Adventures With the Toddler – Chapter Seven: Puddles and Stuff

Well – it has been an interesting few weeks. I’m back working full-time hours on a moovie – which is nice. Working with awesome humans, many of whom I have worked with before which is a real plus. So – my days have pretty much been – get up, eat, go-to-work, work, come home, kiss the wife, tell her about my day, eat, go-to-bed and repeat – so my interactions with the toddler have been limited as she is asleep when I leave and has gone to bed before I get home.

I’ve missed her terribly.

Even though the days of driving ride-share mainly sucked a fat one for the sheer suckage of no income protection / insurance / wanting more from my life / paying GST without collecting GST and at times being an exercise in wanker gathering – I had the choice to say “fuck all ‘y’all” and go hang with the toddler when I wanted to or go to the pub. Doing that kind of work – as Fortune decreed I shall due to the insecurity of the Australian “filum industry” and the fickle freckle of investors (yeah I got 2 mil for ya) – it at least let me feed my family and pay the bills. The real advantage to it was being able to log-off whenever I wanted to or when I cracked the shits with humanity.

Ride-share is a terrible idea for anyone with an artists soul that has to do it full-time; especially a writer. Self-employment when I was a full-time writer was awesome – I lived to get up and smash the keys like a pneumatic drill and lose 5 years of my life to World of Warcraft on my breaks. But self-employment in wanker-gathering, I’m not a big fan of.

However! Driving ride-share has been some of the funniest times of my life. I have met so many cool people, had great financial advice I wished I had 25 years ago, made friends, met far too many rich people, got great hugs from drunk blokes (always blokes putting on the hugs and kisses and wanting to stroke my beard) and made crazy good money. But no-one has ever topped the two drag-queens I had in the back of the car singing Whitney Houston songs in my first week. They were singing, I was singing, we were all singing – then it was over. Over far too soon. They disembarked in all their glory of sequins and feathers and I drove away to pick up three drunk wankers on their way to the races. I peaked way too early.

But – this isn’t about me – it is about my mini-me.

There is a light in this tale of super dad and his work. The toddler knows how to use FaceTime and when she’s missing me, she calls! When I see the wife’s name on my phone and the FaceTime request, I know it is the toddler on the other end. Sometimes her mum knows she’s calling, sometimes not. (This also upsets me as I don’t know how to use the i-pad as well as the toddler does). However, in the last week, she has taken to waking up when I am about to leave the house. I always come in to kiss the wife farewell and get my instructions (that I’ll instantly forget) of what to bring home on my return journey via the supermarket. But in the last few days, the toddler wakes and asks for a kiss before I leave. Luckiest dude alive! Kisses from two beautiful girls before the day begins and I walk out the door feeling as though I could conquer the world.

It makes up for how my You Tube channel looks these days. There was a time it was filled with rock, alternative and heavy metal videos. One would be hard-pressed to scroll through it without seeing Lemmy, Shane, P.J, Janis, Stevie, Ozzy, Amy, Dani or Shagrath looking out. Now however, all of my suggestions feature the Wiggles, Peppa Pig, cartoon cows and the frigging Farmees. I get alerts on my bloody phone when a new Farmees video “drops” and it makes me sigh when I see it. Not a happy high sigh, but more of a deep – what have I become? sigh. The sigh of a man who knows he should be playing his child far more Led Zeppelin and Queen.

The weekend was spent visiting Inverloch to see my mum or “Nannytier” as she is known to the toddler. The toddler loves coming down to Inverloch as she gets to play on the beach, harass the dog and move soil from one side of the garden to the other without being asked or if the action is needed. But Nannytier takes it all in her stride and is always smiling – even when the toddler pours the soil onto the strawberry bushes or pokes the dog in the asshole.

Whilst all of this was going on – I was doing some work for mum such as cutting the hedge, digging ditches, putting up new fences, changing the roof, using big power tools and generally being really helpful – the wife heads off to buy a couple of things for dinner. I’m working like a third-world-donkey and a couple of hours later I realise the wife isn’t back and it’s been ages. She’s only gone and taken the opportunity of being toddler and husband free – to piss-off to the bloody pub! Fair play to her, I would have done the same thing if it was her on the end of a power tool and me with a smirk on my face – but I wouldn’t have remembered the groceries.

A beat —

We bought the toddler pink gumboots on the weekend. She wanted red ones. I promised her red ones.
“Da, red ones.”
“Yes love. We’ll get you red ones,” as the toddler and I were buying croissants while the wife was standing on her head at yoga. (I don’t understand the attraction.)
“Red ones.”
“I’ll get you red ones.”
“Da! Red ones!”
“Yes. Red ones. I have my orders. Red ones.”
She was satisfied with this. She trusts me.
But Aldi only sold pink and yellow and yellow wasn’t in her size. Holy shit! What was I to do now? I’d promised red and have just shot myself in the foot. But I caught a break. Just the fact that she had gumboots was an awesome thing. I was soon to find out why.

The toddler wanted to jump in muddy puddles. Yes, you read that right. Muddy. Bloody. Puddles. It took me a good six-and-a-half-seconds to figure out where I had heard that phrase and where this daft desire came from. With a trembling angry finger, I firmly pointed it at Peppa Pig. So, muddy puddles were now a thing. Muddy puddles! We live in the flipping city.
“Da. Muddy puddle.”
“I can get you a gutter with a little rain, dead dreams and urine.”
“No da! Muddy puddle.”
“No. Muddy puddle.”
“The fuck I’m going to find that?”
“Red gumboots.”
“I’ll get ‘em.”
“Muddy puddle.”
“Christ. Okay.”
“Red ones.”
“I’m on it.”

Gumboots are a great idea.

Strapping the toddler into a pair of lovely new pink gumboots – we went on a muddy puddle hunt in what is effectively the bush by the beach at Nannytier’s place. The Toddler, the Wife, Nannytier, Nannytier’s dog – Jack, and yours truly; ventured into the cold black afternoon on a muddy puddle search. It was cold and stupid and the dog was pissed-off as the poor bastard just wanted to have a walk before lying in the front of fire and farting loudly. I felt his anguish as my goals were the same.

After much looking and plenty of talk of muddy puddles and what actually constitutes a muddy puddle to the toddler – a muddy puddle was found! The toddler approved of the muddy puddle and after several seconds of preparing itself, it leapt in. Then! It instantly freaked out that its nice new clean gumboots were now dirty. Jack then freaked out at the toddler freaking out and the rest of us laughed our tits off. The toddler went to ground in a frenzy and furiously went to work cleaning her muddy gumboots and Jack howled at the sky. I thought to myself – “self, what happens when the day comes that she wants you to jump in a muddy puddle like daddy-pig does and make it vanish?” Myself thought about this for a moment –
“Well, I think banning Peppa Pig might be a good thing.”
“But that would make us a right-winger wanker and fearful of the world and all that is different to us.”
“But you wouldn’t have to jump in a puddle.”

A beat.

If she wants me to jump in a puddle like daddy-pig, then I’ll bloody-well jump in a puddle like daddy-pig.

Fun Fact: She can count to ten.

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