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6:16 a.m. - 2004-04-12

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD

So we're trying to potty-train Andrew.

I know ... we're about a year too late. Gimme a break. I was BUSY a year ago.

Since everyone and their damned mother has a different approach to potty training, we've adopted a hodgepodge of different ideas to train him.

Some nights we let him run around the house naked and ask him every five minutes if he has to go potty. This really pisses him off, no pun intended. He enjoys the running around ... he hates the constant interrogation.

And we put him in underwear rather than diapers when we're around the house if he's not naked.

So Saturday, everyone's outside playing because it's a beautiful day.

Andrew is clothed in underwear, a pair of shorts and that's it. No shirt, no shoes, no service.

Dennis, the kid across the street, comes over to hang out with me on the front porch of our house.

Meanwhile, Andrew skedaddles over to the neighbor's yard to play with some toys in their backyard without interuption.

So I'm talking to Dennis the Menace ... we're just shootin' the shit so to speak ... and I see Andrew come around the corner of the house.

... Completely naked.

Dennis covers his eyes as if one glance at my son's naked frame will turn him into stone.

I go and grab Andrew and ask what's going on.

"I had to go pee pee," he says quietly.

I venture into the neighbors' back yard and see Andrew's shorts and underwear on the back patio.

I go to pick them up.

...Just as the neighbors decide to come outside.

"I thought I saw a streaker out here," the neighbor says with a smile.

"Yeah," I said, extremely uncomfortable. "We're trying to potty train him and I think he had an accident."

That's when I saw the puddle o' piss on the neighbors' back patio.

...Just as his wife and five year-old son come outside.

The five year-old bursts out laughing.

"ANDREW'S NAKED!" he squeals.

"Yes he is," I said, all jumpy.

Now then.

I have no idea what the etiquette handbook calls for when your child has pissed all over your neighbor's property.

Do you offer to clean it up with their hose?

Do you apologize profusely and hope they don't sue you?

Do you give them a "Get Out Of Pissing On My Property Free" card so they can return the favor without any repercussion?

I don't have a clue.

But with two boys standing there laughing at my naked son, I felt like he was being pretty traumatized at the moment and that their chiding was counterproductive to everything we had been trying to instill in the kid.

Sooooo I just walked away with my naked son in my arms.

I'm pretty sure I said "I'm sorry" about 67 times while I walked away.

But that whole part is sort of a blur.


We took Andrew to a church Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday.

The thing started at 10 a.m. so I got us there at 9:55 a.m.

What I wasn't told is that the actual Easter Egg Hunt took place at 11.

At 10 a.m. the kids started to play games to win "prizes".

At first I thought "Okay, cool. He can play some games and get some candy."

Uhhhhh ... no.

The first game was some sort of bean bag toss.

Andrew, rather than tossing the bean bags, walked right up to the hole and shoved the bean bags through it.

In his eyes, why take a chance on throwing the bags through the hole when you can just walk over to it and push them in? That way, you're guaranteed a win.

So the girl feigned excitement when he did this.

...And gave him a pamphlet on loving Jesus as a prize.

No Smarties. No Ring Pop.

A freakin' pamphlet.

News flash lady ... the kid standing in front of you is 3.

He may be the most intelligent 3 year-old on the planet (who still shits his pants) but he has no interest in leafing through a pamphlet.

So cough up the jelly beans, Senorita.

No such luck.

Take the pamphlet and hit the road, Junior.

The next game was a variation on the first game.

Throw the bean bags through a hole on a chicken or some crazy shit.

He did the same thing.

And got ... a straw for his troubles.

The third game he got a note pad with about three sheets on it.

The fourth game he got a coupon for some free waffle fries from Chick-Fil-A.

Yeah.

He can munch down on the coupon all the way home, ya freak.

Finally, after an hour of lame games, the Easter Egg Hunt began.

Andrew's still getting the hang of the Easter Egg Hunt.

His Hunt (for 3-4 year olds) was held in a fenced off area of the playground.

As soon as the kids were allowed in the playground, they all immediately started collecting the eggs nearest the entrance.

Daddy's smarter than that.

Daddy swooped Andrew up in his arms and we ran to the back of the playground where there was nobody standing around and shitloads of eggs to grab.

However, Andrew likes to announce each egg he gets.

"A GREEN EGG!" he yells proudly as he holds the egg high in the air.

"Put it in your basket!" I hissed at him. "And quit showing off, you'll attract other kids back here!"

"A BLUE EGG!" he yells as he picks up his second egg.

Sure enough, the other kids heard Andrew crowing and came hauling ass back to his area.

So now there's about 15 kids all around Andrew, collecting eggs like Paris Hilton collects sexually transmitted diseases, while Andrew stands in the middle of them like Nero, fiddling as Rome burns and screaming "A PINK EGG!" as he holds the egg to the sky.

Andrew walked away with seven eggs.

Most kids averaged about 30.

And six of the eggs contained one of those individually wrapped Life Savers.

Which Andrew enjoys licking and sticking to his face.

I'm telling you ... the kid is brilliant.

You just wouldn't know that from looking at him.

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