Fun with Daddy!

I love our son. I really do! I love my wife, too, even when she abandons me to the mayhem of our little tornado.

Jessica and I had managed to drag ourselves out of bed for one of our too-infrequent morning yoga sessions. Afterward, it was time for a relaxing shower before settling in for a day of work-at-home.

I'd say that about 1 in 4 of my morning showers is accompanied at some point by drastic fluctuations in water temperature. Maybe it has something to do with our plumbing, but even a dribble of water for the cat in the sink seems to change the shower temp by 50 degrees or so. God help me if Jess decides to run some laundry or the dishwasher.

Now, Jessica will probably disagree, but I believe I am afflicted with a rare medical condition that causes drastic changes in temperature directly on my skin to be really painful. (I'm open to the idea that I may have just misplaced my Man Card somewhere along the way.) Touch me with cold hands, and it hurts! I'm reduced to squealing like a (really tall) schoolgirl. Same goes for hot water. Co-showering sounds romantic, but our water temp preferences are just too different.

So I'm enjoying a relaxing shower this morning, and Hollis is running around like a maniac. I figure Jessica has one eye on him. I feel the water go hot, and almost manage to dodge the blast while yelling, "Jessica! What are you doing??" Someday she'll remember not to co-opt my water supply...

Then I see a little blue blob outside the shower door, and I hear "DA-DA! DA-DA!"

I don't know if you've ever felt powerless (and emasculated) by a 16-month-old, but it ain't fun. I'm babbling with Hollis and watching him run around the bathroom, and then I'm hit with the realization of what is going on. Hollis heads for the toilet, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I try distracting him by tossing water at the shower door.

"Hey Hollis! Woo-hoo! Look at the water!"

Hollis giggles and grabs the toilet handle. Whoosh! He squeals in delight, and I squeal like the aforementioned schoolgirl.


No answer.

"Jessica! Come get your son!"

Now Hollis is stripping the toilet paper roll. But hey, at least the water is getting back to normal. Is it safe to wash my face yet? Just as I fully commit to the soap, I see Hollis heading back toward the toilet.

"Hey Hollis!" I yell with my eyes closed. "What're you doing? Come here! Go play with the TP roll! Anything but what you're about to do!"

Whoosh! Giggle.

I blindly turn the temp down, and congratulate myself on my quick reflexes. My pride is offset by the realization that I must look completely ridiculous, trying to entice my toddler away from the toilet in one of the most vulnerable settings imaginable. (There's a reason horror movies use showers...)

I manage to get most of the soap off, but then the toilet stops filling and the temp drops by about 100 degrees. I let loose the squeal that had been waiting to get out, and turn the water temp back up.

By now, I'm yelling for Jessica again, but I don't want to yell too loud. Wouldn't want to upset the little monster that holds the shiny chrome key to pain and humiliation in his pudgy little hand. No, we wouldn't want that. I try to entice Hollis away from the toilet again, but he's having none of it. All I can do is try to get done as quickly as possible while he mercifully keeps the toilet running consistently.

By some miracle, Hollis tires of his little game, grabs a wad of toilet paper, and runs off to find his mama. After I dry off, I go out to the kitchen, and Jessica is sitting at the table.

"Did you hear me yelling for you?"

"No, what did you need?"

"Never mind."

Has anyone seen my Man Card?


  1. Wait... they gave *you* a man card?!?!?