If you don’t know by now that Tyler is walking, feel free to kindly leave. In addition to bipedalism, he can now climb up, and down, stairs. He is also currently attempting to render the baby gate useless through attacking its weakness. Tyler seems to have recognized that there is a vertical limitation on the baby gate that he is trying to exploit. What I’m saying is that Tyler is trying to climb over the gate. If that wasn’t enough to encourage the hair follicles on my head to cease production of melanin, Tyler also seems to understand that the key component in opening a door involves the use of a door knob. When simply pushing on a door yields no results, I have witnessed him reaching for the knob if he knows that his mommy is on the other side.

But it’s not all doom and gloom in the Irrational Dad household. Having not yet mastered the art of walking – he’s more of a Jedi Apprentice, maybe even a Padawan, whereas I am the Jedi Master – he’s still got a ways to go with running. It doesn’t stop him from trying, though.

A few days ago, Sarah and I decided to have a dinner date at Applebees (also known as “let someone else do the cooking/dishes night”). Sarah told Tyler to go to the car, so he climbed down the two stairs, walked out the back door, and towards the car, where I was standing.

Encouraging his listening to, and understanding of what Sarah told him, I said, “Good job, buddy! Let’s get in the car and go for a ride.”

Tyler began his attempt at running, which is nothing more than a faster walk, and promptly fell down. On the concrete driveway. He immediately moved to a sitting position, put his hand on his knee, and started crying. Sarah picked him up, had me kiss his boo-boo (scraped knee with a little bleeding), and passed him off to me so I could put him in the car seat.

“Come on, D,” I said.

Sarah asked, “D?”

“Yeah, Skinned Knee D.”

The next morning, I got up with Tyler, so that Sarah could sleep in. Shortly after coming downstairs and playing, Tyler brought a book to me and sat in my lap. When I finished reading to him, he put his hand on his knee and started crying. Looking at it, I saw that it was red and slightly inflamed.

“Buddy, I hate to say this, but we need to disinfect that,” I said. I left out the fact that we really should have done that the day before. You know, when it happened.

Tyler willingly foolishly followed me into the Emergency Room bathroom, where I soaked a cotton ball with peroxide. I then placed it on Tyler’s knee, and held it there while he screamed. The only thing I could think to say was, “sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry,” which surely did its part to soothe the stinging pain he was feeling (sarcasm).

“Okay buddy, we’re all done. Do you want daddy to put an ice pack on it?”

“Dasth,” he replied.

In the kitchen, I grabbed an ice pack from the freezer. Normally, I use these to keep my lunch cool while I’m at work. Most recently, it was used to help alleviate some severe back-muscle pain I had been experiencing. However, this day was the day that Tyler would discover the soothing, pain-relieving properties of a frozen block of non-toxic gel, encased in plastic with the words “Ice Pak” printed on its face. Goodbye pain, hello happy baby. I gently placed the pack on Tyler’s knee. I did not get the happy baby I was expecting.

Tyler yelled out, and pushed – with a surprising amount of force – my hands, and the ice pack, away from him. Surprised into immobility, I just sat there as Tyler scrambled to his feet. I’m fully aware that a twelve month old can’t really scramble, but there is no other way to describe Tyler’s haste in getting up and getting the heck away from my evil torture. He turned, red-faced and teary eyed, to face me, looked me directly in the eyes, and chewed my ass out!

“Da Da DADA DADADA!”

Sarah and I don’t swear in front of Tyler (well, mostly. That’s the next blog), but there was no doubt that he was cussing like a sailor while he tore me a new one. The anger was dripping from his words!

“I’m sorry, bud. No more ice. Can daddy have a hug?”

Tyler walked to me and wrapped his arms around my neck. After giving me a bonus kiss, I picked him up, and we went outside to play. Out in the yard is where I stumbled on the two best medications for pain: fun and distraction.

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I have very few pictures of me as a young ‘un. As a matter of fact, I have exactly 6 pictures of me as a tyke. I happened across them today and it had me wondering exactly how much Tyler looks like I did when I was his size.



This last photo also has my two brothers and my sister. I’m the clown in the picture, literally.

And, in case you can’t remember what Tyler looks like (yeah, right)…


If all goes well, stay tuned for part two of this post, titled “Mommy as a baby”. Hopefully, I can get my hands on some baby pictures of Sarah (you smelling what I’m stepping in, Sarah? I’m saying that you better get me some pictures of you as a little ‘un. If you don’t you’ll have to face the wrath of my readers! They’re a feisty bunch, they are!).

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Why not?

That’s the question I asked myself a few days ago.

When I started high school, I was placed in classes for “gifted students”, presumably, because I was smart. On the first day of classes, one of my teachers wrote a word on the chalkboard.

“Anyone who answers this question correctly goes up a letter grade at the end of the semester,” he said.

We all looked at the board and were perplexed at the simplicity of the question.

“Why?” the board read.

The answer the teacher was looking for was “why not?” It went against everything I’ve learned regarding answering a question with a question, but it was the answer he wanted to see.[1]

So, when Tyler was having one of his I-cannot-be-separated-from-my-daddy-for-even-a-second-or-else-I-will-start-screaming-my-head-off moments as I walked into the bathroom to “make my peeps come”[2], I said to myself, “Why not?”

*sigh*

I’m the type of guy that views the bathroom as private time (unless Sarah is doing her make-up. We try to fit the entire family in there when that’s going on, which I’m sure she just loves). I don’t let Sarah watch me, uhhh, conduct business in there, and I certainly wouldn’t watch her do the same. Unfortunately, I can’t just sit down at the table with Tyler and explain how to make peeps and poops in the potty. As a result, I know I’ve got to – at some point – allow Tyler into the bathroom with me to witness how the big boys make the magic happen.

So, why not, Tyler? Come on in and watch daddy bring the rain (pun intended. That one was for you, Mel).

To my female readers, I won’t get graphic here, but if you don’t know how peeing works for guys, let’s just say that, at any given time, at least one hand is occupied. You may be thinking that having one hand free would be sufficient in keeping control of the situation. I’m here to tell you that it is not.

As soon as Tyler saw me raise the lid of the toilet seat, he had to be right there. He leaned a bit to see what was inside of the mysterious ceramic bowl, which put me in the delicate position of trying not to piss on my son’s head. Tyler must have thought the view wasn’t good enough, because he placed his hands on the rim of the toilet bowl and leaned further in. If we were playing the $25,000 Pyramid right now, “stopping mid-stream” falls into the category of “things that cannot be done” and frankly, I was so horrified that Tyler just put his hands on, arguably, the most disgusting thing in any household that I just didn’t care if I gave him a golden shower anymore.

With terror and disgust in my voice, I yelled, “GROSS!! DON’T TOUCH THAT!”

To Tyler, this roughly translated to, “SHOUT!! I’M YELLING THINGS THAT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!”

Using my free hand, I attempted to push Tyler away. This didn’t work, because – with me standing and Tyler leaning – my hand just brushed the top of his hair. Instead, I jutted my right knee out and pushed him with my leg. I felt like a Ghost Buster, trying to set the Ecto Trap and still not cross the streams of our Proton Packs. Or in my case, not pee on my son.

Worried that he may try to get into the toilet again, I maintained the awkward pose of peeing while keeping my right leg out in between Tyler and the toilet. He didn’t try again. No, Tyler chose to focus his attention on something else. “Something else” being the very thing that defines me as a father and not a mother. My discomfort of the situation was reaching levels I didn’t know to be possible. I didn’t know what to do, so I concentrated on finishing things up as quickly as possible. I ignored the look of awe and amazement and wonderment on Tyler’s face, and forged ahead.

After what felt like an eternity, I zipped up. Tyler looked up at me, as if waiting for an explanation on what the heck he just witnessed. All I could muster was the look that you give a stranger on an elevator. The look where you raise your eyebrows and smile without opening your mouth or showing any teeth.

“Tyler, let’s never speak of this again.”

“DA.”

I’m choosing to believe that, based on his tone and inflection, Tyler said, “Sure thing, pop. Do you know if the Imagination Movers have a new CD out yet? Whaddya say we get the heck out of this bathroom and find out?”

Why not, Tyler? Why not?


[1] The majority of the class, including myself, wrote “because” on a piece of paper and turned it in. Others wrote paragrahs and pages, going on and on about creationism, or God, or something. Nobody answered with “why”.

[2] Ever since Sarah and I became dog owners five years ago, we’ve used the terms “peeps” and “poops” when asking Logan, and then Delilah, when she joined our family, if they had business to do.

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