Having observed Garrett closely since his second birthday, I’ve come to the conclusion that the perfect age of life is 2. I know everyone warns you about the “Terrible Twos” (and I have a friend who believes that nothing is worse than the “F*@&ing Fours”), but Justin was a breeze at 2 and so is Garrett.
What I like about this age is that everything is new and exciting to Garrett. Simply going outside is an magnificent experience for him. Eating good food is exhilarating. Waking up and seeing garbage trucks outside his window is absolutely mind-blowing. Each and every experience is met with joy and wonder.
However, the one experience that has topped them all is the opening and closing of the garage door at the new house. We had a garage door at the old house, but it was manual. The garage door at the new house is electric!
I won’t tell you how Garrett experiences it. Instead, I’d prefer to show you:
“You either get busy livin’ or get busy bucklin’!”
While in the car (most of my stories tend to start in the car), Justin was having a phone conversation with my father. As he was talking to “Papa Jeff,” he was also continuing to play with his Legos. I must have stopped short at some point because he dropped Lego Iron Man and he was not in a position to get him unless he undid his seatbelt.
The following conversation took place….with my father listening in from Atlanta:
Justin: “Daddy, I dropped Lego Iron Man.”
Me: “It’s ok. I’ll get him when we stop.”
Justin: “No daddy. Can I unbuckle my seatbelt? I can get him.”
Me: “No Justin. I’ll get it.”
Justin: “Pleaseeeeeeeee……Let me unbuckle my seatbelt to get him!”
Me: “Justin, don’t unbuckle your seatbelt. I don’t want to go to jail.”
(At this point, I’m about to be guilty of a parenting fail…but I go on…)
Justin: “Why would you go to jail?”
Me: “Everyone is supposed to wear their seatbelt. If the policeman pulls me over and he sees that you’re not wearing your seatbelt, he’s going to take me to jail.”
Justin: (begins to giggle.)
Me: “Justin….I don’t want to go to jail because I’m afraid of jail.”
(This is where it goes horribly wrong.)
Me: “And I’m afraid that if I went to jail, some guy named Bubba is going to make me his girlfriend.”
Justin: (Erupts in laughter…hearty, gut-busting laughter.)
Me: “I don’t want to be Bubba’s girlfriend….so keep your seatbelt on!”
Justin: (Still laughing) “He’s gonna make you a girl!?!?!?!”
Me: “I dunno, buddy. I imagine that Bubba is pretty big. He might make me a girl!”
Justin: (Continued to laugh so hard that he couldn’t catch his breath.)
The next day, I was asked to assist one of Justin’s teachers with administering an AR Test to a few students. Justin was clearly excited to have me in his classroom because he was almost bouncing off the walls. He was thrilled to show me his projects that were proudly displayed on the walls and hanging from the ceiling.
Finally, he grabbed my hand and guided me up to his teacher’s desk. He excitedly began to tell Mrs. Rubin all about seatbelts and that if he didn’t wear his seatbelt, his daddy was going to become someone’s….(yes, I caught it in time.) I quickly put my hand over his mouth and doubled over laughing. I explained to his teacher that we were having a goofy conversation in the car the previous day.
As I steered Justin back to his chair, I think he got the idea that the conversation wasn’t appropriate because he couldn’t help laughing either. The two of us were giggling like idiots and I was fully expecting to get sent to the Principal’s office (again.)
Hey Hon…were the maids supposed to vacuum under the sofas? Can we get a refund?
If you’ve been a reader of this blog and recently said to yourself, “Hey – that GenXDaddy guy has been slacking off! Where are all the new stories?!?!” I have two things to point out: 1) You should seek help if you find yourself asking rhetorical questions out loud, and 2) Yes, I have been delinquent in adding stories for one very good reason – We’re moving!
That’s right – after 8 years in our house, we’re moving on!
This wasn’t the easiest decision. Yes, we had run out of space…yes, the plumbing sucked…yes, the floor tiles kept coming apart…yes, the hot and cold water faucets were switched…yes, the locks had been broken…yes, the yard had completely died (even with gardeners tending to it) and, yes…we lived across the street from a crack house (excuse me, “Unofficial Halfway House.”) But, it was our home.
And, yes – it is the house that was broken into by four thieves in the middle of the afternoon while we were at work. But, they were arrested INSIDE the house and we did end up making an extra $25 dollars in prison restitution money – so, that’s a plus!
In an attempt to bring closure to this chapter in our lives, my mother suggested something that she had done whenever she was moving around as a child. She told me that she and her sisters used to write messages to the house on the walls as a “goodbye.” I thought it was a brilliant idea, so we wrote messages to our house as well:
This is what we wrote in Justin’s room.
These notes to the house are self-explanatory!
We are moving on and we’re just now getting settled into our new home. I’m excited about the new memories we will make here and I’m looking forward having enough square footage so that I don’t have to step on Legos in the middle of the night!