I’ll never forgive myself. Or the Universe. I was gone for a week. Just one week! I’m in his room playing and he just said “those” instead of “dozes.”
One Day Earlier
Lugging my bags to the curb, I met my family with a mountain range of a smile set against the gray sky of my unshaven face. Weary as much from the rigors as from the joys of a week-long roadtrip away.
I sprint-limped up to the car. At the Dad 2.0 Summit my partner, Charlie, and I attended, I’d sprained my ankle in a vigorous reenactment of the throwing-a-hammer-at-the-screen-of-conformity scene in the Apple “1984” commercial. A conversational moment I hope was more inspirational than it wound up being unintelligent. And painful.
I sat with my head resting against the headrest I never rest my head against as we drove home. I listened and laughed at my three-year-old son, Lucas, as he bubbled and blurted, so excited to see me again. Something was different, though. It couldn’t be. It undeniably was. But I immediately denied it, so the undeniability factor might have been a little weak actually.
The Next Day
My jaw is hanging open and a red Lego block is frozen in time in my unmoving hand. He just said “One pwus two equaws three!”
It wasn’t the arithmatic that shut down my nervous system and motor functions. Not math! Give me a cookie and a minute and I’d have him spouting Stairway to Heaven lyrics. It was that he pronounced THree! THHHHHH-f##king-ree!!! Not Fwee! What happened to my son? My baby! Okay, toddler! Alright, not even toddler! Whatever! Oh my sweet little lad!
I reassured myself that—enter the destined-for-eBay consolation prize—he still pronounced Ls with Ws, and then I placed the Lego on top of another with a vacant stare. He was growing up. In a week.
I’ve already lost two of my baby sons to time.
I have a satchel loaded with Legos, beef jerky and mason jars. My jaw is set. Attachment Parenting, say hello to Duct-Tape Parenting! My still-little-ish son, Lucas, is presently fastened to my back with duct tape. We’re heading up into the mountains to start working on a time manipulation device. One with a rewind button, or at least a pause button.
Terribly corny children’s audio stories are already loaded onto my iPhone* so he can learn how to say “dozes” again when asking for multiple things in an indicated direction. I will continue to educate him myself. One plus two will once more equal FWEE!
Crap. I forgot to bring tissues.
* Shut it. I brought a hand-crank charger OF COURSE! My parental breakdown comes with preparation. And Cheetos.
Duct-tape Yourself to Our Facebook Page
Why not? You’ll smell like some kind of weird candy and radness.
Nine out of ten doctors pee-squirt-laugh themselves when recommending these.