Adventures with the Toddler – Chapter Seventeen

It’s baby obsession here in Kew. The wife and toddler have gone baby nuts. If they weren’t my family, I’d be finding a way to flog them baby stuff so I could have a holiday. I can understand why the wife has an interest in the whole baby thing since it’s happening to her with her being pregnant and all, but the toddler is so excited it shakes with excitement when the baby is mentioned. It talks to the rapidly expanding bump, tells it stories, guesses if it’s a boy or a girl (I know – they don’t – hehehehehehehe). It’s very cute on the wife’s part – I just find the toddler odd. I’m kidding, of course I’m kidding.  The toddler has taken to carrying around a small teddy bear it dresses up in baby clothes. She refers to the teddy as her baby and cradles it like it’s a child. Now I admit, this kind of thing would once have freaked me out as I’m a skittish bastard, but it is the toddler working out the whole baby thing. She doesn’t quite get the connection to all of it but tries damn hard to. She thinks she does and then talks about how she met her sister or brother when we were sleeping. It is amusing and fascinating watching this little mind explode with information and ideas. But for now, everything is a baby, a little baby, that is crying and needs cradling and sometimes da just needs to drink beer and listen to black metal. Oh! That reminds me, the wife bought me tickets to Dimmu Borgir when they played Melbourne (I don’t think I’ve mentioned this), but for about 80 minutes, I totally blissed out whilst in the mosh pit. I was getting slammed into from all directions the entire concert and it was bloody brilliant. The band were brilliant, I relaxed and got to listen to my music without getting my headphones tugged out of my ears “I’ve pooed”, or the phone ringing to interrupt a song I’m really into “can you pick up some carrots and toilet paper?” Then I caught an Ola home and chatted with a great bloke and that was brilliant. Then it cost me nothing because – voucher! and that was brilliant. Then there was beer in the fridge because the wife loves me – brilliant! I drank the beer whilst smiling and that was brilliant. I climbed into bed with the greatest friends I have on earth and that was brilliant. Then I woke up, made them breakfast, kissed them farewell and went to work with people I love.

The toddler has become totally obsessed with a game we (me and the toddler – but mainly me), made up – called slippery kid. I was off-my-head with sleep deprivation one morning and pretended I couldn’t hang onto the toddler who wanted to climb on me and I kept throwing it from hand-to-hand, turning it upside down and sideways always with the risk of it dropping to the bed. Well, from this dear reader, was spawned the game of slippery kid. Slippery kid started innocently enough as something I thought was a once-off. I was very wrong. Today’s incarnation of slippery kid is a cross between the World Wrestling Federation and…Who the hell am I kidding, it is the WWF for toddler peoples and immature da’s. I can guarantee I have mates wanting to get in on this now that they’ve read it – I know this because they’re as grown-up as I am. Men on the wrong end of 40 that have never grown-up and never will because they’re bloody perfect. Grown-ups mystify me, they once intimidated me, but I got over that.

Slippery kid is very easy to play. After a couple of weeks of playing the original slippery kid and getting knackered because I’m old and fat, I came up with a new version that is much more fun for the toddler and better on da’s stamina. The old version required me to essentially do the equivalent of 15 kilo dumbbell raises front and side as I tossed it about in the air for 15 seconds pretending it was too slippery to get a hold of. This made the toddler howl with joy but doing that over and over and over again for 20 minutes flat, made da tired. It gave me a pump, but it made me tired and the toddler loves the fun all the time. So the new slippery kid game involves the toddler holding da’s hands (da really does the holding) and it walks up his fat belly with the goal of reaching his shoulders and standing tall on top of them – but! it’s a slippery kid, so it falls from da’s grasp repeatedly on its journey to da’s shoulders and falls into 4 pillows, a couple of doonas, a soft blanket set atop a mattress. I think I best mention the safety aspect. Once the toddler reaches the zenith and survives its own slipperiness – it stands high atop da’s shoulders – before being body-slammed into the pillows and doonas. Or suplexed or whatever the technical wrestling term is. Controlled slamming now, I don’t just throw the toddler into the air. The toddler howls with happiness and the first words out of its gob are “one more da, one more.”

I have found the ultimate game for the toddler and myself. The wife isn’t sure as it involves her toddler, wrestling, body-slamming and her immature husband.

The toddler and I have been having the best fun lately. Now that work has trailed away over Christmas, we are inseparable. If I need to go the shops for anything they cry of “I come,” is always there and off we go together, Donkey and da on another adventure. (It’s nickname is Donkey for any new players we have). If we take the pram, I usually have it on the back wheels making spaceship noises or sliding side-to-side making car noises and telling her about da’s and Uncle Steve’s movie. We sing ‘The wheels on the bus’ and we don’t care who hears us. WE sing so much we should be a band of bad singers. We dance when dancing needs to be done. This usually occurs in Woolworths as at times there are good songs playing. Sometimes we race around Woolworths like morons, especially when the toddler gets the “flee” impulse and needs to hide. We track each other at the end of each aisle and poke our tongues out at each other. We’re both known to the staff – (in a good way, I think). We play in the park for frigging hours and at times I go mad trying to get it out of the sandpit and back to the apartment.\

I look at these blogs and I know how long some of them are, but they don’t even cover a fraction of the crazy shit this kid gets up to. I write notes to remind myself of the nuttier stuff, but then I start writing and the focus changes to a more organic story. I don’t think I’ve touched on how much the toddler makes me laugh my ass off and how we laugh ourselves stupid together over a cloud, un-swallowed food or a pungent nappy. How can I impart such things that started out as silly as ‘upside-down kid,’ and have it make sense to anyone else but my family as the two of us look each other in the eye as it hangs upside down? This tiny human is all the awesome I wanted to be. The confidence, the Chutzpah, the independence, the ‘let ‘em weep when they see me walk in’. The toddler has style and I love its style. Tomorrow it will choose a different style and that style will be awesome too. But the toddler has such positive role models. Obviously its mother is first and foremost for role models and does far more than I do in the shaping of its young noggin. But all the amazing women its mother knocks about with also deserve a mention in shaping this young heart. The Girls Act Good theatre group always have the toddler along to readings and rehearsals, they have it up on stage where it can interact with everyone and get to be with all these wonderful women who embrace it and teach it and whom it loves – and then it gets to come home and be a complete idiot with its da.

There is more to come from this musing.

Fun fact: It likes to share. It will always offer the best piece of what it has.

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