Max is 1 1/2 years old – old enough to decide what he wants to do on his birthday, apparently. We took him to the park but he was having none of it. Shortly after this picture was taken, I asked, “Do you think we should go?” and he shot me the best Stewie face I’ve ever seen.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday.
I accepted that festivities are a part of childhood, and thus a part of parenthood. I am trying to be more festive.
But I’m not very good at being festive…
My celebrations bear the marks of humor and whimsy. Inflatable sheep, giant cock Twinkies with glazed balls, a literal army of lawn ornaments…well, you get the idea.
This Easter, I tried to be normal. I went to the store and purchased rainbow Easter baskets and a small array of candy for a few of my friends. They’re all dieting, as per usual…but…well…it’s Easter.
I could have made them Atkins-friendly Easter eggs, but after the Rainbow Shits and Giggles Cake…well, people are still talking about rainbow excrement that lasts for days.
So, standard Easter candy it is. Can’t go wrong with that. Nothing exciting about that.
After preparing the baskets, I read on Facebook that my friends were enjoying Passover.
… … ….
Okay, back to old faithful – a big box of dick. It’s non-denominational and you can’t go wrong with sex toys. Everybody needs them, and nobody buys them, because people are ashamed.
But I didn’t have any time to order them online, and there wasn’t a local store for miles.
Okay. I’ll just give them candy and many-flavored lube selections. And condoms. And whatever else I can find in the Slut department of my local supermarket.
Three stores and NOTHING. The “family planning” section (read: “YOU FUCKING WHORES!”) was filled with winged clampillows.
At the fourth store, I finally tracked down a manager and asked, gently, so as not to kill someone’s grandfather with shock, why they were nowhere to be found. Santa told me they were behind the customer service desk.
“Why?” I asked. I mean, is lube so scandalous? Need I point out to management that their grocery aisles are overflowing with pleasure tools masquerading as food and home products?
I was told that we are in the midst of an epidemic, where bad people take the products from the shelves, dash to the public restroom, and use the products – all without paying.
A) It’s a supermarket restroom. Even the employees screw in the stock area.
B) LUBE! You’re all slimy and sticky! Who wants Heated Strawberry Sparkle trickling down their leg?
We live in a strange world, but at least their unhygienic vandalism is holiday-appropriate.
This festive crap is going to take some practice.
This morning, I started awake from a nightmare to the sound of your screams. I leapt out of bed and ran to you, to discover that you’d wedged your leg between the bars of the crib and were unable to escape.
Your father kept warning that you’d do that, and I kept telling him that such a fear was irrational. After all, it wasn’t like the bars were going to close upon you, and it’s not a magical flying space crib requiring you to keep your hands and feed inside the ride at all times.
It’s a wooden box – the evolution of countless boxes that cradled babies since…man first discovered boxes. If the design was so dangerous, it would have been pulled from the market…like so many toys from my childhood.
Well, that particular model is called the “Airy Fairy,” so maybe not that one…but you get the idea. It was a bouncy seat that attached to a door frame. You could get a lot more air out of it than those silly “jumparoos.”
Unfortunately, evil, jealous older siblings realized that it is a brightly-colored, poorly-designed trebuchet…or “sling catapult.”
If you pull back on the seat, you can literally launch an infant like a cannonball.
It’s called a “Sit and Spin” and it was the cause of most of my generation’s first concussions. The small tower in the center is stationary, while the base disc spins. Basically, you sit on the ring and work your hands around the center piece, manually spinning yourself. Unfortunately, centrifugal force eventually gets the better of you, and the device spits you onto the floor with a sensation that can be likened to being thrown from a very small moving car. The fact that you are traveling through the air, face up, head-first…
I can’t believe they still sell this thing.
But I digress. I put a lot of stock into your intelligence.
I’ve read a lot of baby warnings –
Don’t give your baby a blanket, because babies hate breathing and will smother themselves to escape the tyranny of oxygen.
Don’t let your baby play in a bathtub puddle, because even though they can scale furniture, water is like kryptonite and they will instantly collapse and drown.
Make sure your baby’s shoes are on tight, because he will try to remove them so that he can eat them and absorb their power.
You’re better than all that. These are just legal safeguards against the lowest common denominator. And I’ve barely seen any “Beware the vice-like bars of the baby cage” warnings. This wouldn’t happen to you.
And yet, there we were. I can only imagine that you fell asleep that way and that your leg tissue expanded under the pressure while you were asleep. That was the scariest part; you could have been caught like that for hours without even noticing a problem.
You were stuck, crying in pain and fear, which are three things that, as a mother, I cannot endure. Once I realized that I couldn’t free your leg, I instantly thought to demolish the bars, and leapt on top of the crib with the intention to break the wooden bars with my bare hands.
I’m not sure we still own a saw and although an axe can solve almost any problem, it should sometimes be considered a “last resort.”
We don’t want your first recorded memory of Mommy to be one of her standing on top of your crib with a face like a maniac, demolishing your “house” with a big yellow axe…do we?
Your father caught up with me and asked what was wrong. I said, in my calmest voice, that your leg was stuck in the crib and I couldn’t get you out.
Well, it sounded calm, to me. To the observer, it probably sounded like a string of snarled hysteria spiced with growling curses.
He coaxed me down from the crib. I don’t know how he got you out – I looked away for a second and discovered my hand was bleeding. When I looked back, you were fine and giggling again.
I love you, kiddo. We’re going to have so many adventures.
There’s a curse, you know – parents wish upon children that we have “one just like us.” I wonder when you’ll write your first stories about me.
A lot of friends complain about the hazards of babies learning to walk and falling down. I got this idea from my own workout room, which I tiled with interlocking rubber floor mats.
They sell brightly-colored, textured mats at stores like Amazon/Walmart/Target, which we’ve used with great success. They’re waterproof, easy to clean, offer great cushion and great traction…unlike the “play rugs” sold for kids. The ones we bought were $6 for 9 12″x12″ squares, and because they interlock, you can shape your play area any way you want.
Children’s songs are so catchy that I can’t say “Fruit Salad” without hearing this song.
Max, we’re entering the age of mimicry. It’s fascinating to watch you emulate everything that I do, like seeing my reflection in a hand mirror. Through exaggerated pantomime, I’m able to communicate requests for physical action, like hand-raising, patty-cake, and lying down. I wonder if this is the beginning of the age when children adopt the mannerisms of their parents.
This morning, at breakfast, you watched intently while I ate fruit salad. I offered a spoonful to you, but you weren’t interested; you just wanted to watch and mimic my hand and mouth gestures. I offered you food, but you weren’t hungry; you just wanted to practice.
It will feel like tomorrow when I teach you to drive your first car.