Originally posted @ http://fistofail.wordpress.com/
As someone who was picked on incessantly as a kid, you would think that I would be quicker to come to the rescue of my own child…
Now mind you I’m not letting him run amuck touching hot stoves, sucker punching his sister in the back of the head, or getting samples of the 31 flavors found in the creepy guy’s pants who’s always camped out on the corner in the windowless van.
I would like to think of myself as a responsible parent. I bought the books. Ok. My wife bought the books and insisted that I read them…and I totally intended to…but I could tell from the pictures that I was on the right path. That, and Those Guys Have all the Fun (that Chris Berman is such a charmer) was a real page turner. So now he’s three. He’s three and his an absolute sociopath. To have the absolute malice for his own well-being and those around him with no regards for consequences and or punishment you’d think he was a Penn State coach or something. Constant references to feces, his penis (“Daddy…look it gets bigger when you touch it…”), everything is dead or dying, and more feces. IT IS INSANE! (READ: Dear Showtime, you quit giving a damn about Dexter seasons ago…so if you need a spin-off that may tap a much younger demographic, let me know.)
So I was thinking it may be too late. Or that I could be grossly over reacting to what could be normal toddler behavior. I was not too sure. To help me decipher what is going on in my little man’s Cars 2, Skylanders, and penile filled brain I decided to take him to the local park in the neighborhood. ”Oh, their God help me…he’s going to go flying off the hinges with all the freedom,” I’m thinking.
As we arrive at the park he seems really excited and can’t wait to get out of the car. By the time I have gotten out and opened his door he’s already unbuckled and ready to fly out the door. ”Hey you can unbuckle yourself. Cool. What do you say we try buckling ourselves in when we get in?” I ask. ”Ha. Don’t be silly Dad. I can’t do that. I don’t have the power.” He responds. Of course, what was I thinking? I was thinking this had the makings of a Lifetime made for television movie that would have me looking like a real jackass about 15 minutes in.
He took my hand and we made our way to the entrance. At the entrance there are two big pillar type structures that were commissioned by the village (think less huts, more pretentious old white people) by a local artist. They are about three feet across, three feet deep and a good fifteen feet tall. We stood there for good five minutes like Cornelius and Maximus while my son proceeded to tell me what they were and how they had come from space to eliminate bad children from the park.
After his diatribe on misbehavior and the repercussions from the death lasers mounted at the top of the “watchtowers” we strolled in to the park. There were kids running wild everywhere. All ages. I think I hip checked a tween on the way to the picnic table. Fat ass. Little man was headed off to the “fort thing with the landing strip.” I was unaware that a playground slide also took the name of where a plane lands and what a woman can leave whilst shaving. Didn’t get his take on the drapes matching the carpet. Save that for the ice cream shop…
I took a seat next to a blonde lady who was having a conversation on her phone looking off in no particular direction:
HER: No. Ian. I told you I couldn’t drop Anakin or Ripley off at Richmond’s house because Fox wasn’t ready in time.
Oh. My god. Anakin, Ripley AND Fox? Jesus, Ian. I hope when they rise up and kill you both it is quick and painless for the two of you.
I look over and my son is talking very animated with a kid who’s got to be all of seven or eight. The kid has a good two feet on him. The other kid isn’t moving. Just staring at him. I am hoping that I don’t look like this kid when I am standing there taking it all in. He looked overwhelmed. I leave the lady to argue with Ian and their trifecta of nerd naming fail to see what exactly my kid is putting over on this poor dude. I walk up to the duo to hear: “But that is not nice. I was on this bridge. This is not your bridge. I was here. You don’t need to push me” That was my son.
ME: Hey. What’s going on here? You two ok?
SON: He pushed me down dad. Called me a (word that rhymes with bunt. Yes. That one.)
Now I really being to wonder. I have never used that word in front of my kids. Others had slipped. But that one was a grade A no no. Trying to stay as impartial as possible (as the books say to do…SEE!) I started to wonder if maybe the same mind that had concocted the evil kid eliminating laser towers had just fabricated this to have them hone in on their first victim perhaps. No. He’s my kid dammit, and although I was preoccupied with the ritual that must have been involved in naming your kid after three geek powerhouses and did not actually see the alleged push, I was siding with the one I put on this earth.
ME: Ok. So…(looking at the other kid) did you push this little guy?
KID: *arms crossed* Eh. Maybe.
I pull up on the monkey bars and swing over and land between them on the suspension bridge (feeling like a total badass.) I kneel down and get right in the kids face.
ME: Where is your mom or dad?
KID: Over there… *he points to the blonde I was sitting with.*
ME: Of course she is.
ME: Never mind. Your name is Anakin?
KID: Yeah. How did you know that?
ME: Just a hunch. What do you say we agree to all leave this bridge and we go our separate ways?
I turn to take my son’s hand and as I do I feel a push from behind. As I hit my knees, I turn to look at the little Sith Lord punk.
ANAKIN: Come at me, bro.
Seriously? This kid is a Tapout shirt away from being a douchebag at the grand age of eight.
I tell my son to make his way down as I need to talk to Anakin. He nods and looks off and points to the art structures at the entrance and smiles. Not sure what he’s processing at the moment but I have a feeling it’s similar and perhaps not to different in its juvenile nature. He gets some water at the fountain and I see Anakin’s mom wander over to the bridge.
MOM: Is there a problem? Why are you talking to my son?
ME: He pushed my son so I was just getting to the “why” of him doing it.
MOM: Kids do stupid sh*t. You’ll learn. There is no why. Now f@#$ off and leave my kid alone. ANAKIN! CAR! NOW!
ME: Wait a minute. Your kid pushed my kid and called him a (that word.) You are doing a damn fine job of being one at the moment so I don’t find it being such a stretch that he’s learn the language from you…
*She cuts me a glare*
ME: You a really big sci-fi fan?
HER: Huh? No. Why?
ME: Just curious.
HER: Whatever. Weirdo. ANAKIN! CAR! NOW!
Hats off to you, Ian. May there be mercy on your soul.
So as we made our way to the car I made my son promise me two things. If he ever found himself in that kind of situation again and I was nowhere to be found for some reason, he needed to know that what he said was right. No one has the right to lay a hand on you in any way without your permission. Don’t take it, but run away if you have to. That, and DO NOT REPEAT THAT WORD EVER AGAIN.
I buckled him in hinting maybe me try another day at him giving it a go, and as we pulled away from the park he gave a collective wave and goodbye just as Anakin and his mother walked out of the entrance. “BYE BYE!” he yelled in his attention shortened innocence. Anakin gave a sheepish wave in return as his mother grabbed his arm and scurried him into their Land Rover.
I looked up at the art fixtures and waved them off. No lasers today.