When I was telling you I would have had a more interesting conversation with my dad, I was being ironic.
I don't even have to wait until I call to know what we'll be saying: it's the standard exchange of two people who totally suck at phone calling:
"Good!" meditative break.
"How are the kiddos?"
"They are fine..." thinking break.
"Is it warm?"
"Well, it is warmer than last week..."
"Sorry, I didn't hear"
"It is warmer!"
"Should I call your mother?"
"See you for Christmas, thank you, bye bye".
And that's it.
If I want to tease him I'll ask if he could eat some cake - which due to his hyperglycemia might sound insulting.
No way I am pushing him into real talking, it would be counterproductive.
After more than three decades I know better; and I've learned to read every sign, tone and expression.
Like when I do something he - in my place - would have done too and that my mother wouldn't approve of: his reaction wouldn't be more than a smile (puffing under his mustache), which is never supposed to be out of joy; it's more or less the "stamp of approval", the "ego te absolvo" and go in peace.
My mom would get a bit mad, as if we were allied in a silent battle and then she would just let go - because of all things she is not trying to change two donkeys into pleasing pets.