Laugh Lines: Rough Love
Parenthood is an experience filled with moments of joy, love and repeatedly being hit in the face. In fact, when assessing the violence levels of contact sports, many people rank parenting just above field hockey.
Our son, Max, tends to make sudden movements when he sleeps. He has the same restful demeanor as someone who has been drinking coffee since noon the previous day. Thus, if you are lying or sitting next to him when he nods off, you are likely to receive some hits and kicks. One minute everything is at peace. The next you are in a Jackie Chan film.
Occasionally on the weekend we will take a family nap. We just all feel wiped out after a long, hard week. Either that or our house has a gas leak. We never need to set an alarm because it won't be long before Michele or I am hit in the eyeball. As alarm clocks go, Max's spasms are slightly less gentle than having someone tip a bookcase on you. We would protect ourselves, but it is difficult to sleep while wearing a hockey mask.
Also, being a young boy with a lot of energy, when Max is awake, he tends to make the same kind of grand gestures you would expect from a Disney character after multiple energy drinks. Every time he points, it is with a big sweep of one of his arms, like he is suddenly re-enacting a professional tennis match. Give him a racket and a number of things to point at and he could win Wimbledon.
Occasionally, we have taken Max on those little trains they have at parks and fairs. They look like someone accidentally shrank an Amtrak vehicle in the laundry. "I told you not to put the locomotive in the dryer."
These train rides inevitably pass by a number of things that excite Max, such as water fountains, merry-go-rounds or some guy wearing blue. As a result, Max does a lot of pointing and afterward either Michele or I need to visit an emergency care center. "Daddy is going on a ride called the CT Scan."
Despite all of this, it can be quite sweet to watch Max sleep or get excited about something he sees. And Michele and I are getting very good at knowing when to duck.
When not working or spending time with his wife and son, Cris enjoys writing as a form of therapy. A collection of the columns he wrote before moving to Cary are included in his book, Staying Crazy to Keep From Going Insane.