Qualified to Stand, Wobble, Hollar

It’s been a long, long time in the works, but as of today I’m at my oldest, surest and loudest all bound within my size-4 Huggies. My elders praise my solo standing but are less than pleased by the port and parcel screaming that’s come with it.

You can`t see my feet, but trust my busy hands, I`m standing.
You can`t see my feet, but trust my busy hands, I`m standing.

I’ve been behind the curve on just about everything since I was born, partly on account of my post-natal sickness. In the last six weeks, however, I took leaps and bounds forward across the developmental curve. I’ve grown at record pace, learned quicker than James at 15, and recognized almost everybody in my 20′ sphere.

I’ve been pulling up for some time, but now I do it without so much as a walker or a derned fig to cling to. It’s a wobbly achievement, but it comes with matching degrees of comparable development. And, the parents are both giddy and less than giddy about it.

I can also holler, ya’ hear me? I’ve always known how, but now that I’m forced to stand on my wobbly own I feel inclined, empowered, and even competitively required to do so. Both my brothers got the holler, why should I maintain passivity?

Patrick has always been loud. And Brendan has been a devout shouter since his turn of his twos, I’m told. I’ve been a good boy and all I’ve gotten is shuffled off to the sidelines. Enough of this, I sayeth, I’m ready to stand up (however unstably so) and shout out the demands for my own rights and recognition.

Aaaaah! You hearing me? I can say it again and at double or triple length and volume as needed; just give me the word.

I don’t know what I’ll do with these new skills, but the rewards are sure to follow. I’m not psychic but I don’t think I need to be to predict bigger and better things in my own bright future.

 

Playland Too McFun to McLeave

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As if being laden in plastic ain`t the cat`s meow, I`m neck deep in balls to boot.

There’s this brand new restaurant that’s recently popped up in every single town in the known universe called McDonalds. They’ve got an extra value menu, but far more irresistible is their awesome McPlayland.

I played in the balls, climbed up through the tubes, and ultimately refused to come back out. Leave? Come on, people, why would I want to do that?

There’s miles of plasti-tubular romping grounds ascending up nearly to the heavens. Each visit out of the maze got me new bites of sausage and egg to refuel my internal mischief machine. Food, folks, fun? What more could I want, a TV with a clown? It’s got that too!

Ultimately, Daddy-O had to climb in to fetch me back out. Not so much a straight-up fetching as a chasing type action. He didn’t fit in there so good, so he couldn’t nearly match my speed. Plus, he had the camera in one hand, so I outran him right perfectly. I kept stopping to pose for promo pics, of course, but never long enough that he might capture me.

At the very top was a slide. I knew it was conquer it or face the wrath of Dad, so I swallowed my fear and headed down in plasti-electro-static, swirling glory. He was hot on my heels so I had to move quickly, and I did.

By the time dad got down that twisty pipe I was halfway back up though the vertical maze once again. Oh, ain’t I a little devil?

So what’s to be done on my part? I cackled like the evil genius I am and maintained my plot to play.

No one knows how it ended or if I was ever actually rescued from the microcosm of highest, safest fun. All that’s known for sure is that highest merriment was verily had by all… well, by all except for Dad, maybe.

ABOVE - This is an accidentally captured family photo. In the very distant background, and twenty-odd feet below, you may observe the Mama Lady with the pair o' brothers. In the enblurried foreground, why that's my head and shoulders.
ABOVE – This is an accidentally captured family photo. In the very distant background, and twenty-odd feet below, you may observe the Mama Lady with the pair o’ brothers. In the enblurried foreground, why that’s my head and shoulders.

 

Above: Seen here dwelling in the maze of plasticine porters and looking glass ties. CLICK PIC TO ENLARGE.
Above: Seen here dwelling in the maze of plasticine porters and looking glass ties. CLICK PIC TO ENLARGE.
bove: Pausing to doddle (or dawdle) a moment while the Daddy-O catches neither his breath nor myself. CLICK PIC TO ENLARGE.
bove: Pausing to doddle (or dawdle) a moment while the Daddy-O catches neither his breath nor myself. CLICK PIC TO ENLARGE.

New Ride Makes Commuting Mad Party

Man oh man oh van o’ mine. The dearly departed Monaco may be duly dead, but its successor has succeeded where “old & busted” most plainly and clearly failed.

My hair was still shaggy and my joy just as full.
My hair was still shaggy and my joy just as full.

The parents were all disheartened when the progressively more hobbled Monaco injected it’s final, mortal breath. The problems kept mounting until the tranny finally checked out without covering so much as its room service bill.

With the mechanica-coroner’s confirmation, we couldn’t go anywhere, our social calendar withered to total drabbery and dad had to seek better paying employment. But before our savings completely dried to dust, we got the van, baby, the van.

On the outside the Starcraft is an ugly duckling, but on the inside she’s all swan, and as disproportionately big as one to your duck, too.

Face the facts, I got me a crazy party limo, what have you got?

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LEFT – Even Dominic enjoys the van as he watches us brothers explore and make mischief.

With my gaggle-style entourage in tow, even the full-sized Dodge was circus clown cramped like a dilapidated Beatle in the center ring, and I don’t mean Ringo. Ask NASA, space is critical, and we flat out needed more of it. Our sweet solution has eight cylinders, two monstrous cisterns sloshing rich with gas, and significant body damage. She ain’t much to look at, but she’s my van.

Picture a day of shopping and assorted adventures with two parents and a pair of brothers along for the ride. Daily supplies and a pair of strollers fill the trunk while the cabin is chock to nuts with me and my posse. Where do you put the groceries? Crammed in crevices and laid atop our laps and legs, that’s where. Fun? I surely don’t think so. Dead car or not, we needed an upgrade.

Now envision our petrol pounding panzer of an urban assault vehicle and I’ll tell you why it’s the balls of the bell. It’s strength is in numbers, at least in numbers of tons, anyway.

Forget that old school shoulder to shoulder business from cars of yore, your and our own kinds of old. We can pack all five of us in here with comfy on tap, and bring a pair of guests along for giggles. But that ain’t even remotely all.

The “some more” is that we can freighter all seven people (with a pair of carry-on bags a piece) and still have room for Miss Mama to walk back and bring me juice and crackers at my unpredictably screaming will. We’re loaded to the gills and still have wiggle room to boogie and pony power a plenty. Is that still not enough to convince you? Then read your pretty head right on ahead, as I ain’t done expounding.

ABOVE - We can run, crawl and climb for hours, and that doesn't even count the space in back, you know, the one where there's a ton of more space I usually forget about it. Here I'm seen contemplating a hop back there.
ABOVE – We can run, crawl and climb for hours, and that doesn’t even count the space in back, you know, the one where there’s a ton of more space I usually forget about it. Here I’m seen contemplating a hop back there.

Big engine, big space, big windows and, hang on, a big luggage rack too. Do you want your half bakers dozen with wandering room and carry-on luggage, plus yet a bit more? You ask a lot but the van gives it to you all, and that much more. The roof rack is ready, baby, plus willing and empty, all in wait for my whim to strike like Ike.

If you, like my own parents, have (what feels like) a hundred kids to tote, forget the overpriced SUV and the soccer mommy mini van. Mini is best left to Coopers and pint-sized Drs. Evil; you need a real van, and preferably a tricked out and otherwise forgotten conversion van, like ours.

I tell you, with our new, old van, even a milk run is a cushy party on the closed or open road any day of the week. Even the formerly miserable longer commutes are little worse than a debate between nap time versus window watching, and I got a huge window to watch beside my mobile throne, and merely calling it kingly feels like an insulting understatement of non-van-worthy proportion.

ABOVE - Even in transit the captains chairs are double-plush, double-comfy and double-safe. Of course with my shades on, the windows are also double-tinted, but that's okay, I look double-cool.
ABOVE – Even in transit the captains chairs are double-plush, double-comfy and double-safe. Of course with my shades on, the windows are also double-tinted, but that’s okay, I look double-cool.

 

I Broke Both Ultimate Fighting Rules

Let me start by saying that I’m not a fighter, just a wee-little lover* and an exploring discoverer. The rules are very different between the two trades, so my eye-gouging and fish-hooking should be more or less exempt from criticism.

No fish-hooking, huh?
No fish-hooking, huh?

Let’s look at my heritage of discovery in the non-ultimate fighting sense. In that sweet place everything goes, which has oft to always worked in my favor. Face slapping, teste stomping, and verily even the all around belt-regardless beatings have been (at the very least) my competitive edge.

In Ultimate Fighting, almost everything is fair game and there’s very few exceptions. Those two scant elusive exclusions are the absurdities of eye-gouging and mouth-grabberous fish hooking. Again I’d like to assert that I’m not a fighter — nor fighting anybody here — so you’d think I should get some leeway, wouldn’t you?

Pick up little old me and give me your hugs, kisses and tummy chortling tickles. You’re a cute, huge grown-up, of course, so I naturally want to rejoice in the experience, especially by touching your face. Heck, I’ll even poke your glossy eyes. They’re shiny, pretty and I want to know what they feel like. That’s normal, isn’t it?

You know you make funny noises at me whilst ye getteth thine tickle upon me, right? It’s understandable that I should want to poke that very same noise hole, so don’t act so surprised when I hook your mouthy edge with my pointed pointy-pointer finger. You’re not a fish so, technically, this ain’t fish hooking, you feeling me?*

So pardon my actions as they clearly are not sanctioned by the World Ultimate Fighting Committee, but remember that I’m neither ultimately fighting nor banned in 36 states. I just ain’t hardcore like that and Vegas, likewise, makes no odds on me. In fact, forget hardcore, I’m thoroughly soft-centered all around, middle and throughout… well, specifically in my center, but still.

Eye gouging and fish hooking, them’s the waves of the future I tell you.

* I say “lover” only because I’m not a fighter. I don’t yet know how to make a kissy face or anything, but I can clap my hands together. Clapping hands makes me some kind of lover, right?

* If we really want to get technical, I guess it’s me who’s feeling you, but who’s really keeping score in this, our penultimate fighting arena?

ABOVE - Here I can be seen both thinking about what not to do, and practicing it.
ABOVE – Here I can be seen both thinking about what not to do, and practicing it.