Wedding Warrior

(pack a lunch for this post…)

Dang. Has it really been almost a week since I posted on this sucker? Crazy. Time flies when you’re waiting…waiting…waiting…

So, how’re things on your end o’ the world? Me? Not bad, not bad. I’d love to tell you all that my e-mail box (and mailbox for that matter) has been loaded with people just dying to get their hands on my books, or that I’ve won the lottery and can focus all of my time on writing the next new perfect novel, or that I was completely satisfied with the series finale of The Sopranos.

But I can’t.

Instead, I’ll tell you an interesting tale that happened over the weekend. It involves a kid who needs to be put in restraints, a stomach ache dance, and flavorless prime rib.

So, my cousin Troy got married over the weekend. He’s about 4 years younger than me and I wish I could say that the marriage is going to last, but I’m afraid it might not. His new bride is about as crazy as they come and a year ago she had a meltdown of the highest order. Not sure how that’s going to translate into married life.

We brought my little guy, Travis, to the wedding. He’d been to another wedding when he was about 8 months old, but this was his first one where he’d get to dance, run around like a little maniac and have some fun. He was dressed to the 9’s (smart pants, green shirt, clip-on tie, navy blue vest) and looked like a hundred dollars. He was excited to be there.

After struggling to get through the ceremony (which was outside and provided many distractions) it was time for the social hour (more like 2.5 hours) and we all mingled and he played with cars on the terrace ledge.

At some point, it was time to change the little man’s pants, so after Laura (my wife) tried unsuccessfully, I snatched him up and got him excited about the prospect of a new diaper. We found a bathroom with one of those Koala changing things built into the wall and we got down to business. A minute after we went in there, the door opened and the bathroom light went off. What followed was a sinister giggling and a kid scampered in, laughing behind his hand.

“Hey dude,” I said with a dirty wet wipe in my hand. “Can you turn the light back on?”

The kid gave me a look like he couldn’t understand why I would ask him to do that. He shrugged and said, “I can see in the dark.”

I said, “That’s great. But I’m trying to change my kid’s diaper and I need the light on.”

He ignored me and ran deeper into the bathroom and proceeded to slam the stall doors. I watched him for a second, astounded.

“Hey, man,” I said, raising my voice a little. “Can you please go and turn the light back on?”

“Nope,” he said. He then proceeded to park himself in front of the urinal, where he dropped his pants down to his ankles to commence with the peeing.

“Kid in there,” Travis said, turning to watch this bizarre little brat spray the urinal cakes.

“Yeah,” I said. “There’s a kid in there who’s too dumb to switch the light back on.”

Okay, so maybe I shouldn’t have said that and for about 10 minutes, I sort of felt bad, but at the same time…I sort of felt justified. Plus, I didn’t know the little punk and I had the feeling anything I said wouldn’t exactly ‘stick’ with him anyway.

So, I dashed to the light switch, turned it back on and gave the kid the stink eye as he washed up and left. I finished getting Travis back in order and we left.

Not even 9 minutes later, I had another run in with the kid.

If anyone knows Travis, then they know how much he likes kids. Even kids who don’t have the mental capacity to keep a light switch turned on or turn it back on when an adult (that’s me) asks them to. So, he found some older girls who were running around with Lightswitch Kid. I kept an eye on him and for the most part, I was okay with him playing, but I didn’t trust LK for a minute.

Travis chased them around to the area where the wedding had taken place and walked up to the kid and did his best monster growl, smiling the whole time. The kid? He stood up and shoved Travis to the ground with everything he had.

Activate Angry Dad Mach 4.

I walked over to the kid with fire in my eyes.

“Hey,” I bellowed to the kid who looked as guilty as a cat burping canary feathers. “How old are you?”

“Six,” the kid said, that garbage-eating grin never leaving his face.

“Well, he’s two years old,” I said, picking my kid up. “What’s wrong with you?”

The kid gave me a goofy grin and shrugged like he didn’t see what the problem was. I collected Travis and turned and walked away. It took everything in my power not to drop-kick the kid and give him a grass stain on his face.

As we walked away, the two little girls Travis was chasing came up and asked if he was okay. We told them he was fine, but we didn’t want him to play with that rotten, evil little kid. Well, we didn’t say that exactly, but it was definitely implied.

The rest of the wedding went without a hitch. He ate a little of his food and who could blame him? My prime rib was the most pale, awful, tasteless thing I’d ever had the misfortune of eating. We took pictures in a photo booth (pictures coming soon…) and Travis danced his little feet off. He jumped around so much that he said he gave himself a ‘tummy ache’ and had to sit for a minute or two before wanting to get back out there and take control of the floor.

He was the life of the party and in no time, I’d all but forgotten about the little turd who’s shoved my kid to the ground.

I know I’m in for a rude awakening when Travis gets older and has to deal with stuff like this on a regular basis, but it just breaks my heart to see a little innocent guy treated like garbage.

Especially when that little guy is my son.