My TomTom One steered me away from The Pessimistic Optimism path for a little while, but I updated it recently for a trip to Savannah and it now knows the route. So here I am, world. Be ready to read your balls off because I’m here to stay, I think.
The two children have aged a few years and had a thousand and one experiences since their dad has put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard about them. Does this mean that their memories won’t be immortalized or just not scrutinized? That’s the question that haunts my dreams. Haunts might be a bit extreme, but it does find its way to the front of my feeble mind once in a while which causes me the need to fluff my pillow a few extra times.
So let’s see what the girl and boy have been up to. She’s finishing third grade and he’s in first, again. Just kidding, it’s his first go at it.
The older they get, the harder it is to write about them. They’re old enough to refute what I say and I don’t want to be called a liar or more importantly, be sued again.
Back to my first question. In the age of Facebook and Twitter, if something isn’t on video or written about did it really happen? I think we all know the answer to that … NO! If you can’t tell the world what you did, why do it? If you can’t tell the world what you ate, why eat it? If you can’t tell the world that you like something, do you?
As a responsible parent I vow to jump back in the writing saddle and start paying attention to what they do again. I’ll see if I can re-immortalize and exploit the kids’ foibles and triumphs again like I’m supposed to. I just need to find my voice. I don’t remember where I left it so it might take a few more posts.
The boy called his shot! It’s a big deal. I don’t think I ever called my shot… and actually delivered. Besides that, it was a brave call. He said there’d be six and there were. This isn’t a story about a cocky four-year-old that goes around shooting his mouth off. It’s about a kid that knows himself inside and out.
The kids behaved exceptionally well this past week so we decided to reward them with something a little out of the ordinary. As per usual, they had no clue to where we headed off to Monday evening, but they didn’t think it would be fun when the Prius finally stopped in front of The Bon Ton. If I didn’t know our actual destination I would’ve been bummed, too.
From ladies’ shoes, through Juniors, to fragrances, our daughter lamented about a stomachache or headache or toe ache. My ears were turned off, so I’m not sure which it was. She kept this up until we saw a boy twenty-five feet in the air. We were at a bungee trampoline.
“I feel better,” shot out of our miraculously cured six-year-old’s mouth.
Both kids took advantage of this generous opportunity to get an edge on the competition for the U.S. freestyle ski team in the 2026 winter games in Miami. Visions of the next Speedy Peterson danced through my head as they flipped and bounced and bounced and flipped endlessly. Now they just need to learn to ski.
I got a little jealous watching them, but my big lunch tipped the scale too much to do the adult version. My wife could’ve gone, but chose to keep her feet on the ground. She must be afraid… or smart.
Dinner at Dave & Buster’s followed. The extreme activity must’ve gotten things moving around in the boy’s stomach because right before my Boss Chicken Club arrived he rubbed his belly and stated that he needed to poop. I looked at my wife with chagrin and downed my Corona Light. She smiled and batted her baby blues. We have an unwritten pact; the boy’s mine and the girl’s hers.
I reluctantly left the table and searched for the little boy’s room. After passing by everything from ski-ball to frogger we saw the red neon ‘restrooms’ sign. Just another 150 yards and we’d be in defecation heaven.
The toilet was just past the seventy-two urinals and it was clean… sort of. I did the usual scrub down of the seat and had the pleasure of soaking my fingers in something wet under the seat and it wasn’t Palmolive. This was an example of my carelessness at its best, now I’d probably have to wash my hands.
As per orders from my stomach I advised the boy that we were short on time and that this cut into our gaming and eating. He pondered the situation and came up with a solution.
“I’ll just do six,” he said.
Guilt and panic set in. “Don’t hurry yourself,” I said. “Make sure you finish.”
“I’ll do six,” he said, “and I’ll hurry.”
The boy explained to me that the first one always hurts a little and groaned his way through it.
Another groan. “That’s two.”
Groan again. “That’s number three.”
He continued with this process until he said, “That’s six.”
“I’m done, Daddy.”
“Are you sure?” I asked. “Make sure you’re done.”
“I said I’m done,” he said.
We wiped up and I counted the neatly dispensed nuggets. There were six. The little guy backed up his words with actions. I felt like Babe Ruth’s dad at that moment, except a little more proud. The Babe only called one shot; my son called six.
We made it back to the table with plenty of time left to devour our grub and shoot aliens and crash cars.
As a parent there are many times in life that your kids make you proud, like an “A” in math, a Nobel prize, or a really hot girlfriend, but this one takes the (urinal) cake. That’s my boy!!!
I admire my son’s dedication to not do what he doesn’t want to do. There’s no hesitation on his part to commit fully to a mildly unpleasant task to avoid something else.
On many days the boy wakes up too early for my liking. On my non-working mornings I’m a devoted sleeper and a four-year-old will not alter that. Stop laughing, I mean it. When he comes into my room and asks me, “Is it morning time?” I answer, “No,” put him back in his bed and like a good press secretary I tell him no questions. I’m snoozing again before my greasy hair slides onto my ice-cold Firmapedic pillow. End of story… not quite.
On weekdays my wife rises before the sun, so she’s awake and making herself even more beautiful in the powder room when the boy gets out of bed again. He heads right to her because he knows I’ll be of no help to his needs and she’s much easier on his squinted little baby-grays. During his face-to-face he informs her that he has to go poopie. Despite her doubt of his sincerity and honesty she dutifully succumbs to his wishes and lets him hop on the throne. Ignoring his request isn’t an option because both she and I have witnessed the end result of denying bathroom privileges to a child whom I thought had cried wolf. It’s not a mistake you make more than once.
She gets back to the business of getting ready for another day in the rat race while he sits there mostly quietly. Every couple of minutes he asks, “Is it morning time?” She answers, “No,” and he continues to sit and wait.
Eventually I stroll out of the bedroom at a more reasonable hour. He asks again, “Is it morning time, Mommy?”
This time she says, “Yes, it is.”
“I’m done,” he says and peels himself off of the toilet seat.
His wobbly little legs deliver him to the sink to wash his hands and he looks at me. “It’s morning time, Daddy.”
My wife peeks in the bowl to discover that it’s… empty. This product of my procreation would rather sit on the pot for forty-five minutes than lay in bed for that amount of time. The little guy had the foresight to crap where he sleeps a long time ago just to set this up. Diabolical! Hopefully he’ll someday use his over-sized brain for good or better yet, my gain.
copyright Linus Mann 2009
Fate tested me and I’m not sure if I passed.
Last night a screaming Mexican delayed my highly anticipated arrival in the boodwah. I’m talking about enchiladas, not Hervé Villechaize *. I won’t get into the details about how I spent my time, but it took a while and it cost me.
After washing my hands, brushing my teeth and scraping my feet I ventured down the hallway to Shangri-la. As I moved closer I could tell something was amiss. The light from the TV didn’t peek out from under the door of the darkened hallway. This could only mean one thing: my wife fell asleep or the satellite was down. Either way, my entertainment for the evening was finished.
I quietly stepped on the squeaky floorboards making sure to hit everyone in its sweet spot hoping not to wake up the dog. I reached out for the door handle and felt… air. It was gone and so was the door. My head rattled from side to side. Something didn’t compute. Was the door open? Is this my house? Is that freaking Mexican knocking at my back door, again? The answers came to me quickly: yes; yes; and not yet. I clumsily reached out into the void and found the door to be at an angle that confirmed my suspicions. It was open. I knew it.
I remained still for a moment to take in my zero visibility. After about ten minutes I closed the door and stumbled toward the bed. I feared for my toes because a laundry basket was in the midst somewhere in the room. I’ve encountered its kind many times before and knew of the carnage that can result from one of my piggies entangling itself in the plastic netting.
I made it to the bed eventually. The telltale sign being the mattress brushing against my thigh. I made it! It felt good to know that I can navigate so well in my dwelling. Utter darkness was no match for me. The following information is only being revealed because it is necessary for the reader to know. I sleep on the outside of the bed. Therefore, by default, my wife sleeps on the inside.
I reached out to make sure the covers were out of the way for me to crawl into bed and my world changed. I touched a hand. A hand very different from my wife’s. It was a different size and not as hairy**. The hand grasped mine and I froze. I wanted to shout or run or cry, but instead I said, “What’s going on in here?” There was silence in the room. It seemed as though the infiltrator feared revealing its identity. Then the words floated through the air like the mist from Niagara Falls on a breezy day; drenching me in a not completely unpleasant way. “Hi, Daddy.”
To many of you this might be a regular occurrence, but it’s a first for my wife and I in our almost six years of parenting. Our son just turned four and decided it was time to share our bed. WTF was he thinking? Well, I’ll tell you. As I carried him back to HIS room he said, “When I get big I’m going to sleep with Mommy and Daddy.” In my uneducated psychological analysis I’ve concluded that he turned four and became a “big” kid and Mommy and Daddy are big and they sleep in the same bed, so he should too. It’s either that or some sort of Oedipus Complex. For sanity sake, I’ll go with the former.
The events that took place last night made me realize that some things in life shouldn’t be taken for granted. Things like alone time with your spouse and night-lights. I just hope that I nipped this nocturnal invasion stuff in the bud. I’d hate to see what would have happened if I wasn’t delayed by the screaming Mexican.
Copyright Linus Mann 2009
*I know he wasn’t Mexican, but I just smile thinking about the little bastard. It’s not my fault that I spent my adolescence in the late seventies and crap like Fantasy Island was shoved down my throat via Saturday night television.
**I’m kidding snookie-pie; it was close to your size.