Adventures with the Toddler – Chapter Twenty: Casa De Obstacle.

Obstacles. Life has them – especially in love, sex and careers. Like my emails that must be hitting the junk folder of all I’m writing to as I do my best Bob Hoskins – “Got a job?”

The wintery silence that follows my question aside – what has me on my toes at the moment, is the gauntlet that is our home. Not a bloody day goes by that I’m not stepping on something. Lego! those shitty little pieces one can only spot if they’re 20 and some kind of ninja. I’m stepping on dolls, rabbits, cars, bits of wood, bottle tops, a London taxi, whathefuckisthats, sample containers, plastic animals, wet tissues – you name it – if it’s been made for or come from a child, then I’ve stepped on it or in it.

I came home tonight covered in sawdust, sweat and whatever the weird fucker on the tram sneezed on me. I was also very out of breath from trying to keep the dreams afloat. No sooner do I step in the door than I trip over Scott Morrison lying across the doorway like a frigging trip-wire. “Scott Morrison” is a clown on a stick that beats a little drum when in motion – so the name works. I hit the floor with an earth-shattering kaboom – rattling my teeth, joints and fun bits and offer a curse to the Gods as I peel my front teeth off the rug and suck-in a snot bubble. I have dirt in my eye, sore knees, probably a displaced hip. But to top it off – there’s no one home to rush to me and fawn. One day, the toddler will unknowingly put down a toy that will end me. The years will pass quickly as they do as the Great Animator shifts the cells of those I love into the future to my inevitable funeral. Along the way – the toddler will continue to grow and look at the fading photos on the walls of the smiling fat wanker as I slowly fade from memory, until the toddler that is now a tenager asks the question – “how did da die?”

The wife will have a planned story for this very moment – that is unless the teenager has been an utter annoyance and the wife forgets her prepared speech and snaps – “you killed him with that troll doll!”

Poor da. Came home from a hard days work covered in sawdust, sweat, the sneeze of a madman and died after tripping over a toll doll.


I’ve seen some weird things in my time on this rock led by clowns on sticks. Being in “the arts” as they say and knowing a higher percentage of people who were on “the drugs,” as they say – I have been front and centre for some really weird human behaviour. I still laugh my ass off at what the naked ape will do when under the influence of anything that makes it not itself. Humans fascinate and bewilder me.

I met a guy when I was 17 that firmly believed he was Spock. He was adamant that he was Spock and he was telling me all about his adventures on the Enterprise and all the worlds he had seen. It was amazing! He didn’t shut up for an hour. He then got bored of where we were and called on Scotty to beam him up. To him – Scotty did beam up and the drunk tank we were sitting in was the frigging Enterprise. Then my day got even weirder until I managed to get home and had to explain to my parents how I ended up in the drunk tank. On a school night.

I met a breatharian when I was a mere slip of a youth of 20. I was thinking the bloke down the road that dripped hot wax on cockroaches to capture them in various death poses to make a chess set was an A-class nutter, but the breatharian pulled-up his cotton shorts, showing good separation and grinned. His one goal in life was to live on air. I was curious as to how such a feat could be accomplished and asked him the question – “how may such a feat be accomplished?” His reply was the air would simply flow through him, into his mouth and out his ass. I chortled at that as I already thought he was full of wind. Apparently the lungs can filter all manner of plant and creature that exist in the air – like plankton. His lungs simple absorb the readily available nutrition – and yes, for those playing along at home and a little quicker on the uptake, I did ask the question – “well, if that’s true, why do any of us need to eat then.?” He had an answer! Because one needed to prepare themselves correctly to a-tune to the air. I wished him all the best with his breathy thing and promised to check in on him. I called around a couple of weeks later as he had one of my books. No one answered. I tried again a week later and the place looked empty. He had either ascended or moved.

Now – what does any of this have to with owning a toddler I hear you yell. “This is a toddler page, where’s the toddler, we want to know about the toddler. Why you no talk about the toddler human?”

Hold your horses.

So – just with those examples of weirdness that I have witnessed – what I saw the other night was hands down the most, the complete, the gold label in oddness I have ever seen my child involved in.

Let me tell you all about it.

The wife and toddler have a game where the toddler pretends that it’s a dog. You read that correctly. Now, please picture me witnessing what I am about to witness without an explanation. Yesterday, I watched the toddler walks on all fours and sniff at things. No big deal, it’s a weirdo. Then it climbs on the dining room table and I tell it off. Fair enough right? But you know what? It was dog toddler who had climbed on the table. Dog toddler gets told “bad dog, don’t climb on the furniture!” Dog toddler barks at its mother and continues to do exactly as it wants – but in dog mode! What in the crazy hell is this new oddness? They play this game for 5 minutes and I’m an open-mouthed moron as the toddler gets to every naughty thing it wants to do and gets away with because it’s dog toddler! As its role play, somehow it gets to climb on all the stuff we don’t want it to climb on and do all the bad things we don’t want it to do. One guess as to who invented the game. This toddler thing is frigging Skynet.

My mistake was thinking this crazy horseshit was limited to the wife and toddler in the safety of the living room. I was given a list and sent to the supermarket. The todler wanted to come – cool. We get to the lights and the toddler sits down and starts panting. I side-eye the woman next to us and a smile slides out of the corner of my face that is part apology and part Peeeee Herman. Then the toddler takes it up a notch. “Tell me when to go da.”

The lights change and I say “onward” as I pretend this is totally normal. The toddler woofs the entire way across the road – on all fours as I try to make it stand and stop pretending to be a dog.

We make it across the road and the road and the woman pats the toddler on the head. “What a well behaved doggy.” The toddler woofs and pants and I wish I was Monkey and could summon a cloud to flee.

The magpies are still around. One came inside yesterday to hang with the toddler and taste a tasty morsel from the toddler’s plate. The toddler and the magpie are cool, they’re hanging out, watching Peppa Pig together as the magpie chows down on the toddlers uneatens. Then the wife walks in the room and freaks out the bird that flies into the window and shits itself. Then the toddler yells at it, “naughty magpie. You poo on the potty.”

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