Sunday, May 23, 2010

Asleep in the back

I was sitting in a parking lot today with my two year old asleep in the back seat, thinking about the events of the morning that had just passed by, this morning that was done and over with and would never ever happen again, except I wasn’t just thinking about the stuff that had happened so much as I was recounting the whole thing in the voice of my father, words that he fictionally spoke to me years and years ago describing this particular morning that, in my imagination, he knew would come and that he wanted me to be prepared for.

Son, one day you'll find yourself sitting in your car in a parking lot somewhere, motor running, music playing real low, baby asleep in the back, writing a blogpost on your phone about the events of that very morning while waiting for a call from your wife (on that very phone, mind you!) telling you to come and pick her and your eldest child up from the birthday party they’ve been attending, the same party that you and the little boy currently asleep in your back seat would be at if the poor little fellow hadn’t yakked on your shoulder as soon as you got him out of the car at the park where the party was being held. You’ll have been driving around for a while, having intended to go home and wait for the call there, except the little guy will have faded off to sleep as soon as you got him back in the car, and you probably won’t feel like risking a carseat to bed transfer. Those are always iffy, believe you me.

See? Utterly ridiculous, not to mention all over the place tense-wise. I don’t think my father stuck around quite long enough to know nearly this much about parenting, and I doubt he ever knew what a blog was, much less that you could write on one from a phone. In spite of all that, he rambles on:

And you’ll be sitting there in that parking lot, writing your post on your phone, intending it to just be a quick one, when suddenly you’ll detect a bit of motion to your rear. You’ll turn around in your seat and there will be your little boy, eyes open, looking around trying to figure out where the hell he is. It’s a weird feeling, you see, falling asleep in one place and waking up in another. Disconcerting. But he won’t be entirely awake, no sir. He’ll still have that sleepy aura about him, enough so that you’ll get to thinking “Maybe I can get the little bastard back to sleep.”

Little bastard? Real nice, dad.

So you’ll fire up your engine and throw her in gear, and off you’ll go, driving towards nowhere in particular, just trying to keep it moving so as to maybe lull the boy back to sleep. You’ll check your rearview every thirty seconds or so. You might get a yawn or two out of him. His eyes will fade a bit, but they won’t quite close. And after a while, you’ll have to accept that it ain’t happening. But hey, when that day comes, at least be glad he got a nap in, short though it may be. From there, you might as well head to Hooter’s. 

Ah, so now we’re getting into the advice portion.

Yep, you’ll have been driving around for a bit and you’ll be wondering just what the hell you should do at this point. Your wife should be calling any time now, so no point in going home. My advice to you would be to just pull into a parking lot, any parking lot will do, how about this Hooter’s parking lot? You’ll maybe want to give your wife a call and say, hey, howsabout’s we come pick y’all up now?

And that’s what I did. We stopped by the party for a bit, long enough for me to down a couple of hot dogs and some cake, then we piled in the car and headed home. I don’t know if it was the sugar or the sun or what, but eldest had more energy than any carseat can be expected to fully contain. His mouth was spewing a constant stream of high volume noise that sounded something like aaaaaJIOPUIKJKKKK{{{{{(*(*IMBIG!(*@(*!!!!!!+++==++=+++++___-___-_-_---000))09089087876981732u`oiu[oik’l;.ra,.,d/SldjPSfjKLDJIRAAAAHHSPIDERMANCAKE!!!HH!!!!UUJIU908u897498uqjoiejakj89087*&^&**%$KICKYOU@!@#$%^&*()(UhjnIJ*&^TYGHJ*&(&)%%%%%+amp;^RFVY%$#EDFJKLP:

What you’ll want to do when that happens, son--

 I got it dad! Shut up! I turned in my seat and shouted “HEY HENRY GUESS WHAT?!?!”


And then there was only the silence of a question waiting for its answer. Because I know the most famous answer to “guess what?” but I just wasn’t sure that I really wanted to, you know, introduce this into our lives. I put the question to my wife. "Should I?"

She shrugged. “Sure.”




And oh how the car did howl with laughter. We proceeded from there with the obvious line of followup questions, guess why, guess where, guess who, guess how, all of which met with appropriate answers and the screams of children who have just heard the funniest shit ever. Those boys definitely learned something today.

On this last matter, my father was silent.


sybil law said...

Way to shut the old man up, Holmes.
Much respect.


(Chicken butt is always entertaining!!)

Kristine said...

Do you know that they make a Chicken Butt Hallmark card? Perfect to commemorate the Chicken Butt moments with your firstborn.
Or, you know, for anniversaries.

Anonymous said...

Dead arms and advice given by ghostly fathers you can channel while driving your car, huh? You sure lead one mysterious life, my friend. Your blog always makes me smile.

Always Home and Uncool said...

The classics never fail.

Bubblewench said...

Chicken Butt is the best! I remember teaching my neices that.. oh too funny!

Anna said...

You're welcome on the sugar and sun. Glad we could be of help in bringing "chicken butt" into the eldest child's life :)