At three and five years of age, we still bathe our kids at the same time. With one bathtub in the house, a single bath ritual is one of the many ways in which we try to stay sane. If this makes no sense, then perhaps you have not wrangled multiple kids during the witching hours after dinner and before bedtime. There’s something about the moon coming up that
sends hyperactivity into overdrive. Wine helps (I mean for Mom and Dad, of course), but it’s a nightly race between sanity and the sweet quiet sound of two precious little heads finally hitting the pillows…and staying there.
Things were winding down and I had one kid bathed, dressed, and in bed. My sweetie was stirring, but fatigue had set in and was on my side. One down, one to go. Mom had some “social activities” this night, so Dad was feeling good about his progress made. I grabbed a dry towel and lifted my boy from the tub.
“Dad, what’s this?”
Now any father of young kids hears this very phrase approximately four hundred eighty-five times per day. Usually it pertains to a bug or a dead animal or a flower of some sort. Not tonight. I looked where he was pointing and saw the object of his future obsession, pointing skyward at full salute.
Now this was certainly not the first time this had happened. I flashed back to when Parker was less than a few hours old and I changed him for the first time, with both Grandfathers in the room. You’d think we’d raised a prized bull with the high fives and back slaps that were exchanged when we noticed that it worked at so young an age. Mom and the grand moms were
a little less impressed and a bit disturbed at such a thing at such an age. Men are from Mars, you know.
So every book I have read on fatherhood has told me I had to answer. The last thing I want is for a future classmate at Llano Elementary to answer this question. So I stalled…”Looks like you got some bubbles stuck on your leg,” I said, fooling no one.
“Not those bubbles…this,” he pointed to make sure I was looking.
So this is where I failed. I’m a doctor for goodness sake. I was supposed to say something smart and scientific to keep Parker bored for now and out of trouble with teachers later.
“It’s a rocket,” I said, knowing in my heart of hearts I’d messed up.
With all the commotion, I’d failed to notice the innocent, quiet three year old girl, my sweetie, sneak in behind me to join the conversation.
“Parker, it’s a wiener rocket! Whooooosh!”
At the same time, I was a bit startled and on the verge of tears of laughter. Chaos ensued, but I didn’t care. I was laughing and rolling on a wet bathroom floor full of bubbles. It must have been five minutes before I composed myself and got things back settled down.
Kids say the darndest things.
Until next week, keep smiling.
-Please send comments to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.