You may have noticed that the blog has been a tad quiet of late, and that’s because the family has been doing a little traveling.
We drove up north. We drove because we wanted to stay flexible, schedule-wise, and because airlines inexplicably charge full-price once your kid turns two-years-old so he can have a seat. But I’d gladly let him sit on my lap for two hours. Deal with occasionally getting kicked, fatso next to me!
The driving made the travel longer, made the use of the computer impossible (hence reduced blog posts), and made me question why I didn’t put my son in a kennel because he’s the one child on earth who doesn’t sleep in the car and man does he get annoying!
But a funny thing happened near the end of the trip.
We spent a week with family and friends, and then I went to Nantucket for a friend’s bachelor party – a three-day affair without the wife and child. It was a lot of fun. And drinking. Drinking took up a lot of my time. Of course, there were some moments when I wasn’t drinking or drunk or about to drink or hungover, and during those moments I often found myself thinking about my son. (I thought about my wife too; this ain’t no Hilary Swank junk!)
Absence didn’t necessarily make the heart grow fonder – I love my kid and that doesn’t fluctuate in either direction, good days or bad – but it definitely made the mind forget the bullshit. When I thought about Detective Munch, I thought about the good stuff and none of the bad. And at two-years-old, there’s a fair amount of bad.
I forgot about the disgusting hassle of potty-training; the disgusting hassle of dinner time; the disgusting hassle of teeth brushing; the infuriating struggle to discipline him; the infuriating struggle to get him to bed; etc. (See MY ENTIRE BLOG for more details.) I forgot the inconvenient parts of having a toddler and remembered only the fun parts, like teaching him to swing a bat and watching him play his guitar and tickling him until he can’t breath and teaching him to say “Pain don’t hurt.” Such rose-colored thoughts made me miss him.
Kids are tricky like that. They manipulate even when they aren’t manipulating. Biology sets your default mode to “my kid’s the best” even when you’re kid is being the worst, so it’s easier to forgive the little brute for screaming at you and throwing his food in your face than it should be.
When they’re babies, they use their cuteness as camoflauge. As two-year-olds, when they can be flat-out hard to like, they’ll manage to accidentally do something so stupid it’s funny, or say something so innocent it’s the sweetest thing in the world. And those highs usually outweigh the lows. Like when I got back to my son and he gave me a big hug that lasted three minutes, and I just ignored the smell coming from his pants.
So I definitely missed the little guy, the same way an amputee misses a limb (except that limbs are really useful and toddlers are… the opposite of useful.) So even though the rose-colored thoughts faded as soon as we got in the car and the DVD player died, I’m glad I’m back. I’m so used to my son always being around – it’s like he depends on me for everything! – that it was just plain strange during those few days that he wasn’t.
Of course, it wasn’t always strange – I wasn’t missing shit during my lapdance! But every so often, mid-partying, something would remind me of my son, and I’d get a little sad. Like when the stripper brought her toddler on stage with her.