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1:00 p.m. - 2001-11-19

THE ART OF EATING ANIMAL CRACKERS

So yesterday I decided to teach Andrew how to bite the heads off of animal crackers. Because that's what you do when your kid reaches the age of one...you teach him all about death and destruction, using animal crackers as your tools.

So he's up in my lap and I've got a handful of crackers.

First is a camel.

"You see the camel, Andy?" I ask. "Here's the camel's head. Now...you put the head in your mouth, bite down, and you've decapitated a camel! Pretty cool, huh?"

He clapped. Which, I have to admit, it may not have come across this way, but it WAS a pretty stellar performance on my behalf. The way I bit that head off the camel ... well...I'm just shocked the kid wasn't hollering out "BRAVO, DADDY! BRAVO!"

So I tell him it's his turn. I give him a lion. I show him where the head is and instruct him to bite it.

He bites the lion's ass.

I calmly reassure him that he's not retarded, but he did bite the wrong end and that's not acceptable in the art of decapitating animal crackers. Granted ... I used a camel as a visual aid, while giving him a lion. That's probably what threw him.

So I found another camel and put it in his other hand. He now had an assless lion in one hand and a camel just begging to be decapitated in the other hand.

"Now," I said quietly. "Bite the goddamned camel's head off."

Andrew looked at me in a funny sort of way. He was trying to understand me and knew that what I had to say was important.

But the little bastard just couldn't grasp it.

He gnawed the camel's legs off.

Alright ... I know what all these experts say about how to raise your child. I've read the books and attended the stupid little classes.

But these "experts" obviously had children that knew how the hell to eat animal crackers.

I'm not proud to say it ... but I lost it.

I put the kid on the floor and threw the animal crackers at his feet.

"FINE!" I yelled. "YOU OBVIOUSLY DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT LEARNING HOW TO EAT ANIMAL CRACKERS, YOU INSENSITIVE LITTLE BASTARD! SO YOU JUST EAT THEM ANY FUCKING WAY YOU PLEASE ... I'M TIRED OF WASTING MY TIME ON YOU AND YOUR IGNORANT WAYS!"

He started to cry, which I think may have been a ploy to make me feel like shit, but I wasn't having any of it. He knew he had done wrong. You can't tell me that a one year-old can't distinguish between a camel's head and its legs, for God's sakes.

He kept crying so I put him outside on the back patio. Of course, then he cried because it was dark and cold outside and all he had on was a diaper.

Well hey kid...there's kids in Afghanistan who are freezing with bullet holes in their heads. So count yer blessings, you little animal cracker freak.

I can tell it's going to be pure hell when I try and teach him how to properly eat an Oreo.

Sheesh.

Kids today.

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