morris puts out breakfast for Joey, then goes into the bathroom. From within, the sounds of the shower. Joey ignores it, concentrating on his breakfast. It is the same breakfast he always has, yet he devours it with enthusiasm.

Mr. Morris emerges, clean as a whistle. As he begins pouring himself a bowl of cereal and toasting a muffin, Joey goes to the door of the bathroom and watches the steam come out, which is fun, then runs back into the kitchen. "Let me have some, I want some, give me, give me, give me." Mr. Morris ignores him, as he always does.

A thump at the door. "The newspaper!" Joey runs to the door. "The newspaper is here, it is, it is, it is!" Mr. Morris follows him, although with markedly less enthusiasm. He opens the door, and Joey looks out to a bright world of sunshine and promise. The air smells fresh, with a slight bit of the ocean, today. Birds are chirping, dogs are barking, children are playing. All is right with the world.

Too soon, the door closes. Mr. Morris returns to the kitchen, absorbing the news of the day with his morning caffeine. Then it is time to leave. A rattle at the door as the housekeeper arrives. "The housekeeper's here! She's here! Right here! Come on, let's go see her!"

Mr. Morris does not go see her; instead, he waits until she comes into the kitchen. "Morning, Mr. Morris."

"Morning, Juanita," he replies.

"How's my Joey this morning?"

"Oh, good, really, really, really, good. The sun is out! The birds are out! I can smell the ocean!"

"That's good," she says.

"Back at six," Mr. Morris says, grabbing his keys off a peg on the wall. The garage door rattles up, the car purrs to life, backs down the driveway, and is gone, the garage door closing behind it like a failed trap.

"Do you want to play in the backyard, Joey?" Juanita asks.

"Oh, yes! Play! Can I? Let's play! Let's go!"

Smiling, Juanita opens the back door. Joey charges outside. First, check the perimeter. Everything just the same as it was yesterday. Better check again. Yup, just the same. Juanita closes the door, leaving Joey to his own devices. Ok, let's play make-believe. Those squirrels are trying to invade the backyard. They are the bad guys. I'll chase them for a while. Oh, they don't like that. Come down from the tree, mister squirrel.

Well, that taught them a lesson. Now I'll look at my shadow for a while. It's the same as yesterday. Oops, there's another squirrel. Come back here!

Oh look, one of my toys. I must have left it out here. Ok, I'll play with that. That was fun. Now what? I'm tired. I think I'll just lie in the nice soft grass for a while.

Well! While I was lying there, a squirrel came into the yard. He doesn't see me here, I'm the sheriff, he's the bad guy, I'll get him! That's it, run up that tree. I showed you.

"Joey! Lunchtime!"

"Oh boy! Lunch! I wonder what it will be today? Beef? Chicken? Who knows? Let's eat!"

Later: "That was a good lunch! Thanks, Juanita! I think I'll lie on the couch for a while! Maybe watch some TV, that'll be nice. Put on something you like. Ok, a soap opera, great!"

The Morris residence, 6:00 pm. The garage door springs to life. Joey runs to the hall door. "Oh boy, daddy's back! Oh boy! Daddy's gonna make me dinner!"

"Evening, Juanita. How did your day go?"

"Very well, Mr. Morris. Cleaned the living room, did some grocery shopping for you; you're set for a couple of weeks. Got all the laundry done, mopped the kitchen."

"How's my boy?"

"Good, good, good. Let's eat dinner!"

"Spent the morning playing in the yard, then dozed on the couch all afternoon."

"That's my boy."

"Come on, let's eat dinner. Let's eat, let's eat!"

Juanita leaves. Mr. Morris microwaves dinner.

"Can I have some of what you're having? Can I? Can I? Please? Give me some! Please?"

7:00. "Let's go for a walk around the block. Come on, let's go! Come on, come on, come on!"

Mr. Morris is now dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Bright white New Balance shoes adorn his feet. Joey is waiting by the door. Mr. Morris is holding a Frisbee.

"Oh boy, are we going to the park to play Frisbee? Are we? Ok, let's go! Oh, look what I found! Don't you want to see? Come on, look!"

"Oh boy, Frisbee! Look, I caught it! Aren't you proud of me? Look, I caught it again! Boy, am I smart, or what? Is it time to go already? Ok, fine. Let's take a different way home."

"Oh, look. There's that girl you like! Let's go over and talk to her, can we? Sure, let's go! Let's go! Right this way! She likes you, you like her! I like her! Let's talk!"

"Ok, wasn't that fun? Let's go home now."

9:00. "I think I was napping there, for a little bit. But I'm awake now. Let's have a snack, let's have a snack before bed, come on, let's have a snack!"

"That was good! Thanks! I really liked that snack. More TV? Come on, let's stay up a little. Why don't you watch TV and I'll play with one of my toys. Look, it's right here where I left it, my favorite toy!"

"Is it bedtime already? That's too bad, but tomorrow will be great, won't it? Sure! Can I sleep in your bed? Can I? Can I? Can I? I won't steal the covers, I promise. I'll just lie here on top of them, see? It'll be fine, please?"

"Oh, all right, fine. I'll sleep in my own bed tonight. If you insist. But I'll be back in the morning, you can be sure of that! I'll make sure you get up in time for work. Won't it be great?"