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5:23 a.m. - 2003-02-11

UNCLE BOB FINALLY DISCOVERS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT

Yesterday was spent staying home with the boy.

We had a pretty good time overall. We played with lots of toys, learned the new word "Door" and had a lot of fun.

I don't think I've really mentioned it here. Maybe I have and forgot. That's typical of me. I say things and then forget I say them. Kinda like Michael Jackson.

"I sleep with little boys and it's wonderful!"

"Wait a second! Did I say that?? I never said THAT!"

Anyway...Andrew's seriously learning a new word every day and has been for about a month now.

And...well ... I don't like to brag...but these flash cards have paid off.

He's two years and three months old...and the little shit can already READ.

Granted, they're words that he's familiar with. But every word on his flash cards, he knows what they say.

The problem is ... he can only say about eight of the words.

He knows pig, dog, duck, bird, bug, bee, otter and apple.

Those are the words he can say. But I get the feeling he can also read "caterpillar", "Fire truck" and the popular favorite "splintered anal beads".

I'll write a word down on a piece of paper and say "What's that say?"

"Duck," he says non-chalantly.

Meanwhile, I'm jumping around the room like a young Jerry Lewis on a caffeine drip.

Naturally, he's done all this via memory and not phonetically. I'm not fooling myself. This kid has an awesome memory.

Anyway...we had a great time.

Until ... well ... until I let him cut himself open.

And I was officially declared the worst daddy ever.

We were getting ready to go to Kindermusik, his little music program that's supposed to help him become more of a social butterfly and less of an obsessive compulsive zombie.

I got his diaper changed, got him in some fresh clothes and we brushed his hair and teeth.

He's ready to go.

I go and shave.

While I'm shaving, he comes in the bathroom and goes underneath my sink and finds a large Yankee Candle that he loves to sniff.

(Yes, my boy's a scented candle sniffing freak. The line for insulting him begins here)

This is the biggest jar Yankee Candle has to offer. A big glass jar that's pretty heavy for a two year-old scented candle sniffing-waiting-to-go-to-dance-class little boy.

I tell him "Be careful!" which means in essence "Don't drop that candle on the hard part of the floor and let it shatter, thus sending shards of glass everywhere.

Did he listen?

No.

"CRASH!!" went the candle jar as shards went everywhere.

Now then ... the rest of this is kind of a blur to me, but I'm sure it scarred Andrew so bad that he'll be able to remind me of the facts for years to come.

I didn't lose my temper at all. I simply said "Andrew, stay back."

I bent down to pick up the bigger shards of glass and noticed tiny fragments of glass in the carpet.

Andrew was trying to help me pick up the glass, which I didn't want him to do. He's two. He's liable to pick a chunk up and stick it in his mouth. He was trying to cram a thermometer in his ear moments before this happened. I'm not putting anything past this kid anymore.

I pick him up and say "No."

It may have come out "NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

But I meant to say "No."

I put him on the bed and told him to stay there.

This makes him cry.

Meanwhile, my arthritic, cancer-infested dog thinks that she wants to help pick up the glass too.

Or at least sniff it.

(I'm telling you...these Yankee Candles are snifferific!)

So I'm yelling at the dog (you have to, she's almost deaf) to get back. Andrew's crying on the bed. I've got shaving cream all over my face and we have to leave in five minutes.

I'm searching frantically for the vacuum cleaner. It's not where it's supposed to be which is in the linen closet.

I close the doors to the bathroom, pick up Andrew and finish shaving at the kitchen sink.

He's sobbing away and I'm trying to console him when I notice blood on my shirt.

He's cut his hand.

Okay...if we remove the drama from the situation...he's scratched his thumb.

It was a thin scratch on his thumb. No glass embedded and it wasn't gushing.

Still ... I had no idea where the bandages were.

So I'm running around the house frantic because I hate being late for anything and I finally find the band-aids in a drawer of Susie's.

I slap a band-aid on Andrew who thinks that since this requires an honest-to-God bandage...he must be dying.

So he starts wailing even louder and is soaking my shirt with tears and snot bubbles.

I'm trying to convince him that it's just a scratch and that he will be getting hurt a whole lot worse than this in the next few years.

He ain't buying it.

I somehow manage to get his crying ass in the van and hand him a bag of Lay's Hidden Valley Ranch Rippled Chips to calm him down.

The big bag. The $1.49 bag.

He proceeds to dive into this bag and eat every chip.

Naturally...getting salt in the part of the scratch on his thumb that wasn't covered by the band-aid.

So there's more tears and unintelligble babble that sounded an awful lot like "How stupid ARE you, Daddy for giving me salty chips to eat when I have a cut on my thumb and am getting salt in the wound?"

"You stupid asshole! Are you trying to KILL me?!?"

We make it to Kindermusik, and he's calmed down somewhat.

Except now, he's realized that he's going to milk this scratch for all he's worth.

He's walking around like he's been in a war. He's holding his hand with his other hand close to his chest. And limping. For God's sakes...the kid is limping thinking this will generate more sympathy for him.

Now.

I've never been to Kindermusik classes. But here's what I envisioned.

Me in a folding chair.

Andrew dancing like an idiot for 30-45 minutes with a bunch of other little socially retarded children.

Lots of hot mothers to stare at.

Uhhhhh...no.

Try....me dancing like an idiot for 45 minutes with a bunch of other little socially retarded children and their socially retarded mothers.

The instructor told the children to sit in a circle on the floor.

Oh how cute.

Then the parent had to sit behind their child on the floor.

Now...I'm a big fat tub o' goo.

I haven't sat on the floor in years. And for God's sakes...don't make me sit Indian-style. I won't be able to walk for weeks.

So there I am. On the floor behind Andrew sitting Indian-style and wondering how the hell I'm going to get back up semi-gracefully without knocking over several small children in the process.

The teacher orders everyone BACK UP and we're all going to do the Hokey Pokey!!!

Oh wonderful!

Hey kids...how about everyone help the old balding fat guy back up, huh??

Kids??

Kids??

Moms?

Moms???

Anyfuckingbody???

I manage to get up off the floor and my knees already feel like they've been sledgehammered.

But I'm right there with them...putting my left hand in, taking my left hand out, putting my left hand BACK IN (just in case anyone missed it the first time) and then I'm shaking it all about.

I then do the Hokey Pokey and I turn myself around because apparently...and here's the big shocker of the whole dance ... that's what it's all about. Y'see...I would have never guessed that. I was fully convinced it was all about the left hand. Shows how much I know.

My problem is...I can do 90% of that.

But I have no idea how to do the Hokey Pokey. I'm fucking lost in the Hokey Pokey department.

TELEPHONE: (Ring)

ME: Hello?

TELEPHONE: Hi, this is the Hokey Pokey.

ME: Who?

TELEPHONE: The Hokey Pokey. I'm what it's all about.

ME: You've got the wrong number, Mr. Pokey.

So when it comes time to do the actual Hokey Pokey part, I kinda lag behind and check out what the mothers are doing. Y'see...I may not have mentioned this ... but I'm the only adult male in this jizzoint and Andrew's one of three little males. We're in a predominant female atmosphere and we're clueless as to how to do the Hokey Pokey.

Apparently, to do the Hokey Pokey, you raise your arms above your head and wiggle your fingers while turning around in a circle. It's basically the same dance I've always done to turn my various lady-friends on over the years except I've always been naked when doing it in the privacy of a bedroom.

Now that I've discovered how to do the Hokey Pokey, there's little else I'm interested in. Right hand...fine. Right foot...okay...yeah...whatever. Left foot....ooooo...there's a real challenge....sheesh.

But man oh man...can I Hokey Pokey my ass off now!

Just as I'm getting into full swing with the Hokey Pokey, it's over.

That sucked. Andrew's clutching his hand and sniffling. I really wanted to kick his ass at that point for trying to make me look like a bad father that would purposefully let his child play with large glass containers and cut himself.

"It ain't working, kid," I whispered in his ear. "Quit milking it."

He acted like he understood where I was coming from, but you never really know with Andrew.

We then row,row,rowed our boats gently down the stream. We sang about this old man who played knick-knack on my drum who kept giving my dog a bone. Great. That's just one more bone she's going to puke up old man. Thanks a heap, you uncaring bastard.

We danced and sang a bunch of songs that I had never heard before in my life.

I'll be honest ... I'm not the greatest dancer in the world. My method of dancing usually revolves around steps I once saw on a "Soul Train" episode in 1976. Basically, I do a lot of push-ups and a really lame version of "The Hustle" when I dance. That's dancing to me.

So I was a bit self-conscious being the only male in a roomful of females and being forced to dance.

But hey ... look at it from the other point of view. I'm the most DESIRABLE male in the room. I'm the one with all the stroke. I'M THE GREATEST MALE DANCER IN THE ROOM!

Therefore, when it came time to row row row my boat...I was rowing like MC Hammer, baby. I was rowing the shit out of that boat.

The farmer in the dell? Hi-ho that derrio's ASS, baby! I WAS the Farmer in the Dell!

We closed the night by Twisting and Shouting.

I wasn't much for the twisting.

But I was shouting my big ass off.

Andrew had fun and even forgot that his hand was horribly disfigured from Daddy's neglect.

Me?

I think I'll skip on Kindermusik from here on out.

It's a mama kinda thing.

I just felt like a cheap piece of meat in there, being ogled by the ladies.

Well.

A cheap piece of dancerific meat, that is.

I love you Daddy.
Even when you do stupid things like give me glass jars to play with.

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