I got to see the mancub for the first time on Saturday. He looks perfect! Not too thin at all. T-Bone said he is 41 pounds and 41 inches tall, which the pediatrician said is just right. He does seem to have some sort of obstructive respiratory issue, however. The doc recommended having his adenoids removed but I really don’t want to take out lymphatic tissue unless absolutely necessary.
He is an explosion of energy! T-Bone had given him a stress ball to play with. The mancub immediately turned on all the ceiling fans and started throwing the ball into the blades so he could watch it go whizzing around the apartment. After narrowly missing several glass vases, he next pounced on the mop, which he swung around the kitchen for several minutes before using it to prod the knife block closer to the edge of the counter, so he could grab hold of the knives themselves. While I built up a fine sweat chasing the mancub around the apartment, T-Bone sat placidly chatting on the phone and ignoring us both.
In his defense, he had had an extremely frustrating morning trying to assemble the mancub’s new booster seat. He was clearly exhausted. But after about twenty minutes of snatching the mancub from the jaws of death and averting imminent destruction of property, I nailed T-Bone with a beady-eyed stare. “Let’s go to the park!” I chirped.
T-Bone looked up.
So we threw the mancub into the car and headed for the park. The mancub chattered happily for exactly two minutes and then, realizing he’d forgotten the stress ball at the house, began to scream. “Where is my ball?!!!” he shrieked. “I want my ball!!! DADDY, I WANT MY BBBBBBAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!” He grabbed for the door handle, intent on flinging himself from the car.
“Put on the child locks!” I yelped over the screaming.
“What?!” T-Bone bellowed.
“TURN ON THE CHILD SAFETY LOCKS! HE’S TRYING TO GET OUT OF THE CAR!”
T-Bone quickly clicked the locks into place. Unfortunately, he had already rolled the windows down where they remained, locked in the down position. I gazed around nonchalantly at the stoplight, trying to ignore the other drivers’ horrified stares as the mancub’s howls rang out over the landscape.
Once we got to the park, we dug around in the backseat trying to find the mancub’s shoes, which he had flung off in his fit. Properly shoed and wiped clean of mucus and spit, he immediately tore off in the direction of the playground. He squealed with delight to see big children bursting from the end of a particularly long covered slide and started trying to climb up from the bottom. I grabbed him by the butt and, hauling him out of the slide, carried him thrashing and screaming to another area of the playground. I set him down, only to watch with dismay as he tore off again for the wrong end of the slide. After about the fifth repeat of this scene, I mildly considered allowing him to learn the hard way why this was a bad idea.
I finally succeeded in getting him interested in a more age-appropriate slide. We went down together over and over again while T-Bone snapped photos. After plunking down at the end of the slide for about the seventeenth time, the mancub leaped up. “I have to pee!” he announced, yanking down his shorts and Pull-Ups and proceeding to urinate all over everything, happily oblivious to the stupefied gawks and whispers of several other children.
I looked at T-Bone. He gave me a helpless shrug. “No, no,” I tried. “Let’s go to the –“ I stopped. Oh, never mind, I thought. What was I going to do, pinch him off midstream and hustle him to the nearest restroom? And how do you say, “In America we use this thing called a toilet,” without sounding like a jerk?
The wind had blown several used paper bowls into the playground area. The mancub raced around, scooping up the plates and squashing them down on his head like hats. “Mancub!” T-Bone hissed, accomplishing more with a single flick of his finger than I had with all my racing around. “Leave it!” One look at Daddy’s glare and the dirty paper plates dropped from the mancub’s fingers.
It was already late evening. After about forty minutes of playing, it was getting too dark. We decided to go home. The mancub had again shed his shoes, which funnily enough he had dumped in the backseat of one of the playground’s wooden cars. We each took a shoe and shoved one foot in. Grabbing him by the hands, we said, “Okay, time to go home!” We swung him by the arms all the way to the car. He was too busy laughing to notice that we were leaving and didn’t even whimper as we drove away. T-Bone dropped me off at the apartment. I ran upstairs and searched around for the stress ball, finally finding it lodged behind the washing machine. I tossed it down to T-Bone from the balcony. After watching them drive away, I washed down my birth control pill with a healthy swig of rum and crawled into bed.