Thursday, September 21, 2006

Man to Man

Last night I put the boy to bed on my own. I haven’t needed to for some time, so he was out of practice… or, more accurately, I was out of practice. The wife enjoyed the story.

After giving him a well earned, and needed bath, he wanted to goof around quite a bit. Before the bath I promised him some milk once he was clean and dressed for bed. He ran out of his room to the living room couch (where he often crashes into the cushions) and said, “Milk please, Daddy.”

With that kind of politeness I snapped to it.
“That’s right! I promised you milk, so I’ll go get you a little bit of milk.”
He instantly entered whinification.
“Noooo! Don’t want a little milk. Want a lot of milk.”
Must. Resist. Laugh. Urge.

After some disagreements (“Leave my dinner plate on table, Daddy,” in spite of the fact that dinner ended some two hours prior), his sudden desire to wear his straw cowboy hat (or as he calls it, his cow hat), and frequent delays (activating the sounds and songs of the Fisher Price pirate ship as well as calling, “Run out the guns!” when he plays with the cannon) I eventually get him medicine, read him a couple of stories, let him turn out the lights, say prayers, tuck him in, and sing a little song. Done and done. Downstairs for me… that set of season five Columbo DVDs won’t just watch themselves.

Within five minutes I hear something like, “Bump-bump-bang! Bump. Bump. Crash!” No crying, whining, screaming, or yelling… all the same I rush upstairs. I can see light from underneath his bedroom door. Quietly and quickly, I open the door… where I see him sitting up against Reagan the Dragon and his foam mini-couch playing with toys. Just as quickly, he suddenly looks up at me and says,
“What was that noise, Daddy?”
I know what made the noise. I know he knows what made the noise. He might know that I know what made the noise. He might even know that I know he knows what made the noise.

Cute little shit trying to pull a fast one on Dad.

I put him back to bed and turn out the lights… but much good that does. Within ten minutes I hear the unmistakable sounds of his mighty thunder feet as he runs about his room. It never really stops, so after about fifteen minutes I go upstairs to put an end to his goofing… a few toy cars and trucks (including a tiny Lightning McQueen), a small barrel of wood blocks, and his messy bed. He doesn’t complain when I put his toys and things away… as a matter of fact, I even get him to quickly agree to brushing his teeth. He resists a little, but essentially plays along.

I confirm with him, “What do you do after this story?” He looks me square in the eye and says, “Go to bed”. That’s right, pally… and it is about effing time.

Sure enough, once we finish a story from a book of Thomas the Tank Engine he wants to hear another story he asked for much earlier in the evening. Fine. We did talk about it earlier, but never got to it.

“Now, what do you do after The Crack in the Track?” (Yet another story with Thomas.) Again, he looks straight into my eyes and lies like a pro, “Go to bed”.

We finish the tiny book, but before I can pick him up he looks over to his book shelf, points and says,
“Look at all those books over there.”
You’re putting me on, Stinker. Honest to Pete, he keeps me laughing… but I can’t let him know that!


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