Once a picture-perfect portrait of what we all think of when we hear the words “calm baby,” my last and youngest child has left his docile legacy in the dust of passing time.
See, Charlie, my sweet sweet boy, is 2 now.
Here are six insane things he did last Monday …
6:32 AM, Home
Charlie sticks his hand in my pee stream.
We’re barely up. Or I’m barely up, actually. Charlie has been up for at least an hour now. I don’t need him waking his older sister and brother though, so I quietly lead him out of the bedroom and down the hall to the bathroom. In my continuing feeble attempts to get him interested in peeing in the potty, I say, “Look, Charlie! You can watch how Daddy pees in the potty and then you can do it too! Just like a big boy!”
He smiles up at me and I think to myself, Gosh, he’s cute. Today is gonna be a GOOD day, I can feel it.
I release the pee. Charlie watches. Charlie’s eyes light up. Charlie reaches out his tiny paw, straight into the middle of the falling river!
Pee goes everywhere as I holler, “No Charlie!” for the first of 75,332,673 times today.
I clean up the mess. I’ve been up 20 minutes now, and I’m already exhausted.
7:04 AM, Home
Charlie looks me in the eye, smiles, and punches me in the balls.
I’m making breakfast for three kids. It feels like I’m making breakfast for the Chinese Army. It takes forever. There’s SO MANY KIDS to feed. I stop over by the Mr. Coffee and cradle a cup up to my nose like in the coffee commercials. Morning mist. A lover’s smile. “The Best Part of Waking Up.” I don’t have any of that going on but whatever. A dude can dream, right?
I take a slug of lukewarm coffee and turn around to hurl Pop-Tarts at people when I notice Charlie is standing right behind me. He’s looking up at me, all blue eyes and rosy cheeks.
“Hi, bud!” I exclaim.
He drills me square in the equatorial prime lands. It’s not the first time he’s ever done that, either. I double over and scream and this scares Charlie away from me. Thank God. No wonder I don’t want any more kids. I’m physically unable to have them now.
9:27 AM, Home
Charlie drinks old pool water from a wiffle ball bat.
I’ve finally got the kids out into the yard. Time for summer camp.
I put backpacks in the Honda while the kids all play. They’re 15 feet away from me. Nothing can go wrong now.
“Come on guys! Climb in!” I holler.
I look at Charlie. He has a wiffle ball bat kind of balanced on his nose. “Nice trick, man!” I tell him.
He drops the bat and that’s when I remember that the last time I saw the bat was last night, floating in the neighbor’s plastic kiddie pool. Oh no. OH NO! Oh yes. Charlie opens his mouth and all this gross, old mosquito eggy disease water comes gushing out of his pie hole. I want to yell something but I don’t know what to yell.
I want to cry but I’m too dead inside. “Charlie, NO!” I tell him. So he does it again, a heaping swig of wicked liquor from a wiffle ball bat. I give up.
4:12 PM, at the lake
Charlie throws sand into his own eyes.
So we’re at the lake — me, the three kids, and my brother. So it’s inevitable, I guess. There’s 500 tons of sand here, a beautiful beach shimmering in the July sun.
We’ve been here maybe nine minutes when Charlie picks up a lump of wet sand from the edge of the water. I watch him from four feet away. He whips the sand backwards, directly into his eyes. I witness this in slow-motion. It is, I daresay, a fascinating/horrifying peek into the mind of my own flesh and blood spawn.
Charlie screams the screams of a torture victim. He disturbs the peace and I want to help him so I scoop him up in my arms. He rubs the sand into his eyes with his little fists (as one does when they’re 2 … and stark raving mad).
I spend a lot of time calming him down. He calms down, cries the sand out. But I’m kind of having a nervous breakdown over here.
5:01 PM, at the lake
Charlie slaps me with a blowout diaper.
Still at the lake.
I notice Charlie’s bathing suit is hanging low, sweet chariot. I take a peek. It’s a five-alarm major blowout. Right away I blame the freaking wiffle ball bat pool water he drank this morning. Ugh. This sucks. I get my supplies and I take him over to the shade, away from humanity. He fights me hard. He wants to remain in the lake. He screams. He flings his limbs. He bites at the air like a chained-up gargoyle.
I set him in the grass to do the deed. The mess is epic, hideous. I gently place it to one side of us as I wipe him down.
Charlie wails. He reaches his left arm out. His hand makes contact with the dirty swim diaper in the precise moment I realize I have left it too close to us.
Please. Have mercy, my son.
He locks onto the toxic waste dump and slings it straight into my arm.
It. Is. Not. Pretty.
6:24 PM, Home
Charlie shoves chicken pot pie in his ear hole.
I’m so tired. I’m so hungry. I want all kids in bed NOW. But they’re still eating, shoveling down these microwave pot pies I’m serving up.
I eat a couple almonds to keep from passing out.
I look at Charlie in his high chair. He’s tapping at his right ear with his open palm. Something tells me this is Oh No Territory again.
It is. His ear hole is packed with warm pot pie. Like a Cornish Pasty. He is trying to get it out the same way he got it in there, by pounding it deeper with his fist.
I look at my son. I love him dearly. He is tender and handsome. He is warm in his heart. But right now, he is the most major pain in the ass on planet Earth. I get the Q-Tips and some paper towels and he ain’t happy. But I don’t care anymore. There is pot pie inside of my child’s head. And I’m through with this day. I pull out the last carrot sliver, hose Charlie down with the sink hose, carry his crying butt upstairs, and lay him down for the night.
He’s asleep in three minutes.
Peace on Earth, y’all.More On