ITHACA, NY—After weeks of being sleepy all the time and never finishing his din-din at night, area daddy Howard Lewis was put in a bye-bye box early Monday morning so that he could go on a vacation with the birds and clouds in the sky.

Daddy, who was tall and strong and liked going to the hospital to play with their fun machines, was put in the bye-bye box at a big, white house where everyone had a party for him even though it wasn't his birthday. According to family sources, Daddy, 36, can't play Chutes and Ladders tonight, but he loved Ryan and his little sister, Rebecca, very, very much, and nothing is ever going to change that.

In Ryan's depiction, Daddy gets to play with Ryan's teddy bear, Porky, while in his cool underground box.

"I love my daddy. He's the best," said Ryan Lewis, 5, after watching the box get dropped inside a cool underground fort full of dirt and sand. "I'm going to be the big boy of the house until he gets back. And I have to take care of Rebecca now, even if she doesn't share her toys with me."

Mommy, who said that Ryan and Rebecca could have pizza for lunch today because they're so special and then started crying like the time Rebecca skinned her knee, was not able to explain how long Daddy is going to have to live inside the ground. She also said she was not sure if the bye-bye box has a night-light for when it gets dark, whether there's books inside the bye-bye box for when Daddy gets bored, or why Daddy was wearing a suit in the bye-bye box if he wasn't going to work.

After returning from the bathroom, Mommy, 34, reportedly hugged Ryan and Rebecca so hard that it hurt a little.

While many theories exist as to why Daddy was placed inside the ground, including the possibility that Mommy and Daddy had a big fight, and that maybe living underneath the grass was the only way for Daddy to get a new tummy, Ryan and Rebecca said they would have to wait until he comes back to ask.

Ryan added that he hopes Daddy brings back a lot of presents, like the time he went to Chicago to talk about computers.

"I'm practicing catch in my room so I can surprise Daddy with how good I got when he was away," said Ryan, who sometimes, when sitting in the backyard, likes to dig little holes to try and visit his father. "I'm also making him a card and I'm going to give him all my bath-time toys so that he can have something to play with when he washes up to get all the dirt off his body."

This is reportedly not the first time Ryan's family has received so many fruit baskets and telephone calls after someone has had to go away for a while. In 2003, Grandma Sarah was turned into magic dust and then thrown into the ocean so that she could go swimming again. And last year, Uncle Brian was put in a bye-bye box even bigger than Daddy's after his heart broke into a million pieces one morning.

Although neither Grandma Sarah nor Uncle Brian has visited the house since, 3-year-old Rebecca said she knows that Daddy will be back soon, because she has a ballet recital next week, and Daddy promised he would be there to watch her. According to Rebecca, not only is Daddy going to come out of his hole to see her, but he's also going to have all of his hair back when he does. In addition, Daddy won't be saying all that silly stuff like "I'm so sorry, my princess" and "You're going to have a beautiful wedding one day."

"My papa's name is Howie," Rebecca said. "He's asleep now like Snow White."

When Daddy will actually wake up remains to be seen, but he is probably just having a good time playing with their old cat Muffin right now, and will soon realize that Ryan and Rebecca can't go to sleep without their favorite bedtime story, and will then jump out of the ground and come running fast, because he is such a fast runner.

As of press time, Mommy was planning to have a big long talk with Ryan and Rebecca, probably about eating their vegetables or tidying up their rooms.