It’s one in the morning on the Gold Coast as I write this. I arrived at Coolangatta airport on Thursday morning and got an Uber to Mt. Tamborine. My Uber driver rated me below 5 stars for a reason I can’t comprehend. My passenger rating is now lower than my driver rating. My driver rating is crazy high (flips hair back) and well beyond his. So far beyond in fact – he could never catch me. You’re a 4.82 mate and I’m a 4.98 – pffft. I hold no bitterness though – YOU BASTARD!
After getting over my initial impulse to punish the prick in some way – I moved on and headlong into work.
When I was young – I yearned for adventure. I loved to see different places and when I got to fly to different cities on a company dime I thought life couldn’t get any better. Then one day I met the cabbage-head that sleeps in the middle of the bed. The very same cabbage-head that deliberately sings the song “Bingo” wrong by pronouncing the B as a P because it knows it annoys me. The same toddler person that is refusing to speak to me over FaceTime because it is punishing me for leaving it. Since Thursday, it has been punishing me and it really hurts – because just before I left, we had so much fun together.
Thursday morning the toddler and I went to Woolworths for a loaf of bread and eggs. It had been awake for fifteen seconds when I asked it if it wanted to come to the shops with me. It responded with an enthusiastic yes and jumped into my arms. We belted down the stairs with it still in its jimmy-jams and headed for the shops. Placing it in the trolley, we preceded to race around the supermarket in our drag-cart that was complete with sound effects of gear-changes and drifting rattles. I even made the sounds as the turbo kicks in. We screamed with joy as we roared and weaved our way through trolleys, carts the guys stacking the shelves still had out, an unimpressed entitled knob-end and the odd customers one meets in a supermarket at 7 in the morning. The toddler and I raced around the supermarket like it was the freaking Nuremberg track. I was sad I would be leaving it within a couple of hours and it was ecstatic it was having so much fun with its childish father.
At the checkout it wanted me to apply the brake to the trolley in case it raced off again as the girl serving us got a twang in her ovaries. The toddler had its cute head on and was interacting with her. The toddler walked away with a gift and a new fan.
We returned home and made breakfast. The toddler on its kitchen stool / ladder telling me how to make the eggs properly – “I don’t like the yolk da”. I tried to explain to it that I had to go away for a bit for work. It was silent for a moment before it made a choice.
“No darling. I need you to stay here and help mama.”
“No. I come with you da.”
I packed the last of my bag and it climbed into it, trying to button itself in so it could come on the plane with me.
As we drove to the airport it got excited. We’d recently taken it to watch the planes come in to land and take-off as it likes planes. So to the toddler – going to the airport is fun as hell. As we pulled into the departure lane I felt the toddlers mood deflate a little. I kissed the wife farewell then said farewell to the toddler person. It knew this wasn’t news in its favour, da was leaving. I kissed it and gave it a cuddle and the tears hammered within my head as it stayed silent – letting me know it felt I had betrayed it. Could I trust the wife to make its eggs correctly while I was away? How was it going to warm its feet during the night if I wasn’t in bed? Where could it rest its legs if my head wasn’t available? How would it go sharing my pillow if my noggin wasn’t on it. Who would be there to catch it when it tried to dive off the bed? Would the wife wake at the exact same time as the toddler when it needed a drink of water? These are real concerns.
Every moment since getting on that plane I have missed it. Even though there has been awesome news in the process, “we want to buy your script”. It doesn’t rise above my missing the toddler person. The toddler that now flatly refuses to speak to me when I FaceTime it as it thinks I’ve abandoned it and it needs to punish me. That stubborn bloody streak it has.
I have had my heart broken in relationships, family, lost friends and deals that have gone bad – but nothing compares to the pain of the toddler refusing to speak to me.
TO BE CONTINUED: