Friday, July 31, 2009


Luke & Dad’s Third Year

In the face of innovation, many normal human activities become extinct over time. Some simply become unacceptable. Despite millions of years of good service, peeing outside is now ostracized. Fighting that genetic memory, however, is a colossal problem for Rachel and me. The only place you will “peeps” is the beautiful outdoors (which includes city sidewalk greenery).

The random slamming of our front door is the sign of nature calling in our home. It would be a testament to ancient excremental history if you maintained a similar practice with pooping. You don’t. With that category only a diaper will do; otherwise, you stick your finger in your butt and become monumentally constipated. Yes, you really do that.

A former partner of mine, Gene Riechers, once said, “Most of the world’s problems would be prevented if we required as much training to have children as we do to drive a car.” I once thought there was great wisdom in that comment. Now I see it as impractical. If anyone anticipated the process of potty training, we’d go extinct.

Thankfully, the delights of raising you eclipse the challenges! Nothing is more fulfilling than seeing the delight of a birthday boy! Happy third birthday Luke! Or, I should say, birthdays, plural. For days now the Beetles song “Birthday” has been ringing in my ears as Amazon boxes sent by loving family members have been piling up at our doorstep.

Once you catch site of the delivery man, we cannot wrench your mind from the mysterious boxes. You have to see what’s inside and, of course, we relent. You’ve become accustomed to opening a presents as they arrive. This pattern has led you to a simple conclusion: every day is Luke’s birthday. “Today’s Your Birthday!” echoes in my brain.

Every day being your birthday is a rather nice way to live life. However, Rachel and I have tired of wading through a snow drift of toys. So, Rachel delivered a rather devastating message to you recently: your birthday is over. You seemed stunned and you said, “Today’s not my birthday?!? ... today’s not my birthday … today’s not my birthday …” trailing off as it sunk in. Life’s tough man!

Our big present for your birthday was a "Thomas the Train" train set and a table which depicts the island of Sodor (Thomas’ home). Like most island residents, you don’t care much for storms and, unfortunately, the play room is hurricane prone. Cashy, the hurricane, can't be stopped just like his brethren in the Atlantic. So, you barter with him, giving him toys to distract him from your carefully orchestrated rail world. Your birthday has reintroduced the concept of negotiation into your life. The casual observer might conclude you are playing together, but we know better.

Still, your love for him shines through. At the MacArthur Post office, you shielded Cashy from the road as he dashed off the sidewalk. When we stayed in a cottage with the XXX’s on a beach in Maryland, you locked the doors to make sure Cashy wouldn’t fall down the steps. You’ve become our chief safety officer! You even demand everyone put on their seat belts when we get in the car.

Summer has taken hold here in Washington and you have graduated from Miss Smith’s toddler class at Aiden Montessori. This fall you are heading into Mrs. Antenucci’s kindergarten class. In preparation for thetransition, Rachel and I met with Miss Smith and Mrs. Antinucchi where I was roundly criticized for filling your head with images of hobbits, dwarves, dragons, elves, vampires, Woobops and other such, supposedly, imaginary creatures! I got three stern stares when I said, “You mean I should stop reading him Lord of the Rings?”

One last thing. I played you a sad song the other day. You listened. Then you cried. Don’t tell Mrs. Antonnuci.



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