June 17, 2016
“There’s a strong chance that my sons’ first real memories will be the sight of me laughing at them when they cry.” – Me, 2016
Makes me seem like a big feeling shit to quote myself. It also makes me seem lazy to start off a post with something I wrote on Facebook. It’s another day where I’m looking to cut corners.
I haven’t learned a lot in thirteen months as a parent. But I have figured out one very important thing I can pass on to anyone who’s about to have a child. Don’t bother buying toys for the first year or two of their lives. That’s not what they’re into. What they want you can’t buy at a Toys R Us. Babies want YOUR stuff. They want to play with things you depend on to make it through your day to day life, that they can fuck up, break or lose. And when you take it away from them they lose their shit.
A couple of years ago my wife bought me the sturdiest Otterbox iPhone cover that exists when I accepted a job to work on a show following people searching for Big Foot. I was going to be chasing a dozen nutbags in the Pacific Northwest in rugged terrain that would include swamps, torrential downpours, wild animals and other unthinkable elements. I might die, but my phone, I was told, would be intact. Fate intervened and I got a better job offer a few weeks before the Big Foot show started shooting so I was thankfully never able Otter Box iPhone cover to the test. My one year old son Charles, however, was able to do to my phone what I was guaranteed a Yeti couldn’t. He rendered it useless in about 15 minutes. How he did it I have no idea but when I took it from his grubby hands, it was dead.
The only bright side was the amusement I found at watching the slow build of his enormous cry. He made the cry face and opened his mouth, but no audible sound came out for at least 30 seconds. It was like he was summoning a cry from so deep down within his tiny body that it took half a minute to reach his vocal cords. He does the silent cry a lot, and every time it happens, I call my wife if she’s not in the room to “Come quick! He’s doing the hilarious silent cry!”
Watching Charles silent cry, has become almost as funny to us as an episode of Veep. That’s right, we’re monsters. But it’s probably because it’s our emotional defense due to all our stuff getting ruined.
Charles is the main culprit because he can walk around and is taller than Arthur. The other day, in the blink of an eye he had taken the “Q” key off my wife’s laptop keyboard. I was impressed. It’s a hard key to reach. Its not like he took the “control” button. I would have only been more impressed if he had taken the “C” key, which would have led to my wife and I inevitably convincing ourselves that he was trying to spell his name and that he was clearly a genius. Parents are always looking for any sign in our desperate hopes that our kids aren’t morons.
I was able to pry the “Q” away from him before he swallowed it which led to this reaction.
I can measure his value on things by the level of his crying. For instance if I take a steak knife out of his hands it’s this.
If he’s holding some expensive face cream of my wife’s and I take it, it’s this.
These things don’t matter as much to him so he’s a little restrained. But there are items that if taken away, guarantee a hysterical and hilarious breakdown.
Take away an iPad
Or do the unthinkable and take away the TV remote
I have no idea where I’m going with this post or what the point it. It’s only recently occurred to me that I spend more time laughing and charting the levels of my children’s crying than consoling them. Maybe I shouldn’t expect a great Father’s Day gift. If it’s something really cool, Charles would just want to ruin it anyway. I’d have to take it away and then laugh as his silent cry evolves into an ocean or tears. Wait…that sounds exactly like what I want.
Least favorite Child Results
June 11 – Least Favorite is Charles. Pretty soon, Arthur will be able to walk. For all I know he’s been practicing in private. I just know that Arthur is looking for payback from all the things his brother has yanked from his hands and walked away with.
June 12 – Least Favorite is Charles. Babies can lose a lot of points at dinner time. I know Charles does. There’s nothing fun about playing tug of war with a one year old over a spoon. If you could get the yogurt into your mouth on your own I’d be delighted.
June 13 – Least Favorite is Arthur. He’s picked up his brother’s old habit of rolling over in the middle of a diaper change ensuring that I need no less than 15 wipes to properly clean him.
June 14 – Least Favorite is Charles. I see more fights in our future when it comes to TV selection. He ranks Harry The Bunny much higher than the NBA Playoffs
June 15 – Least Favorite is Arthur. I no longer need an alarm clock because I have a baby monitor by my bed. My new wake up call is Arthur talking to himself loudly beginning around 5:30am.
June 16 – Least Favorite is Charles. If I get home after a long work day I’m usually looking forward to the smiling faces of my children seeing me. If Harry The Bunny is on, Charles is locked on that and he wouldn’t look at me if I was on fire. And I’ll be honest. Harry The Bunny isn’t nearly as funny as he thinks he is.
Least Favorite Child Year One – Charles
Total Days As Least Favorite Child – Year Two
Charles – 12
Arthur – 13
Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 313