Adventures with the Toddler – Chapter Thirty-three: It’s a Trap!

The toddler has taken to setting traps. I have no idea where this came from and don’t know when it will end. I have tried asking it to stop, pleading for it to stop, but so far – my cries have fallen upon deaf ears.

Its traps aren’t as sophisticated as say a Rocky Mountain hunter. But I have come to grief twice on them. So far.
The traps basically consist of pieces of string and other material, a little sticky tape, my painting tape and compound granny-knots.
“Da. Can you untie this?”

I first came to grief on a long red bit of cord tied to the table and the baby highchair. My big toe was snagged as I was striding past on my way to water the plants on the balcony and I dropped the water jug all over the floor. Looking down, (after much cursing and leaping about), I saw that I had been snagged by the very same trap I had told the toddler to get rid of the night before.
However dear reader, this is not where this tale ends.
The wife mended my jeans as a tear had opened up in the ass of them. Being a scumbag worker in the entertainment industry doesn’t get me the same amount of money as a State liberal member who does fuck all and needs the dole, so we need to mend our clothes and measure out our gruel. The wife had her sewing kit out which also contained a long piece of fabric. I don’t know the proper name for the fabric strip. But anyway, this was the second trap that got me. This one however was tied around one of our alloy chairs. I hit the trap when carrying my coffee and toast to the end of the table to log-on and check Twitter of a morning. With the force of a large man moving a piece of fabric tied to a light chair – the chair tipped over and caught me on the trailing ankle – very hard. The blow was audible and I was rather hurt. I did however manage to get the coffee to the table before I screamed.
“What’s the matter Da??”
I set a stern jaw as I looked at the cabbage headed thing before me, “why did you set another trap? You’re not allowed to set these traps. I told you not to set these traps.”
“Da. There’s bad guys.”
“There aren’t bad guys!” I checked myself. “Look. Fine. There’s bad guys, sure. But not in here and not they’re not dumb enough to get trapped.”
It looked at me and I could read its mind – “but I caught you.”

Isolation is shit with young kids. But da did manage to get some points with the toddler doing work at the kinder the toddler went to before the plague came. The toddler hadn’t seen play equipment in six weeks and as there was no one at the kinder, da arranged for the toddler to get a go on the kinder gear as he worked. It spent most of the day playing while I was “back on the tools” for a day. I loved having my saws and drills going again. The old Liquid Nails kissing timber and cement sheeting as I bent over my workbench that was cobbled together toddler kinder tables. I’m still a little tender in the hamstrings, glutes and lower back. But by hell it was good to be “back on the tools.”
We do try to get the kids out for walks and avoid other humans between waking-up and day-drinking, but a lot of people have the same bloody idea of heading out into the world for fresh air and exercise. The bloody cheek of these other humans!
“What are these arseholes doing out here disturbing our walk?”

Kudos to the toddler though. In the six weeks of iso, the toddler has only asked to go to Oma and Pa’s, Nannytier’s and the pub for a beer, a glass of wine, a glass of water and some hot chippies. I sighed on that last one as I smiled with pride. “Me too kid. Me too.”

I do think of the impact on the kids. How it will shape them. The isolation, the routine of washing hands and sanitising constantly. Dad washing everything that comes in the house before it gets put into other containers or out in the sunlight. The toddler calling it the yucky viramant – so, we now call it that too. I had nothing comparable to this as a kid. Bros, Right Said Fred and Milli Vanilli, were still some years off as far as tragedy went. The trajectory for me as a child was sunshine and rainbows – I mean, apart from the weird priests that appeared when I went to a “proper school” and the utter scumfucks that now run the “government.”

I’ll say this once and once only. Mothers are Gods. After being forced into isolation to live with my own family over the last month – all stay-at-home mums should be paid one-hundred-million dollars a year. Holy hell! The noise never ends. I don’t know why I thought there was some kind of lull during the wife’s day where she could look glamorous and find the calm to meet me at the door on my return home. But since I’ve been home, I know every. Single. Moment. Is bloody hard work. The baby has a scream that shatters my spine and now that it knows it can bore a hole through my brain and send to me the ground howling, just by squawking – it does it just for fun. The toddler picks fight with me for the sole reason that I react when it does it. The wife says, “you react to her.”
“What!? Am I not meant to?”
How do I father if I don’t address the issue?
“You give her attention for her bad behaviour. Of course she’s going to play to it.”
“What the fuck?”
How am I not meant to react when challenged to a fight by someone that weighs 12 kilo and isn’t even three-feet tall? It should be an easy win, but I never win. Even the baby knows how to manipulate me and make me look like an arsehole.
It just occurred to me that I might not be that bright after all.

The baby is walking now. Just for that part of the eventual story. (More to come in that saga.)

There is a nightly routine that has formed due to the chaos and it’s called the Nudey Rudey dance. Basically, the kids have their bath of an evening and when they get out, we put on some tunes for them to dance around to in the nude. It’s fun for them and funny for us. I like it as I get to play a lot of rock music when it’s my turn to DJ. Although lately, it’s pretty much just the toddler throwing long-eyes at us and laughing as the baby rocks out with right fist pumping the air while the right foot stomps. They both love AC/DC and prefer my choice of tunes of an evening to their mums. At last! I’m in charge of something and The Wiggles never get a look in.

The Toddler, as those of you who have been playing along will know, has had its own room for a while now. It never sleeps there though. I’ve slept in the toddler’s room more than it has, (those are different tales.) However. One evening, we talked it into sleeping in its own room because all big kids have their own room.
We tricked it. Yes, I felt a little bad about it, but I really wanted to sleep with my wife without a tiny toddler unit kicking the shit out of me all night. It argued with its mother that it wanted an apple while it was meant to be going to sleep. The apple was denied it as it had already had a banana and was simply using the apple as a delay tactic.
Anyway, it started the night in its own room and the wife and I share a careful, hopeful smile. The baby is asleep, and we settle onto the couch to watch a movie.
The movie gets to the good bit and the toddler wakes up due to bad dreams. Fair enough. I go in, as I do when the toddler wakes and I soothe it back to sleep. Arriving back on the couch, I settle in again and nag the wife for a foot rub. No sooner do I have a thumb under the knuckle of my big toe, that I hear a whimper.
“Fuck. No.”
Another whimper.
I head to the toddler’s room and there it is, sitting on the floor, looking glum and putting on its best hard-done-by face. I feel guilty for trying to trick it into its own room as I look at it there on the floor. It looks like the roughest cabbage in the patch. I’m an idiot as we’ve established many a time and I fell for its trickery. I pick it up and carry its whimpering form into the living room as I see the wife roll her eyes at my weakness. I let it curl up on my lap on the couch as we change the channel to a show that is more child appropriate. I feel like the greatest father for those 15 minutes.
Then we all go to bed.
I close my eyes as I smile. I’m thinking of my awesome fathering. Sure, I failed at getting this cabbage-headed demon into its own room – but I did some tender fathering and I should be proud of myself.
Sweet, happy, isolation sleep.
‘CRUNCH!!’ My eyes spring open and I hear the sound of sharp little teeth sliding through a hard fruit – ‘CRUNCH.’
I don’t move, as my foggy head starts asking questions. ‘CHEW, CHEW, CHEW’, but I put the question to the dark, amidst the sound of gnawing. “Do you have an apple?”
‘CRUNCH! CHEW, CHEW, CHEW, “yes.”’
Stay calm bro – I tells myself.
“How did you get the apple?”
“Stashed it.,” Crunch – chew, chew, crunch.
It knew! It knew I would cave and stashed a bloody apple in our bed.
“Please give me the apple.
Crunch. “ No. Hungry.”
I lie in silence for what feels like an eternity as the bed begins to shake. The wife is laughing her ass off and trying not to.
CRUNCH! CHEW, CHEW, CHEW.
I have a sip of water as a light spray of apple juice hits the back of my neck and the wife is crying with laughter.
“Please put the apple away. We all went to bed because you were scared and now, you’re lying there munching.”
“Hungry.” Crunch. Then a fart escapes it. “And I farted.”

FUN FACT: The toddler has caught itself in its own traps more than it’s caught anyone else.

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