Friday, August 31, 2007

Irrational Rage

When I came home from work yesterday, Smitty was completely exhausted from a sun-baked day at the pool. The moment I saw him, I knew he was on the brink of collapse--and his state-of-being was bringing our home to an emotional boil. It was when I heard Whitley say something about retrieving her .22 and rubber gloves that it occurred to me to take Smith upstairs with me while I changed.

As is my routine, I changed into shorts and a t-shirt and headed for the bathroom with Smith yapping at my heals. I raised the lid of the toilet and saw that Smith hadn't flushed his no. 1 from earlier in the day. No biggie. I've seen him do this; in the bathroom I can tell he is thinking that he can't waste time on frivolities like flushing the toilet, especially when he is building the biggest Lego tower in the world in his room. Nevertheless, I yelled to him, "Smith, you forgot to flush! Next time, remember to flush!" And then I went no. 1. And then Smith exploded.


And that was the end of Smith's day. Bed time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


How should I put this . . . in our family, we are not comfortable saying the "P word." Heck, I refuse to even type it. So instead of teaching our children the actual names for their body parts, we have resorted to awkward monikers. In our family, we have done this by changing the word "private" from an adjective to a noun. Get it?

A few nights ago, I was reading to Smith at bedtime. We were reading "Where the Wild Things Are," which surprisingly, he doesn't really like. One would think that a kid like Smith would relate to Max and get into bossing around huge monsters, but for some reason, Smith has never really liked it. Anyway, for some reason, he chose it that night. We read about Max refusing to eat dinner, being sent to his room and his room turning into a jungle. Then, I read the following line to Smith, ". . . and an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for Max and he sailed off through day and night."

Smith blurts out, "What the . . . Dad, what is a private boat?" I don't understand why he is confused, and I quickly say, "Smith, it's a boat just for Max." Smith has an unsatisfied look on his face. "What?" he asks, and repeats the question. "A private boat Dad . . . what is a private boat?" I still don't get it. I turn and look at him face-to-face. "Smith, a private boat is a boat just for Max. It is a private boat." But as I say the words, I realize what is going on.

Smith contemplates my answer. Then, he says, "Yeah, my private is a boat too. This is so cool. . . . Dad, my private boat is sooo fast."

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bug bite

I came home from work the other day and tout de suite went about the usual routine of kicking off my shoes, untucking my shirt and bracing myself for immediate impact from a charging Smith . . . when I noticed something. Smith's right ear was about twice the size as his left. Not his entire ear, but the top of his ear was red and had ballooned like Martin Short in "Pure Luck," Will Smith in "Hitch" or that guy's pierced tongue in "Rat Race."

"Woah! Smith!" I said, "What the heck happened to your ear?"

Smith immediately lowered his head and covered the offending ear with his hand, hiding it from my view. "It got swallowed."

"What?" I asked.

"It got swallowed dad. A bug bit my ear, and swallowed it."

(Moment of stupor)

"Whit, what happened to Smith's ear?" I needed a second opinion. "A bug bit his ear, and now it is swollen," said my disturbingly indifferent wife.


Seriously, life must be so confusing for three-year-olds.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

He's Back!

Getting into the van:

Me: "Hey Smith, are you going to climb up into the car on my side or on yours?"

Smith: "Up yours, dad."

spreading the smitty word