I got it.
I feel like a fat king chomping on a mutton leg, peasant mustard all over my lips.
It was me and Violet, reading her dinosaur book, working our way from All0saurus and Baryonyx down through the alphabet according to the big guys; me on the tiny white wooden chair built for whippersnappers a thousand years ago by some serious Amish carpenter with thick worn chisels for fingers Abraham ChiselHands.
God if he could see it now, see me on the thing: an orangutan riding a Tonka truck.
And then there’s Violet, all perched high upon her plastic Sesame Street throne, made especially in some factory in some grey building in the Far East so American kids with two acorns for a butt don’t just fall into the crapper.
Now, this is nothing new around here. This potty training thing has been a long drawn out dance in these parts. We throw ourselves at it with everything we’ve got, but then after half a book and a one-sided conversation on how cool it is to poop in the bowl, about how ‘fun’ it is to hit that flush handle and watch magic happen, she finally climbs down off of Cookie Monster and the gang and the water down there is so damn crystal clear that brook trout could live in it, and are probably out there somewhere planning to.
Heck, there are times when there is so much going on that after six sessions on the loo and a couple of dirty pairs of underwear, we just flat out give it up for a bit and go back to the Dora The Explorer Pull-Up Forgivable Practice Underwear. Which is obviously a lame combination of cheating and giving up, but what can you do?
Anyway, we have been working “pee-pee in the potty” angle for so long that it was starting to turn into something completely different than what it was meant to be. It was starting to turn into some kind of three-credit snoozer, into Violet having a bit of a drift-off in the last row of the lecture hall while Professor Nopie Nopu (No-pee No-poo) drones on reading from the million year old text for Mcelligot’s Pool 101.
But no more ya’ll!
Today, as we left the page for Euoplocephalus (WTF?)and I teased her with the ffffffff sound, trying to help her remember the name of Fabrosaurus (whowhatnow??!!), a grin came across her face, cutting right through the wad of curl pancake sryup’d to her chin.
We both fell silent as the small sound of a tiny waterfall made it’s way into our lives.
I said nothing, I just peered down in there to make certain that what I was hearing I was really hearing and sure enough it really was.
I bit my lip, played a version of the Star-Spangled Banner from the 1976 World Series behind my face.
Her eye caught my eye. I smiled meekly, trying not to psyche her out mid-stream.
I pressed my one jaw into my other jaw, hard. I gave the signal to the guy with the matches and whole harbor around the Statue of Liberty lit up with enough fireworks to light up Wall Street like a summer Sunday morning.
The tinkle faded. I held out my fist. We fist-bumped, in the morning, at the throne.
Then I got so excited and proud and loud that I think I scared her enough to cry. But whatever.
It’s the little victories, yo. Always was/always will be.