For the past two weeks on the way home from school, the two of us have been swinging by Walmart each day. Why?
Not because you, a nearly 2 and a half year-old boy, are zeroed in on finding a certain elusive toy, but because your 32 year-old dad is.
The exact toy I am referring to is none other than a $8.97 monster truck, exclusive to Walmart: The I-Screamer, which is an ice cream monster truck.
This basic $8.97 version is so elusive that I couldn’t even find a picture or video of him on the Internet. Oy vey!
As you know, Mater wrestles and defeats the I-Screamer in Mater’s Tall Tales.
I don’t want the big, fancy, action-packed version that costs 20 bucks or more. I just want the cheap one that is comparable in size to your favorite black one, that you carry my old Micro Machines in.
Working in the logistics side of the transportation industry, I know that most dry goods are moved out of the warehouses by the end of the month, to prepare for the new month.
So that means… the I-Screamer is waiting there in the back of the store right now; it’s just a matter of the new shipment being stocked on the shelves.
Therefore, you and I show up every single day, hoping that today is the day. In fact, today we went before and after I took you to school. No luck.
Not to mention, I’ve got your Nana, back in Alabama, as well as your friend Sophie’s mom, looking for the I-Screamer for us.
I’m trying to figure out why I’m so obsessed with getting myself, I mean, you, a monster ice cream truck that sort of resembles a crazy clown.
All I can think of is this: Back in high school, one of my favorite bands was The Smashing Pumpkins. The video for their song, “Today,” features the band driving around in an ice cream truck.
I even considered buying an old ice cream truck from one of my uncles, as my first car when I was 16. It didn’t end up actually happening, but I suppose I’ve never really let go of my love for ice cream trucks, and that was half my life ago.
When our family is travelling anywhere, whether it’s a 20 minute drive into the next neighborhood of Nashville or a 2 hour drive across the Tennessee state line, I know my role: I am the civilized chauffeur.
You and Mommy, on the other hand, well, that’s a whole different story.
While I’m in my own peaceful world in the driver’s seat, semi-sedated in a serene trance thanks to the likes of Fountain of Wayne’s Hackensack, there’s a party going on in the back.
There you are, with your black sunglasses with skulls, in the midst of doing a photo shoot for the linear notes of your next rock album.
As for Mommy, she’s only encouraging the total Gangnam style, complete with good times and tomfoolery.
I learn so much of what really goes on in our family by looking through the pictures on the camera, days after the pictures are taken.
It’s rare that Mommy drives while I’m in the backseat with you; the main reason being I want to give Mommy a chance to have fun with you and not worry about having to concentrate on something serious.
Obviously, it works- as you can see in this picture which she is not aware I am making public.
I’ve never thought about it until now, but it’s usually the other way around.
Usually it’s me chasing you around the house like I’m a rabies-infected jaguar while Mommy is busy doing the important stuff, like cooking dinner.
But when it comes to the family drive, I’m the serious one and Mommy is the one who gets to tickle and tease you.
I suppose, by default, Mommy and I have learned to take turns when it comes to who is playing the business role and who is hosting the party with you.
Seldom are the times where we all three get to all be loud goofballs together, or just as important, when we all three get to chill out on the couch watching Mater’s Tall Tales; which is your new favorite obsession on Netflix.
Just like the importance of budgeting our money, it’s very important that we budget quality time together as a family.
Mommy and I value our time with you: We are aware of all the cliches that “they grow up too fast.”
With that in my mind, we as your 31 year-old parents regularly remind ourselves the importance of not acting like grown-ups with you, all the time.
We like pretending to be a kid, like you. It’s a good perspective.