Most of my buddies know I have an affinity for Kung-Fu / martial arts flicks. My ex-bro-in-law was in the Navy and had a closet full of tapes he acquired from overseas. I’d visit their home when I was younger and sit there watching all types of dubbed martial arts flicks. Of course he had recognizable names like Bruce Lee & Jackie Chan, but I liked the older joints with subtitles. I am not really a fan of Crouching Tiger, but prefer the cult classics like 5 Deadly Venoms, Wu-Tang Clan collection, Shaolin Monk flicks, White Lotus and most of Jet Li’s older movies (e.g. The Tai Chi Master).
A few years ago, one of my friends was in a mood to give a thoughtful gift, so he bought me a Samurai Sword letter opener. I recently located this in an old tote, and nested it on my computer desk behind the monitor and the blue lava lamp from college (yes I said lava lamp, don’t hate).
Last night I am on my pc trying to design a campaign poster for my oldest son. Midway into my design session, the 5yr old (#3) walked in and said, “Daddy can I sit on your lap while you do your work?” Usually annoyed by his persistence, I was amused by his smile so I obliged.
I have to pause here to tell you this brief story. A couple nights ago my office looked like a hurricane aftermath. Children’s school papers, bills, junk mail, magazines, weights, CDs, hats, routers…I mean it was a mess. I waited until everyone was sleep and began cleaning. In the midst of tearing envelopes without looking at the contents, in walks my 5yr old to talk my head off. He starts drawing letters and pictures on some scrap paper (which I now discover was an important bill) then out the blue he blurts out, “And Daddy, sometimes when everyone goes to sleep I am up by myself and I sometimes get scared because I hear noises and I cover my head with the sheet and go to sleep.”
Mind you this kids imagination trumps mine on a good day and he starts every sentence with – and Daddy. I respond to the little peanut head child, “You’re not scared so stop saying that. It is nothing but the ice maker.”
He draws a bit more then continues his thought, “And Daddy sometimes when I go to sleep I have nightmares about the big KingKongGorillaMonster coming to get me and the KingKongGorillaMonster is bad and I don’t want the KingKongGorillaMonster to get me so I tell it to leave me alone.”
He said that sentence with at least 12 more words added and without taking a single breath. And yes, KingKongGorillaMonster is all one word. All I could do was laugh.
Back to last night. I am designing stuff for my oldest while little Picasso is busy vandalizing our electric bill with graffiti. In the middle of his artistic expression, he discovers the letter opener which has been sitting there for several months now. I immediately think (censored) – Oh Lord, I need to go hide that joker now before he cuts his brother. As a parent, and especially one with all boys, your brain visualizes the absolute worst case scenario. I mean sometimes these visualizations have the equivalent over-the-top blood splatter of a Kill Bill movie. Anything from them falling through the patio glass head first, to getting their hands chopped off in the garbage disposal. Or maybe them throwing a football into the street, a car slamming on the brakes, flipping ten times while taking out two squirrels until it explodes at the end of our cul-de-sac sending up a mushroom cloud of smoke. Then we’d get sued for everything we have by the homeowners association as well as the family of the driver and up selling all our furniture on Craig’s List just to make ends meat. I guess that’s why I have so many grey hairs stressing and fussing and making sure they are safe and don’t do stupid things (like I did when I was younger). I always thought I’d be a cool Dad, and I am to a certain extent, but as a daddy you find yourself constantly scolding them from running in the house and jumping off furniture, to wrestling moves and body punches they deliver.
So #3 pulls this beautifully crafted Samurai sword it out the sheath and I swear it made the “sha-ching” sound just like the Kung-Fu flicks. He gently placed it back, and withdrew it once more admiring his reflection in the blade. At this point I am at that bad parenting place where it is late, you are tired, and don’t have the energy to fuss. I figured I’d let him play with it for a second, then hide it in my closet never to be seen again. In my purgatory state of good parenting (helping one son with school) and bad parenting (ignoring the other) I lean forward and don’t you know that pointed lil bastard of a sword almost sliced my nose. I immediately grabbed and put it up before my nasal septum resembled Amy Winehouse.
I sat there thinking what would have happened if he really cut me? Imagine me going to work the next day with a band-aid holding that little flap of nose together. My co-workers asking me what happened and me responding, “Oh nothing serious. I just got my nose sliced by a KingKongGorillaMonster dreaming 5-yr old toting a mini Samurai Sword.”