I took the day off yesterday to stay home with the boys. Sounds noble. But I'm quite certain I'll never be given the opportunity ever again. In spite of me, both kids were alive and well when their mother arrived at 4:30.
11:56 AM - I'm playing with JJ on the floor of the living room. Miles walks in with an armful of Duracells and begins tossing them up to the ceiling like he's shooting t-shirts out of a cannon at The Rose Garden. While JJ and I try to dodge falling Alkaline, I inform Miles in no uncertain terms, that he is to pick up all the batteries and put them back in the kitchen drawer (second from the bottom if you're ever visiting and have the need).
12:01 PM - I'm holding JJ in my arms and we're cleaning up a mess I've made in kitchen. I've also been prepping some dinner stuff throughout the morning. I hear a scream. No big deal. Miles screams all the time, right? Not like this. This is one of those "I'm a parent and my child is in pain" screams. JJ and I run to the living room and find Miles on his knees, crying. A package of size 5 Huggies is resting nearby, looking relieved. In about nine seconds my fatherly instincts have deduced that my eldest has been bent over this package, pushing it around the living room at somewhere between 28 and 37 miles per hour. I know that because the airbag did not deploy. Seriously. My son scooted this package around the living room. I can only assume he was looking at Winnie the Pooh on one of the diapers as he was trying to perform a modified version of the Skeleton he saw on the Olympics while singing a song to himself. At the instant he realized it was a Kenny Loggin's song he ran straight into the corner of a wall/doorway. Nose/forehead first. After that: tears and screaming. Oh the humanity!
12:03 PM - I'm consoling Miles as he tries to recount what's happened between sobs. I set JJ on his rainforest playmat and listen: "I was...sob...pushing....sob...pushing....sob....the diapers....sob...and the...wall...sob..."
12:04 PM - I sit Miles on the sofa with his blanket. His "blankie" had needed washed from the previous night, so I had to run to the dryer to retrieve it. Here's an exchange I assumed would make him feel better:
Me: Here's your blanket, buddy.
Me: Smell it. It's clean. I used Downy. Isn't that cool?
Miles:...sob...what did you say?
Me: Downy. It makes stuff smell awesome.
Miles:...can you turn on Caillou?
Miles is obsessed with Caillou this week. And frankly, I'm not impressed. Something about it feels very foreign to me. And I'm still unclear as to why Caillou is bald, and every other four-year-old on the show has a full head of hair. I'll be happy when we're back to Little Einstein's...or...heaven forbid...Hanny Manny. It beats Ni Hao Kai Lan. I heard someone remark the other day that Ni Hao Kai Lan is really just a spin-off of Dora. Dora is CSI. Ni Hao is CSI: New York. And Diego is CSI: Miami. To a three-year-old, it's must-see-TV.
12:05 PM - While covering Miles up with another blanket and wiping his tears with my sleeve, I'm inspecting his nose and forehead. Both show evidence of parental neglect. I'm praying that Rachel hasn't charged the batteries in her camera so that the photos will not appear in a future child custody hearing. It is at this point, things take another turn.
12:06 PM - I hear coughing. Coughing turns to choking. I look down to my right and see JJ, face up on his playmat. I immediately pick him, turn him over my arm and watch as a slimy, AAA copper-top falls to the floor. Like my seven-month-old need ANY more energy. He starts crying. Spit-up follows. I hold the dripping battery up to Miles and inform him that 'THIS' is why we don't throw batteries in the house. I'm sure someone is missing me at the office, and I should really be there.
12:10 PM - I've 'regained calm.' I call the Mrs. to confess my inabilities as a father, and inform her of my decision to perform a self-vacectomy with some ice and a kitchen-knife. I get her voicemail. Instead, I rock my youngest to sleep over the next half hour, and then sit with Miles to watch Caillou again and again.
1:00 PM - The house is quiet. Food Network is on softly in the background, and I'm enjoying a mug of tea. My kids are asleep. And all is right with the world.