Running on empty

 

Doing anything in public with your kid is like wearing a Bluetooth – it’s a great excuse to talk to yourself. I talk to the boy all the time when we’re in stores and the like. “What do you think about this luggage? Sure, it’s got two compartments but I’m not sure if there’s enough space.” (Actual quote that got me a weird look from a lady in Walmart until she saw I was with my toddler. Well, the look didn’t completely go away. It just got dialed back a little.)

This happened in the building my wife works in and I was taking the stroller down in the elevator a mere one – count ‘em, one – floor.

And I’ve always said that I would tell you if the comic didn’t portray what happened accurately, so here goes: I did not talk to the empty stroller twice. I talked to it three times.

 

Playing catch

If you let them, parents of little boys will tell you story after story after story about changing a diaper and getting “old faithful-ed.” So we were prepared.

What we weren’t prepared for is how infrequently this happened with our boy. Which gives you a false sense of security. Which leads to surprise bouts of urine catching.

Happy New Fear

 

This is what happened last New Year’s Eve when the boy was only a couple of months old. As you can see, there were a number of poor parenting decisions afoot but, just to be clear, making our baby stay up to midnight was not one of them. He was awake anyway.

Granted our last-minute ear-covering scheme was not great, but our local fireworks have never been that…explosive. What I didn’t show was how the bar’s windows were lighting up with every flash as if it was the Blitz, and how we were concerned about walking home too early afterwards because of the smoke still hanging in the air.

This year at midnight I was in bed with a sleeping toddler while my wife hung out with friends downstairs…and the flashes in the windows were just as bright…and we live a half mile away from the square.

Stamp of disapproval

This happened in November and my wife was there. We were in a chain drugstore and I was pretty loopy at the time. I had been up late working then dealing with an allergic reaction to a bee sting I’d gotten earlier in the day. I’d had about 2-3 hours of sleep. First thing in the morning we were at the doctor’s office and then off to get a prescription.  I was so tired I was practically hanging onto the shopping cart when this recorded announcement came over the PA system. Just after it I said incredulously, and a bit too loud, “No they don’t!” before making the above crack.

Chow time

This actually happened in a hotel room while my wife was at a conference, so there was no highchair. Other than that, it’s the real deal. Since we were on the road we were using store-bought mush rather than home-mushed mush. The odd thing is it was peas – and I love peas – but, man, I did not love this.

Seeing the light

I simplified this scene a bit. Picture this: in our living room we have a heating vent in the floor next to the wall. There is a couch in front of the wall, but because of said vent, we can’t have it right up against the wall. We have two blocks of wood tween the couch’s back feet and the wall to give us the 6″ or so access needed. Tis a bit awkward but we do have enough space to squeeze a floor lamp behind there as well. And once the boy got mobile, he found himself itching to mess with it any chance he could.

How to keep him from going behind the couch? This summer I stumbled upon using my wife’s accordion case to block the entrance. That was great, until her over-educated indy band started rehearsing again this past fall. Now I just watch him (even more) like a hawk.

(Kidding aside, my wife’s band, The Gettysburg Pirate Orchestra, is quite fun. You can check them out here.)

The Ballad of Butt Paste

When he was “new” the boy was pretty well behaved, except for diaper changing time. He would scream and scream no matter how much we explained that he would feel so much better after it was done. That’s when me and the wife started singing.*

This was the first song I sang, a little ditty sung to the tune of “We Love You, Conrad” from the musical Bye Bye Birdie about the miracle backend ointment, Butt Paste. Mostly this was done to distract the boy, but after a while he would smile when I sang (which of course, made my parental heart leap in my chest.)

But then an (even more) amazing thing started to happen – he began to anticipate me singing. I’d put him on the changing pad and he’s smile a little and peer up at me with a look on his face that was saying, “Here it comes..”

*We probably have enough songs for the first act of a Broadway diaper-changing musical.


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