Why I’ll answer to just about any name.

Yesterday I bamaged my drain.
It was the first nice day in thirteen months, the first really sunny, no jacket, oh-my-I-can’t-believe-how-nice-it-is day in a long time. Obviously, this meant I should go with my five-year-old son to the park while wearing my winter pea coat. He had a scarf on. And a winter jacket. With hood. Up.
The coats and scarves and hoods didn’t last long.
At the playground we ran into two of my son’s friends from school. They played well together, attacking me and the other dads. We were zords, or some-such, something big and horrible that they either fought or drove. At one point it was clear that the kids were playing by proxy, as another dad and I were being “steered” so that we could fight one another. The boys weren’t doing anything other than telling us what to do.
After an afternoon at the park we headed home, got a bite to eat, and my son casually asked how babies are made. As I tried to remain calm while giving him an answer he picked up his kazoo and began to hum Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Two thoughts went through my head. “I should just show him a Lady Gaga video to answer his baby question,” and “Why is the school handing out kazoos?” (When he brought the kazoo home he ran around for twenty minutes buzzing like a three foot tall worker bee. He proudly showed me the kazoo and explained that the school music teacher had given everyone a kazoo with the instructions that “We were supposed to take them home, not leave them at school.” I said I could understand why. “Why?” he asked. Because sixty kindergartners humming on kazoos at the same time would probably peel the paint off the walls. “No,” he said, shaking his head at his poor, stupid father, “It’s so we don’t lose them.” Uh-huh.)
So I am explaining how an ovum forms and he’s humming Lady Gaga. I interrupt myself to ask, “Did they teach you that at school, or did you figure it out yourself?” Good news: he figured it out himself. Bad news: he figured it out himself.
It’s about this time that I notice he looks rather red in the face. And my head is kind of… radiating. I look in the mirror. I have a doozy of a sunburn. It’s still early April and I’ve roasted my brain. Both of us have sunburns, are lethargic and crabby. Lady Gaga’s not helping, and neither is explaining how cell’s divide. I declare that, “I am making dinner and we’re putting away the kazoo.”
After dinner and some stories my son falls asleep quickly. I am happy for some quiet time and figure I’ll get some writing done, but my skull has other plans. While misjudging the distance between my head and a door frame I effectively gave the wall a headbutt as if I intended to see what the inside of the wall looked like. The inside of my head sounded like clicking teeth, and the room turned gray and swirled. I spent the evening making goofy comments on Twitter and wondering if I would ever remember my phone number.
So that’s where I am this morning. My brain has been fried, clubbed and divided by Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and Sex Ed questions from a five-year-old. No wonder I just turned around when someone yelled, “Hey, Toby!”
(posted by… uh… uh oh.)

9 thoughts on “Why I’ll answer to just about any name.

  1. Kids often ask the important questions while you’re completely distracted and not expecting it. I suspect it’s a plot to confound the adults
    I’ve whacked my head pretty good a few times in recent months. Once, on a kitchen table. Another time on the door to my dress, which hurt like hell.
    Try not to give yourself a concussion. šŸ˜‰ And put aloe on your sunburn.

  2. Kids often ask the important questions while you’re completely distracted and not expecting it. I suspect it’s a plot to confound the adults
    I’ve whacked my head pretty good a few times in recent months. Once, on a kitchen table. Another time on the door to my dresser, which hurt like hell.
    Try not to give yourself a concussion. šŸ˜‰ And put aloe on your sunburn.

  3. Since I stabbed myself in my own eye and nearly took out my right shoulder on a wall yesterday, I am of course laughing with you not at you, Toby. I’m also pretty sure I’ll ever hear Bad Romance without thinking of this.

  4. Hi, toby! Sorry about the sunburn thing; but I loved your post. I don’t know what goes on the minds of little boys but I suspect they’re on timers. As soon as they hit the age of 4 or 5, suddenly, it’s time to ask The. Most. Embarrassing. Question.
    Evah.
    When my youngest was that age he walked in on me in the bathroom, zeroed right in on the nether region and his eyes popped.
    “Where is your penis?!”
    “I don’t have one. I’m a girl.”
    His eyebrows knitted together while he considered that. “Did it break?”
    I answered his questions, he went off to play, but apparently, I didn’t answer them well enough. The next day, while on line at the grocery store, he asked the follow up question. “Will your penis ever grow back?”
    In a loud, outdoor voice.
    Conveyor belts stopped, shoppers packing food into bags turned toward me, even the announcements on the loudspeaker stopped as the entire grocery store wondered if I was transgender.
    This was 2000 and my face is still red.
    I never shopped at that store again.

  5. Apparently, I put the comment through twice. Erm…
    Patty: Oh.my.god. That is a very funny story, and I distinctly remember embarrassing my parents (both of them!) in a similar fashion as a child. I think that might rule number one of children: ask mortifying questions, very loudly, in public.

  6. I was wondering why He was telling his cousins this weekend that if we put the 2 salamanders they were “playing with” in a container together “the sperm and egg would meet and there would be 3 in the morning cause they would have a baby! well done, love the story.

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