Monday, November 22, 2010

One Small Step for Man... And Other Amazing Stunts

So Daddy decided that it was time for me to stop being afraid of grass and dirt. Just like that... he decided that it was time. So, once again, the ugly side of this dictatorship that we call parenthood has reared it's ugly head.

Because, once again, there was no discussion... no memo... not even a carrier pigeon to deliver the news to me. I just woke up one day and Daddy announced that we had chores to do in the back yard. He then marched me out to that pile of dirt and weeds that he calls a back yard and plopped me down in the middle of it.

At first... I was a bit unsure. Please understand one thing. It's not that I'm a prude or anything like that. The reason that I'm not comfortable out in nature is because I don't have much experience with it. Remember that I spent the first year of my life in a room with 15 other babies who were also waiting to adopt parents. There was barely enough time to keep us fed and in clean diapers to worry about taking us for field trips into the great outdoors. And even when I did get to go outside, it was usually for a very short time and they almost never put me on the ground.

But those days are over. I can go outside anytime I want to now. And Daddy said that it was time to stop being silly and embrace the dirt and the grass.

And so I did.
Mommy has this bannana plant in the back yard and Daddy decided that it was time for a little trim. Nothing drastic, just a little clean up project. So he casually carries me out to the middle of the yard and just plops me down in the tall grass and then walks away without saying a word.

What? Really?

Stupid Bannana Plant.

So I slowly make my way forward on my hands and knees... not bad. Then I stood up and tried to see if I could do a little grass walking. I did okay... about four steps before I fell... and felt nothing. And that's when it happened. That was the moment that I finally got the whole grass thing.

It doesn't hurt when you fall on it. That's why sports are played on it and picnics are had on top of it. Because it's soft... or at least softer than concrete or tile floors, which is what I'm used to.

I get it! I finally get it!
The rest of the afternoon was a blur of tumbles and falls and handfulls of grass and dirt and mud and rocks and weeds and bugs. It was awesome. I didn't just get over my fear of the back yard... I dominated that back yard... I rocked that back yard.

I walked from the dirt... to the grass... to the fence... to the stupid bannana plant... to the grill... and then back to the dirt again. I must have fallen over 20times that day... and not a single one hurt my hands, knees or butt. Daddy just kept on trimming the tree and watched me with a little smile on his face the whole time as I got myself as dirty as I've ever been in my life.

Eventually, Daddy finished what he was doing with the trees and plants and joined me on the floor. We built little dirt roadways and pushed some of my toy cars through them... then we drew shapes and letters in the dirt with a stick... and ended our day with a little wrestling match on the grass. When Mommy came home and found Daddy and I in our filthy clothes coming in from the back yard she couldn't help but laugh.

Did the baby cry again when you put him on the grass? she asked.
No. Daddy said. He doesn't cry with that anymore... and don't call him a baby.
What shall we call him then? Mommy asked.
Little Man Daddy said with a smile. He is now my Little Man.

There was a strange look on Daddy's face as he carried me upstairs for my bath. Mommy said, later, that it was pride. She said that he was proud of me for overcoming one of my fears in such a convincing manner. Mommy also said that now that I've overcome my fear of grass... I can now move forward and become the professional athlete that Daddy has been telling everybody I'm going to become anyway. I don't know what kind of athlete I'm going to be. All I know is that this whole making your parents proud of you thing leaves everyone with a pretty good feeling inside.

Little Man likes that.

Daddy says for me to stay next to the bannana plant... uh... I don't see it.

Okay Daddy... don't move... but there is a 25 foot snake right behind you... and it's spitting up a river of water... wait... that's the hose... nevermind.

While Daddy attempts to point... shoot... and click. I'll attempt to eat this bug.