Starting off this chapter of life called parenting with a verbose daughter who is wise beyond her years, I figured being a dad was a known quantity. True, I didn't understand and still don’t comprehend the emotional ways of a little girl, but I do know it's relatively safe.
We're awarded a commentary bubbling out of her little mouth of what she is doing, where she is and what was running through her vast independent mind at every moment. Two and a half years later, Liam was born. Yes, I was a little boy once and was mistakenly under the impression that boys would be easier. Maybe it’s the fact I’m an engineer and recall forming a hypothesis and making rational decisions from the time I could walk. I erroneously assumed my DNA would naturally clone and act in the same logical manner as demonstrated by previous generations.
I have come to learn that if Liam is faced with a choice, he will choose the more dangerous approach or the most exploratory path. He discovers for himself that gravity is real, things do break and yes, he can get stuck if he tries hard enough. It’s not that he is a malicious child, he is just overflowing with testosterone and curiosity.
Apparently, there are questions that must be answered by this little primate. “Will the chandelier hold my weight?”, “Do tulips make a good T-ball substitute?”, “How fast will a stroller ride down the stairs be?”
Living in this social media age with an iPhone as permanent hand accessory, my wife and I have gotten pretty quick on the draw and have captured a handful of #PlacesIFindLiam.
However, there are moments where pausing to snap a picture is simply inappropriate or could end in catastrophe. For example, when your cat leaves a mutilated gopher on the front porch and you find your son decorating the remains with piles of glitter glue, photos may be considered tactless. Or an unsuitable time would include when you find your 2-year-old walking up and down the unbalanced ironing board over a hardwood floor, you only have time to swoop in like a mama bird to grab him without taking a picture.
The question remains, “How did he get up there?” Or when you find your one-year-old on the kitchen counter with fifteen burnt out wooden matches in a pile and a flaming one in hand, you don’t pause for a photo shoot. You instinctively touch down like a tornado and put the fear of God and the terror of a flaming log cabin into him. Questions answered: Yes, ironing board surfing is a blast, glitter dresses up anything and monkeys too are drawn to open flames.
It’s not that we are bad parents, things just happen quickly with three kids at home. A lot can happen in one quick minute. Meteorologists record an average of 360 lightning strikes and five earthquakes every minute of the day. I have no problem believing that statistic.
With the onslaught of a five-year-old girl’s chatter and a one-year-old boy who scoots, not crawls, around the house, the three-year-old monkey can easily steal away 60 seconds of unsupervised adventure.
Hence, the #PlacesIFindLiam.