Tuesday, June 14, 2005

In The Toilet: The Show Tune Era

It started off innocently enough, like it always does.

Eli 3.10 recorded some songs from his favorite shows (currently listed as Rescue Heroes, Scooby-Doo, and Toy Story) on his little tape recorder. It’s a mix tape—songs interspersed with the sound of the tape recorder being dropped, Eli talking (“Is this on? Hey, I think it’s already on!”), and loud scratching sounds that make me jump three feet into the air. There’s one song from Toy Story on there that sounds like a Broadway theme for a Western.

He likes to play the tape several times during the day.

Now if you don’t have kids, you’re thinking “So what? What could possibly happen?” See, that’s not how a parent thinks. A parent thinks “of COURSE something can happen, but what is it?”

On Saturday, Eli announced that he needed to pee, and he started carrying the tape recorder to the bathroom. Gloria said “Eli, what are you doing with the tape recorder?”

Eli 3.10 said “I’m taking it into the bathroom with me. I just want to listen to some tunes.”

Here’s an important rule of parenting (again, for future parents, since existing ones already know): don’t let your kid do anything once that you don’t want him to do ONE HUNDRED BILLION TIMES. That’s how kids are, and letting them do something once is full validation that they can do it over and over and over again.

Yesterday, Eli 3.10 finishes his lunch, announces “I need to go poop!” and walks off toward the bathroom. He closes the bathroom door behind him. Ten seconds later, the door flies open and he comes running out. “Eli, what’s wrong?” Gloria asks, just as he grabs the tape recorder.

“I CAN’T POOP WITHOUT THIS TAPE RECORDER!” Eli shouts, slamming the bathroom door behind him.

“That’s cute,” Gloria says.

“Cute?” I ask. “You don’t see the big picture here, do you?”

“What do you mean?”

“What happens when you go out to eat, forget to take the tape recorder, and he needs to go to the bathroom?”

“I’m sure he’ll be fine.“

“I’m sure he will be, because you’ll be standing outside the stall door singing show tunes. OOOOOklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plains.”

“I will not,” Gloria says.

Don’t cry for me, AR-GEN-TINA.”

“Shut up. And you’re not writing about this.”

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