March 25, 2010

A split second in a nutshell

Strange, but lately it feels as though my life revolves around pooh.

It seems that whenever anything interesting happens, there it is – pooh. Whenever I have the urge to grab a beer, write a letter, change my mind, somewhere down the line – pooh. If you have kids, you’ll understand. If you don’t, you will.

So, yet again, having absolutely no idea of what was to come – pooh – followed by a moment.

The wee man’s not stupid – I know this! He might only be 2 feet tall, run into doors on a daily basis, have the vocabulary of an Uzbekistani goat herder, and the personal habits of a mountain troll, but he gets me. He gets that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing being a dad. He’s taken to talking rather than the goo-goo-ga-ga stuff because he realises I don’t understand what the heck goo-goo-ga-ga means. He gets that he has to be patient with me – it’s a virtue. He gets that he can get away with anything whenever he hits a ball with his little putter. He gets that if he smiles just right I’ll run around like a mindless racing chicken picking up toys and discarded soothers while he sucks on his bottle and plans his next nap around whatever meal is supposed to come next. No, he’s definitely not stupid – he has intelligence juice running out of his ears!

The same, I fear, cannot be said of his old man: I struggle with Sudoko, I enthusiastically support Scottish rugby, I manage to misplace either my wallet, car key or cellphone on a daily basis, I get lost in the mall, I still think the Krebb’s cycle is some sort of mountain bike, and I have not yet managed to send a rocket to the moon with my laptop although the shop assistant assured me I could!

It’s still a mystery how, but these thoughts managed to fight their way through the frontal lobes of what technically constitutes my brain as I looked into those little brown eyes, and for a split second wondered what he saw when he looked back at me.

If your ability for reading is what light is for speed, you’ll experience the full effect of my moment. If however, like me, you read at what is considered 2nd grade speed (I still contest that bloody machine was broken!) a split second in print might seem slightly longer than the actual moment it represents – so bear with me. I type much faster though, which means my fingers type what my brain’s going to conjure up in about two to three seconds from now. It’s quite cool – every time I write a letter, my brain eventually catches up to the writing and goes “wow, it feels as though I’ve written this somewhere before” – a kind of ongoing literary Déjà vu if you like. So try and keep up, or read at your leisure – I dipped my fingers in the wee man’s jungle juice by accident!

It starts as usual: a whiff reminiscent of nothing natural that anyone in his right mind could comprehend starts a process that nobody would possibly contemplate to remedy should the unwitting source of the unfortunate eminence not have sprung from his and her loins at a previously and long forgotten wondrous date in time, yonks ago…. (you smell a pooh and know good well that if that was somebody else’s baby, there’d be absolutely no chance you’d attend to it – not in a million years. Not if it smelled like that!).

But he’s mine, and I do. And I look into those big brown eyes and wonder: what do you think when you look at me my boy?

Sjeesh dude, what the heck? Stop smelling my butt. Yeah, I made a doo-doo. Deal with it!

No really, deal with it. You’re up there twitching your nose, pulling your face this way and that, going: “do you smell that?” Of course I smell that – I’m sitting in that! Come on!

No, no, standing on my toes, lifting my arms going oo-ooh is not cute – it’s embarrassing! I’ve got a ton of stink following me like a caravan and… OICH!, what the …. Dad, up-up – pick me up, this thing in my diaper just moved. We gotta get it outa here – NOW!

Upsidaisy – to the change mat Jeeves! And make it snappy, you’re eating into my playtime.

Easy does it – gently now. Watch out dad, I think this one’s angry – it growled at me. Phew! Dad, did you make a stinky? Whooaaw, sheesh…. I remember eating the peas, but what the heck is that orange stuff? Step away dad, slowly, give it some air – catch it with a wipe, GO! Good one dad – rather you than me.

O-oh! Dad, wait. Wait… WAIIIIT! That bum cream stuff is cold – can’t you see it gives me the shrivels? Shriek!

Dad, why you wearing that shirt again? Didn’t the lifeguard say you’re not a surfer? Hey, it does look better without the waterwings though. And those camo shorts aren’t working dad – I can still see your legs, and they still look wobbly.

Hey dad, why you comb you ha….. hey dad, where’s your hair?

Hey dad, where’s the ball?

Hey dad, you think you can hand me my pants now? I’m done here. Got to go play!

Hey dad, where’s Mom? I like Mom.

Mom, I’m hungry.

Food. Now!

And juice.

I dunno. Maybe he just thinks:   You again?!

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