Dinner is over, for the most part. Jason and I are still at the table, procrastinating on the cleaning up.
Ezra heads to the bathroom to wash his hands. He is singing.
"Top um bottom, top um bottom, immatween!"
When he returns, he is pushing an empty laundry basket. He is excited. He has a plan.
The laundry basket is carefully arranged next to an Ikea stepladder.
"Is a Flyboat!" he announces.
(For the un-Nick-Jr-initiated: THIS.)
He is singing again.
"Wonnerpets, Wonnerpets, on our way, to halp da..."
He stops. He looks around for a suitable object for his pretend rescue mission. He chooses a stuffed rabbit he finds on the floor.
"To halp da baby rabbit an save da day..."
The stuffed rabbit is, in fact, a squeaky dog toy.
But for now, it is in mortal peril.
"Come on! Follow me!" he implores Noah. "To da Flyboat!"
"To the Flyboat!" Noah obliges.
And they are off.
For the next hour -- at least -- they play a frantic and elaborate game of climbing in and out of the laundry basket via the stepladder, clutching the stuffed rabbit and occasionally beating on the laundry basket with a broom.
"It's broken," Noah explains. "We have to fix it."
And then they run a lap around the entire first floor. Ezra continues to sing.
And then they are back in the laundry basket. And then they are out. Another lap. Back in.
Ike is looking up and over my shoulder, oblivious, happily enjoying some butt pats. He is cooing at our wall of picture frames.
Noah declares that the entire living room is dangerous and must be avoided. "This is Poopland," he says.
Ezra carefully lines up several pairs of shoes back in the kitchen. "Baby rabbit! Go back to your frens!" he says, placing the rabbit in front of my running shoes.
A snap bracelet shaped like a snake has joined the mission. It also gets reunited with its friends, played here by Noah's Crocs.
Noah is now riding the Flyboat-fixing broomstick around the house, singing the theme song from Harry Potter.
He tries to drag Ezra in the laundry basket at the same time. "WE NEED MORE TEAMWORK!" he shrieks. "I WILL GET MY MAGIC WAND."
Realizing his wand was confiscated earlier for poking-related infractions, he goes with a bendy straw. "WINGARDIAM LEVIOSA!" he shouts at the laundry basket. "PEW PEW PEW!"
"BABY RABBIT NOOOO!" Ezra shrieks after hurling it across the room, where a thoroughly confused Ceiba has grabbed her toy and taken it off to Poopland. The boys thunder off in full pursuit.
The noise level is ridiculous. They are running at top speed. Someone is going to fall down, crash into something, get hurt.
I look at Jason. Our sides hurt from laughing so hard.
"This right here," I say, "is why I had children."