Oblivious to the irony

I took Sophia to a science-y indoor children’s play place a couple weeks ago. She had fun playing in the water area. I sat on a nearby bench for a while but she retrieved me after few minutes. She was unable to navigate around the adults milling about and micromanaging their children’s play. One parent kept telling their eighteen month old to not splash the water despite his wearing the provided waterproof smock and the floor being designed for water to drain underneath. *gratuitous eye roll*

I helped my invisible toddler around the adults so that she could play where she wanted. There were a couple other toddlers near her and their parents, a couple feet from me, were watching them. One mother observed how their two toddlers seemed oblivious of the kids around them and kept bumping into everyone to get the toys they wanted. She made the general sweeping remark, “Isn’t it funny how kids don’t seem to notice anyone else around them?” My kid doesn’t seem to have that problem, but whatever.

Sophia wanted to go to the other side of that area and tried to get around sweeping-generalizations-woman who was standing right in the middle. Sophia tried to go around the front of her, but the woman shifted her weight thereby blocking the path. Sophia went around the other side of the woman, and she almost made it. Not two minutes after her observation of toddlers, the woman sidestepped right into Sophia. Sophia didn’t fall, just stumbled, but the woman was completely oblivious. It seems to be a hereditary gene.

Super Bowl Marathon Toddler Fest

We went to friends’ house who hosts several parties a year. The last one we went to was just last month, their eldest son’s fifth birthday. Sophia didn’t do so well at that one. It started at a local bouncy house party place where she screamed and cried for an hour straight and then cried all the way to their house. She was fine once inside the house.

She must have remembered that party, because as Kurt and I approached their front door Sophia grabbed Kurt’s finger in an attempt to drag him back to the car. After we got through the door and into their playroom for a few minutes, she was fine.

We had five, count them FIIVE, two-year olds, a three year old, a five year old, and a six year old. The place became rather loud. At some point those of us in the house were trying to pawn off children to those in the garage with the homemade beer and projector screen TV, but they all kept coming back. I didn’t catch all of what was said, but at some point the husband of the hostess was apologizing for the kids coming back. She said it was ok because we’ve already missed about half the game, and I said, “there’s a game on?” Not that I care, I didn’t even know who was playing. Well, ok I could name one team, but I don’t know who won this year. I don’t understand the game anyway, and I was busy feeding Sophia brownies (not that kind!), chips and a Reese’s peanut butter cup.

It was a day of a lot of firsts. Sophia didn’t just play along side the other kids, she actually played with them for a bit. She also said about ten words to our host who was just tickled by it since Sophia warmest look towards him has always been a scowl.

After the game was over and one of the toddlers went home, the rest of the younger kids were put into PJs and set loose. I don’t know how it started (probably by the two older kids) but they all started running laps around the inside of the house. One of the toddlers took a corner a little two sharp. That’s gonna be a huge welt on the forehead, but he literally shook it off and got back in the race. Round and round they went, then the kids started to change directions. You know this is going to end badly. Sophia seemed to take the longest to realize the traffic flow had changed, either that or she just likes swimming upstream. Round and round they went some more.

It was the two eldest kids that collided. The boy received a tooth to the forehead and the girl partly tore the bit of skin that is attached from the upper lip to the gums. The girl seemed to be in more pain. She was sitting on the counter having her mouth inspected by her personal nurse. Sophia offered a hug. The host, the one Sophia typically only scowls at, lifted her up so she could give her hug. My child has empathy. If she didn’t look exactly like us (mostly me) I’d be taking her right back to the hospital and demanding they give me my real child. This just isn’t possible. It’s like a genetic anomaly that between Kurt and I, we have a child with empathy. It must be a phase.

While the older kids were having their injuries inspected Sophia and the older girl’s toddler sister each grabbed one of Kurt’s hands and forced him to run laps with them. No joke. He didn’t actually run, I mean the man is 6’4”, but apparently the girls wanted someone to boss around and Kurt fit the bill.

As we were all leaving, Sophia and her sidekick gave each other a hug. I think these two may become best friends. Over the summer at one of the parties from the same hosts, these two even kissed…on the lips.

55 Flash non-Fiction Friday: Fucking Retarded Censorship

Many encourage bans on ‘bad’ words attempting to render all language inoffensive. It’s not possible. Other terms will convey the same meaning soon becoming offensive. Use of “Joe Six Pack” during the vice presidential debate offends me, what about my rights? Blue vans collecting donations read, “Northwest Center for the Retarded”. Should they change too?

55 Flash Fiction Friday

Letter to Honda

Dear Honda

A couple weeks ago I was doing a lot more driving than I would like, much more than the usual. This translates to exposure of an unusually high amount of stupid drivers, and that makes me rather grumpy. The specific type of driver that I’m thinking about is the one that not only wants to share the road but the specific space I’m occupying at the same time. In order to inform such a driver that this feat is impossible I require a loud horn. You, Honda, have faithfully provided this. However, we need to chat about the location of this horn. In my futile attempt to gain the attention of my fellow driver I merely pounded the living shit out of the airbag.

I understand that for safety, many people like airbags and a very convenient place for that item is the center of the steering wheel. If it is impossible for the horn to be in the center with the airbag behind or to the sides, I contend that your loyal customers should be given a choice. Either an air bag for the occasion that one might get into an accident or a horn in the center of the steering wheel in order to avoid an accident. I would happily take the latter as that scenario happens with more frequency than the first for me.

Thank you,

Loyal Honda Driver

What did you do over the weekend?

This weekend since we had a birthday party to go to on Sunday, we (Kurt) spent Saturday doing little projects around the house that he hadn’t completed when we moved in six years ago. Shut UP. When we moved in Kurt put in hardwood floors and sealed most of the nail holes with putty, but not all.

This nail putty is nail polish remover with wood chips in it. Just pick a can the coordinates with the color wood and when the polish remover evaporates, presto, little wood plug.

I went around the house doing laundry and collecting trash from our many little trash cans. Sophia occupied herself in her room for once, but after about twenty minutes, she became bored and wanted to play with daddy. At this point Kurt was working on the steps leading to the top floor, so much like a cat would while you read a paper or book, Sophia laid right in the way.

Kurt was filling the holes on the bottom step and Sophia laid across the step above with one arm and one leg dangling in the way. His routine was adjusted accordingly to, move toddler arm, putty, putty, move toddler leg, putty, putty, move toddler to next step up.

Last night Sophia was laying across the steps again. Kurt told me about telling this story to a coworker then asked Sophia, “Do you remember helping daddy finish the stairs?”

“YES!”

“Did you get your first contact high?”

“YES!”

Tiny Voice Pillow Softball

After work Kurt’s job is to entertain the child while I fix dinner. If she’s too rowdy to sit on his lap and watch the news they start roughhousing and he’ll swing her by the arms and toss her on the couch…repeatedly. If I happen to be upstairs at the time, Kurt arrives from work it becomes our bed instead of the couch.

Instead of swinging her by the arms it more of a pillow softball game, Sophia will stand up on the bed giggling uncontrollably and Kurt will swing a pillow at her. He doesn’t swing nor hit her with enough force to actually knock her down, but she purposely falls upon impact. This game could go on forever.

Last week Kurt and Sophia played this game. On one occasion after knocking the toddler down, Kurt put the pillow down at the head of the bed. Sophia got up from her fall, saw that Kurt didn’t have his ammo, retrieved a pillow, and handed it to him to continue the game. Kurt laughed and obligingly hit her with the pillow, then set it down to come tell me about it.

As Kurt tells me the story we hear the most pathetic little cry, “daddy”. She sounded like she was either in tears or near tears. Kurt ran up the stairs to see her leaning off the edge of the bed, holding a pillow.