Sunday, December 27, 2015


My son can now read. Almost everything.

This morning I found my son stuffing fistfuls of Trader Joe's Pumpkin O's into his underpants. I very quickly told him how disgusting that was. "Shame on you Owen. Nobody in their right mind should be doing anything with pumpkin flavored cereal." I didn't feel it necessary to tell him that at Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke deliberately left out pumpkin-flavored food out of Nine and a Half Weeks for good reason. By the way - take stock a second and think about how that movie is THIRTY YEARS OLD. Anyway - turns out that he'd packed a Ziploc bag of the foul cereal last time he was at his mother's house. It'd been knocking about in his backpack since Halloween. His sister - well educated in just how repellent I find pumpkin flavored things - gave him a disapproving head shake. I swear she even closed her eyes a touch just to really ram home how much shame he should feel.

Obviously I did get around to asking why he felt that the need to fill his knickers with Cheerios. What possible motivation he might have. I fought back any images of an elephant picking up a bun. That would be quite a stretch - in more ways than one. Although frankly if he could then hold each Cheerio up to his mouth with his trouser-truncheon I couldn't in good conscience tell him that was something he should stop. Although it would sadly poke at any doubts I may have that he's actually my child. Granted I do have ears like Dumbo - but that's not really what I'm getting at here. So I asked him what he was up to. His answer was chilling. "I saw it on your computer, Daddy."

Now - technically speaking - that could quite honestly be true. I rapidly tried to think about anything I'd been looking at recently. I couldn't quite think of any cereal-based porn I may have either been cheeky enough to have a glimpse of whilst the kids were with me. Nor any deviant, breakfast
titillation I may have inadvertently been subjected to by any of the "friends" I know that spend a good portion of the day posting photographs of people doing things that they would need a good wash after doing. After thinking very quickly my mind rested on this.

Now, I knew I hadn't actually seen that particular image for about a month. But I was fairly certain I hadn't had that up on my laptop screen at any point when the kids had been at mine. And just to clear tis up - I wasn't looking at that for myself. Instead it was a general Facebook question a friend of mine had about how they were having a drink and dinner party at their house after moving across the US. Mainly with friends but also with inviting a few of the new neighbors - and they wondered if it was appropriate or not to whip this game out later in the evening. If you're interested the vote was more or less split down the middle with a few people suggesting Pie Face instead. I made the point that whichever game they chose it did appear that some people would end up with cream spattered all over their faces at some point.

So I ruled that out. Besides - the idea that my son had inadvertently seen that silliness and reduced that down to pouring Cheerios all over his willy didn't give me any sense of pride at all. So I breezily asked him what he meant. And he said that I'd left my computer open on "the thing you write on when you think of something". Meaning the enormous long, list of random nonsense I type onto a draft Blogger page. Most of which involves long, complicated means of figuring out what I've been thinking about. Good, bad, happy, sad - all of it jotted down as a means of thinking about it. But also on that page are quick lines and phrases. Some funny or some that I just like. And then I remembered what he'd seen.

Years ago I made up a list of monsters that my daughter and I would fight. And recently I'd decided that I'd try to boil that down to a short story of it's own. And had tried - very poorly I'm willing to admit - to add to that original list (I still think hiding under a duvet because we're being attacked by The Chocolate Chip Chicken and LL Cool J is utter genius). And - as my son helpfully pointed out - two of the names he'd seen were the The Underpants Onion (I swear I can kind of smell what that would smell like...) and "A Willy Full Of Cheerios."

Which is where you should stop and be eternally grateful that I discovered my son when I did. Because that description is painfully (seriously..) clear about where said Cheerios should be about one's person. And no matter how proud I am of my son. Nor how sometimes I just look at that boy and think, "he's a good kid - we've done alright there." It would take a shockingly long period of self examination to understand what kind of parenting fail led to my son wedging pumpkin-flavored cereal under his foreskin.

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