So, funny story. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Some of you have. When my boy was about 8 months old, about that time children start to mimic what you say. You say “Dah Dah” he says in his 8 month old angelic voice, “dah dah”. Lovely. It was just coming up on his 1st birthday, I think. Maybe 2nd. I thought they talked before 2. Oh, and there’s a blow dryer powered Santa. He comes back around later. I digress.
So it’s the day of a crazy storm. We musta got 10? And that was just that morning. I headed out to get the kid from daycare. We gets his boots on and hugs goodbye, and down the road we go. Woo hoo. It was then I saw her.
She was waiting to pull out. Maybe she lived there. Maybe she just robbed it. (Her car was nice for a robber, but maybe she was good at it.) She looked me square in the eyes and pulled out in front of me.
I panic. I’m coming in -hot-. I’ve been here before. I know what’s going to happen. The sound of crunching metal. Any second. Any second…. Any second?
Holy shit, thank you anti lock brakes and aggressive tread mud and snows. I had 1/2 an inch to spare.
As I’m shaking it off I look and she’s looking at me in the rear view mirror. Perhaps wondering how I managed to avoid turning her trunk into an eggo. So, I very carefully mouthed out to her exactly the impression that kind of driving has on someone bringing their very small child home from daycare in a snowstorm.
(The badword rhymes with what football teams typically do on fourth down when they are too far away to kick a field goal. I’m not proud of it. I used to partake of that word profusely, but have learned that it’s not very nice and has bad connotations. Ignorance is no excuse and I will beg forgiveness some other day. Point is, I knew how bad that word is when I used it on her, making it even more insulting in my opinion. Which is why I used it.)
And then what do I hear from the back seat? He even got the emotion right. A beautiful, angelic, 8 month old “Fucking [BADWORD]!” Turns out I did a little more than mouth it. At once I start laughing. It’s kinda funny to hear that, all angry, from an angelic little person voice.
Then I realized the implications. It would have been clear to anyone close to the situation that he did not learn that at day care. Nor would it be something he’d pick up from his mother. Nosirrree. There was only once place he’d learn that foul shit.
Daddy. And he’s laughing. Rut Roh Raggy.
I got about 4 deep into the ways his mother would kill me, all slow and painful. One involved vise grips. I know right? Where’d that come from. I don’t know.
I panic again. That’s twice in the space of 10 or 15 seconds. Life happens fast. And I am scrambling. I’m that kid in A Christmas Story when his mom shoves soap in his mouth and wants to know where he learned the F bomb. (The mother of all swears? I beg to differ.) I am in a hole and there is No. Way. Out. What do I do what do I do what do I do what do I do?
Then I see floopy gyrating needs-methadone blow dryer Santa. And I say “Look Buddy! It’s Santa! Have you been good?” And he says, “Jakey good SANTA!”
(Is that light I see? Don’t kid yourself bub. You’re dead, you just don’t know it yet. )
“Look at the sun! Pretty in the trees, right buddy?” “Pretty in TREES.”
(Is it really real? I might live to see 35 after all.)
Then I broke into “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and he tried his best and bobbed his head.
(35, here we come.)
He never said it again, at least not in front of me. And it was a merry Christmas. Everyone.