My wife was out-of-town a couple of days last week so my two-year old son and I had a little male bonding and I thought I’d share some of the experience.
My wife had arranged for Blue Ribbon Bakery to cook us dinner so on my way home from work I went by the bakery to pick up a casserole (Note – shameless plug for local small business coming: for you busy working Mom’s and Dad’s who read this blog, Blue Ribbon Bakery will make just about any type of casserole and have it hot and ready eat when you pick it up, it’s a great way to put a good meal on the table with little to no work). With casserole in hand I picked my son up from the sitter and our male bonding began.
As you know, the weather was unseasonably warm last week so when we got home I stuck the casserole in the oven on warm and we went outside to shoot a few hoops. My son’s only 35 inches but he can dunk. We have an adjustable goal and it’s set at eight feet so my son holds the ball and I lift him over my head and he “dunks” the ball. You’d be surprised how many times a two-year old can drop the ball in the hoop from point-blank range before he’s bored and you’d be surprised how sore your shoulders are after lifting a 30 pound two-year old over your head time and time again. To slow the game, and give my arms a chance to recuperate, I’d kick the ball into the yard after every shot and make him go get it, but hey, it was good exercise!
After our game of hoops we had dinner. We shared a meal of tuna noodle casserole, one of our personal favorites. My wife absolutely hates the sight and smell of tuna so we only get to eat it when she’s gone.
I finished my dinner and went about my business cleaning the kitchen and loading the dishwasher while my son was still eating. While still sitting in his high chair my son said “C’mere Daddy, C’mere”, I looked at him and he had his arms outstretched and he repeated “C’mere Daddy, C’mere”. I walked over to him, stood about two feet away and said “What do you need”, he repeated “C’mere Daddy” with his arms out in front of him. I moved closer and it became apparent that he wanted to hug me.
It’s important that you understand my son only uses a fork to move his food from one side of his plate to the other, the real act of eating involves him picking the food up from his plate and stuffing it into his mouth. Seeing that both hands were covered with tuna noodle casserole I hesitated just a moment before leaning within arms reach. My son wrapped his tuna noodle covered hands around my neck, rubbed them all over my head and said “You a goo boy Daddy, I wuv you”. Being bald has a few perks and one is cleaning your head after a tuna noodle hug from your son.
Dinner was over so it was time for a bath. My son loves bath time and it’s usually fun for both of us but it didn’t go exactly as planned. I ran the water, he jumped in and began to play, everything was going according to plan until…until I put the TEAR FREE BABY SOAP ON HIS HAIR!
There must have been a mix up in the Johnson and Johnson factory the day the soap we have was made because as soon as it got into his eye he began to claw at his eye and scream in such a shrill manner that I thought the mirrors in the bathroom were going to break.
At this point my son is still covered in soap but it’s apparent to me that bath time is over. My first clue was that he had grabbed hold of my head to pull himself out of the tub. Good thing my head was still covered in tuna noodle casserole and he couldn’t get a good grip or he might have gotten out of the bath tub before I could rinse the soap from his body.
It really is a helpless feeling when a two-year old is crying in pain and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. My wife told me later “Crying was the best thing he could do because that gets the soap out of his eyes”. The way he was crying I’m sure he washed away all of the soap in Clinton and most of Henry County.
Eventually the crying stopped and a red, mattered eye was the only sign that anything had happened. The night went on, we played, read books, watched TV and went to bed.
Against my better judgement I let my son sleep in bed with me. The night started fine, him on his side, me on mine. As the night progressed I noticed that the boundaries of side no longer applied. It defies the laws of physics that a 30 pound toddler can push a 175 pound adult across a bed and that same 175 pound adult can push back but not be able to physically move said 30 pound toddler. I can tell you from experience that it is extremely difficult to sleep comfortably on a three-inch by three-inch piece of mattress.
At 4:37 a.m. (I know the time because I was awake jockeying for position and trying to regain mattress real estate) my son sat straight up and said “I want my Momma, I want my Momma”. My first thought was “I want my Momma too” but then realized I was fuzzy headed from being sleep deprived and the more appropriate thing to do would be to console my son. I said “Momma’s not here” but before I finished the sentence he had fallen back asleep.
The rest of the night, the whole two hours, and next morning were uneventful and when I picked him up from the sitters the next day we went to Artesian Park to play on the play ground equipment and take advantage of the nice weather.
There were a couple of ladies and four children at the park when we got there. The ladies and children appeared to be of hispanic descent and they were speaking Spanish to one another. My son approached one of the little boys and said “Gracias”. I’m not sure when he became bilingual, all that Dora the Explorer must be making an impact.
After we left the park we stopped at the gas station to fill the truck with gas. After filling up we went through the automatic car wash. My son loves the automatic car wash and I was giving him play-by-play of each step, “this is soap, this is rinse, this is wax, this is spot free”. I guess he hadn’t forgotten about the soap incident the night before because as soon as I mentioned soap he said “No soap Daddy”.
He didn’t say any more than that and he enjoyed the rest of the car wash as usual. The cycles completed and I put the truck in drive to leave the car wash and as we were pulling out my son said “Thanks car wash”.
I thought to myself, thanks son, our time together was the best male bonding experience I’ve ever had!