Now, my in-laws are in town, so I gotta entertain them, and pretend to be a dutiful son-in-law. Also, there's that damn World Cup. It keep sucking me in. And the games are happening right at the best time for me to write. So, lots of excuses, but I'm not giving up. I'm still doing my best to write.
We're back for day seven of this adventure. Today, I wrote 1,363 words. Putting me at 7,694 in total.
Oh, I had one thing that I wanted to ask. Regardless of whether you have anything to say or not, if you are reading the story, will you please comment. You don't have to say anything about the story, or anything. Just say hi. I'm just curious what the reach on it might be. Some people comment about it here or there on Facebook and the like. But I'd like to see if we can nail it down. Anyway, here's today's chunk o' writin':
Trevon grew and progressed at a rapid pace, as babies tend to do. He learned so much so fast that it always amazed Oscar. He started rolling more competently. Front to back, and then back to front. Then he started rolling to get himself around. If Simi left his rattle out of his reach, he would roll himself around until he could reach it. Then he started doing it just for the sheer joy of moving and being in charge of where he was going. Oscar would lay Trevon on a blanket in the family room, go to the kitchen to make a sandwich, and find him halfway across the room when he got back.
Rolling, progressed to crawling, which was big trouble. Thirty-five years of freedom to do what he wanted, when he wanted to do it were suddenly over. Now, Simi and Oscar could never rely on knowing where the baby was. Going to the kitchen to make a sandwich while watching the 49ers play required that Oscar bring Trevon along with him slung under one arm. If he didn’t, he returned to an empty room, and had to spend a while searching the house for the fugitive baby, hoping that he hadn’t ended up in mischief or bodily harm.
And he ended up in mischief an awful lot. He pulled plugs from the wall. He pulled throw blankets down where Simi had artfully draped them over arms of easy chairs. He even pulled one set of curtains hard enough to yank the rod out of the wall it was attached to.
Worst was when he managed to pull a bookshelf down on his head when Oscar went to the bathroom without bringing him along. Not only did all the thick best-seller hardbacks tumble onto his poor little head, so did a heavy bookend statue of a knight. The knight was holding a lance, and the tip of that lance sliced its way down the back of Trevon’s forehead leaving an alarmingly bloody gash. Oscar and Simi spent a long Saturday afternoon at the emergency room only to find that the wound wasn’t worthy of stitches. A nurse applied large Band-aid, just like the ones in a box in their first aid kit at home, to Trevon’s head, and sent them home with an admonition to child-proof their home now that they were no longer childless thirty-somethings that could count on everyone in their home acting and thinking like an adult.
Oscar took the warning to heart, and bought a hundred dollars worth of child-proofing supplies from the local Ace hardware store. He stopped up unused plugs, moved furniture to cover cords or hid them inside cord keepers, secured furniture to walls, he installed a big glass grill around the fireplace, screwed the bookshelves in and removed all the heavy bookends. He breathed a sigh of relief after he was done, but was a realist enough to understand that Trevon would surely find the chink in his armor, the one thing he hadn’t thought of, and exploit that. Because that’s how kids are, at least as far as he remembered.
He wanted the best of everything for Trevon. Despite his child-proofing efforts, he didn’t want Trevon living in a sterile, soft-sided environment. He wanted him to play in the dirt, catch bugs, and climb trees like he himself had played when he was a child. He wanted to keep him away from video games and TV as much as possible, though he knew there was no way to keep him off them one hundred percent. He got on Simi’s case sometimes, when he came home from work and found Trevon propped up on a bouncy chair or in the playpen watching television. It was her who had told him that doctors said children shouldn’t be watching TV until age three. But sometimes a person just needs a break.
Still, he just couldn’t abide some of the crap that was made for kids. At least Teletubbies had been canceled and disappeared off the airwaves before Trevon saw his first show. He wouldn’t be part of the generation raised by Tinky-Winky and Po. But there was still a lot of messed up stuff on TV aimed at kids as young as Trevon still was.
He walked in the door on Thursday, December 12th. He remembered the date well, because Simi had called his attention to it earlier in the day when she’d texted him saying that it was a special date, the day Trevon first started walking.
He’s walking? Oscar had texted back.
To which she responded, Well, he’s cruising. That’s what they call it when you walk leaning on the couch and stuff.
That evening, he walked in the door and found Trevon in the playpen in front of the TV watching a show called Yo Gabba Gabba. He stood transfixed in front of the TV, unable to look away. Simi saw him there, and said, “Hi, Oscar.”
He didn’t respond. He couldn’t respond. He was transfixed. The sheer awfulness of the television program that was playing for his son had left him completely without words, nearly without thoughts.
“Wha...what the hell is this?” he asked.
“What?” Simi responded, looking around the room to see what had upset him.
“This show?” He said. “This is the worst thing I have ever seen.”
“Oh come on,” Simi said, “It’s not that bad. It’s for kids, what do you expect.”
“It’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” he said again, “Look at Trevon. Even he thinks it’s stupid.” Trevon didn’t appear to think anything of the sort. He was staring raptly at the antics of the creatures on the screen. “He’s thinking right now that this crap is for little babies, not big boys like him. This is a fetus show, he’s saying. This shit is for embryos, man.”
“Very funny,” she said, and wrapped him up in a warm embrace. “Welcome home, janu. How was work?”
“Stressful, like yesterday, and the day before...oh, and the day before that, and the--”
“I get it. I miss you. You’ve been working too late recently.”
“Sorry, Simi. It’s been busy. You’ll be happy about it when you see my paycheck though.”
“Mmmm,” she stroked his chest, “since he’s so into this fetus show, you wanna go in the other room and do what adults do?”
“As long as you don’t mean pay our taxes, then yes, I’d love to.”
They had to be quick, because Trevon never gave them time alone for long. Oscar had learned a few tricks to speed things up, and Simi had stopped expecting everything to be ideal since the baby had come along, though, so they managed to satisfy each other before their time ran out. When they came back in the room, Trevon was into another back-to-back episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, and he was still smiling.
Simi went back to the kitchen to finish up what she had been making for dinner, and Oscar got Trevon out of the play pen and sat him on his lap. He still watched the show instead of looking at Oscar, but he didn’t mind. He snuggled him closely, giving him whisker burn with his five o’clock shadow.
Eventually, the show came to an end, and Simi called them both to the dining room to taste another one of her masterpieces. Today it was Italian. Today’s creation: Gnocchi Pronto. Gnocchi with roasted mushrooms, Italian sausage, baby peas, and bacon in a sundried tomato cream sauce. Simi was one of those people who loved food. She refused to just whip up some Kraft Mac and Cheese or nuke some chicken nuggets. Food had to be worth eating for her to put it in her mouth. She didn’t eat a lot, but she enjoyed every bite to the fullest. Oscar suspected that she enjoyed making it twice as much as she enjoyed eating it.
Poor Trevon didn’t get any of the gnocchi. Instead, it was mashed avocados for him.
After dinner, Oscar gave Trevon a bath, read him a book, sang him a nursery rhyme, and rocked him to sleep.
END OF DAY SEVEN