Turns out, our son is out to get us. Not maliciously or purposefully. Mostly, he just does whatever his impish little mind demands, and chaos theory dictates that this must lead to destruction. Since his little world is mostly made up of us and our things, it’s us and our things that end up broken. Sometimes weeping, but mostly just broken.
For the past few weeks, our water has undergone an interesting change. Namely- all of a sudden the hot taps are hot enough to blister. Ok, not literally, but close enough.
It all started with my wife one night washing her hands, and all of a sudden jumping up in astonishment, gasping in pain. Being the dashing fellow that I am, I exploded into action, ready to vanquish any foe that dared assault my beautiful bride!
“The water is boiling!” my wife exclaimed. So I took off my hero cap and put on my handyman hardhat and stalked over to the water heater. I had recently stored some inventory for my business in our rise room, and I figured that while I was removing it, one of the boxes had hit the thermometer and turned the heat up. Sure enough, the heat was up way too high. Feeling like I could tear the place down and build it up better myself, I turned the heat down to a reasonable level and crossed it off in my mind as a job well done. But wait… There’s always more when a toddler’s in the home.
The next day, I decided that this was the week in the month that I should shower. So I turned the knob to the normal heat, only to squeal like a newly birthed piglet. I pranced out of the shower, just grateful that nobody was there to witness the graceless, naked dance I had just committed. I then proceeded to stalk around the house, expending my not slight knowledge of plumbing, gas, and electric to figure out what on earth was wrong with our water. The gas line was fine, the water heater burner flame was under control, the thermometers were working, our gas bill was normal… I was out of ideas.
“I guess this is our life now,” I whimpered to myself as I turned the cold all the way on, making the slightly twisted hot tap barely manageable. Like seriously, the shower tap was now twisted at least 40 degrees back to the cold side to give us our accustomed temperature. It was horrible. But life moves on.
Now, let me tell you one of my weaknesses. Once I have done something and checked it off my list, it is now permanently listed in my mind as “fixed and no longer my problem.” So, the simplest solution of all (the temperature being turned up) was thoroughly eliminated from my mind. “I had already fixed it once,” my mind reasoned, “How on earth could it still be the problem?”
The answer to that question– a 15-month old little boy.
One day, after a week of mild skin burns, I heard my little boy practicing one of his new favorite pastimes- turning the washing machine on and off, on and off, on and off. The little chimes that signaled the selected state of the washer began to annoy my fickle brain, and so I walked over to remove him from the room.
Now let me add that we only recently began leaving this door open at all with him awake. I don’t really know what started us leaving it open– it was just left open one day, our son didn’t destroy anything, and so it was ok the next time it was open, until we just stopped even thinking about it. What a mistake…
I walk into the room, the washing machine now quiet, and glance in. The little butthead has oh so sneakily snuck behind our HVAC. I turn on stealthmode, and sneak around to where he is crouching, his back to me. I can tell by the set of his little shoulders just how excited he is to be doing what he’s doing… And what he is doing is slowwwly twisting the water temperature down, down, down, down, only so that he is able to twist it the other way, up, up, up, up, until it hits the red-embossed “warning” section where our water has obviously been since probably hours after I turned it down to a reasonable level. Satisfied, he stands up, smug look on his little butthead face, and walks right by me like I’m not even there!
I numbly twist the dial, and go sit down on the couch. Is this what my life is now? Wrangling a miniature version of myself bent on my slow torture and inevitable destruction?
I guess so, I think to myself, as I run to pull a paring knife from his fingers.
All toddlers are psychopaths. At least that’s what I tell myself. One can only hope that one day his psychopathy will evolve into tenacity and hard work. That way he can pay my hospital bills when I’m old. In all likelihood, he’s the one who put me there anyway…