Monday, March 4th, 2013
2 years, 3 months.
We have been pumping you up for weeks now about Shipwrecked, an indoor playhouse in the Nashville area.
You indeed had plenty of fun- you are already asking when you can go back:
“I go Shipwrecked again? I drive the car? It’s mine?”
However, judging by the look on your face in this picture, the word “fun” wouldn’t necessarily be the first adjective to come to mind.
How about crotchety? Irritable? Cranky?
Despite a big pirate ship playground, train tables, dress up rooms, and toys all over the place, you spent about 97% of your time on the Fred Flintstone-style Lightning McQueen car, which you were nearly too big for.
If this picture of you depicts a 2 year-old boy who claimed ownership over one of the playground’s community cars, then used it to plow through the toys and other kids, causing Daddy to serve as some sort of safety watchman as I followed you back and forth across the place, then I would say the picture above serves the event justice.
If by chance the picture depicts a 2 year-old boy who drove like a mean old-man on his way to beat the lunch crowd at Shoney’s, then this picture captured the moment accurately.
So why were you only in the car for 97% percent of the time? That’s because you spent the other 3% of the time in the playhouse’s two ball pits.
But each time you slipped out of the car, it was a paranoia-laced situation.
You had to carefully shut the car door, discouraging any other kid from stealing your ride.
You always parked two steps away from the ball pit, then leaped overboard, like in every movie I’ve never seen about international spies.
Fortunately, for my sake, I didn’t have to break up any toddler fist fights. That’s because no other kid dared get near “your” car.
Monday, August 15th, 2011
For nearly a month now, Jack has been going to day care as my wife and I have returned to our jobs here in Nashville. I work only a block away from where he is all day, so I’m the one to chauffeur him an hour round trip five days a week.
Those “Baby on Board” suction cup signs on cars always crack me up. I’m only pretty sure that a careless driver isn’t going to have the gumption to read one of those signs, then stop and think, “Oh! That car has a baby inside. Man, I need to slow down and focus.” Or maybe there’s some secret society of people playing bumper cars with their cars out on the highway and they only break for vehicles with the “Baby on Board” signs.
Needless to say, there is no little plastic yellow sign stuck on a window of my Honda Element, but I do indeed drive a vehicle containing precious cargo. With my baby on board, I feel like his bodyguard. The Pope has the Popemobile; Jack has his Toaster on Wheels, his Big Green Lunch Box, his Wind-Up Toy Car- your choice.
I know there are cities with crazier drivers in America, but for those 60 minutes a day I drive him around in Nashville, I have to assume that every other person is a maniac who is drinking their fifth 5-Hour Energy drink and Tweeting on their phone while I drive alongside them. I have to assume that at any given moment, a startled deer will jump out in front of the car. I have to assume that Wile E. Coyote poured a bucket of Acme grease on the road in front of me in attempt to catch the Roadrunner.
In the meantime, Jack is asleep half the time as I jam out to any given Weezer album. As for the time he’s awake, I assume he’s like me: in deep thoughts about A) the unfortunate impossibilities of time travel, B) whether or not God likes the music of Dave Matthews Band; if so, what is His favorite song, and C) who would win in a fight- A.C. Slater from Saved By the Bell or Uncle Jesse from Full House?
For now, Jack’s vocabulary doesn’t extend past “dada,” “mehm-mehm-mehm-mehm,” and “ba-ba-ba-ba.”. But eventually, he and I will be able to have some normal conversations during the morning and afternoon car rides. I can ask him what he learned in pre-school that day.
Until then, we’re both just sort of in our shared solitude, looking in opposite directions. Every so often though, I turn around real quick to make sure he hasn’t somehow escaped his car seat and wandered off. Then I see those happy little feet and know that my baby is still on board.
Look how cool Honda Elements are! The back seats can fold up and into the side of the car or all the way back (as seen in the picture of this one).
Categories: Deep Thoughts, Home Life, Nostalgia, People, Story Bucket, Storytelling | Tags: baby on board, baby's first words, chauffeur, dada, daddy blog, Dave Matthews Band, driving, Full House, funny, God, Honda Element, humorous, male bonding, Nashville, Saved by the Bell, taxi, Weezer