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5:12 a.m. - 2003-02-28

FATHER OF THE YEAR, PT. XXXIV

So last night Andrew and I are home by ourselves while Susie was at a meeting for her business.

Seriously. I'm beginning to think her business is prostitution too.

So we're getting ready to eat dinner (frozen pizza, one of the few foods my son will eat with glee), and I put Andrew in his high chair and give him two thin slices of pizza.

Meanwhile, I'm kinda cleaning up the kitchen some while he sits there and eats.

He starts talking about animals because he loves animals and the alphabet right now.

Did I mention he's really started talking more in the last few weeks?

Well, he has.

So he starts saying "Duck". No big deal,"duck" was one of his first words.

"A duck, a duck," he says to me.

"That's right," I said "A duck". You're supposed to repeat what the child says and constantly tell him or her the words to objects as you point to them. These are some of the deep secrets you learn as a parent or speech pathologist on how to teach someone to talk.

Lotsa pointing and repeating. It's bound to do some damage to your sanity at a certain point.

"A DUCK. A DUCK," he says, getting excited.

"That's right," I said. "A duck."

"A DUUUUUUCK!!! A DUUUUUUCK!!" he screams.

"Yes, Andrew...a duck," I say.

This goes on for about a minute and then he starts to cry. Tears and everything.

"What's wrong?" I said, walking away from the dishwasher and over to him.

"A DUCK!!" he screamed.

It wasn't a duck.

He was trying to tell me he was "STUCK".

His leg was all twisted down the side of the chair like a corkscrew.

I easily could have given him polio.

I'm such a horrible father.

But hey, at least he learned a new word.

But for the time being and until further notice ... we must check the kid's appendages when he starts rambling loudly about ducks.

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