Did You Get the Joke?

February 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

by Ruda Tovar

Everyday I drop my son off at pre-school. This is one of my jobs, a small contribution to the workload of my family. Since the onset of this school year, I’ve been graced by the scent of decay inside my car. Naturally, I looked under the seats for a rogue banana or other fruit, but my search yielded nothing. I checked my a/c filter, and I looked for any spots in the upholstery where there may have been a yogurt or milk spill, but still no results.

One day, it occurred to me: Just as my son is exiting my car, he concocts a subtle mixture of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen. He then waits, until right before the door is shut and silently releases the flatus into my vehicle. Yes, the kid I’m raising farts in my car right before he gets out for school. Call off the search dogs, we’ve found the culprit.

What’s even more intriguing to me than the action is the motivation. This certainly seems like a systematic, calculated operation. How do I know? Because all of the toxic fallout thus far has been muted, which is in stark contrast from the norm. This is the careful fashioning, the methodical planning, and the brainchild of my child. But, why? My theory: He knows me. He knows that yes, he could draw me a picture or write an illegible “I love my dad” note, or make some thoughtful and creative train-wreck of a gift. But again, he knows me all too well, he knows I would thank him and parade his token around like all good parents do, but he knows it would be a semi-perfunctory act. So, what does he do? He drops some organic tear gas all up in my ride. It is as if he’s saying, “Look, Dad, I know this is going to stick with you much longer than words or a picture, so here it is: my calling card, my intestinal essence.” And if my dubious theory is correct, then son, you are right; those little inaudible gnat-killers you leave make my day, even if it’s for all the wrong reasons.

All jokes and bizarre conjectures aside, what does this mean for us as dads, us parents? I suppose it could mean that we should strive to find the laugh, the humor behind the surprises that our kids give us, because, well, we need those things to keep our sanity. Kids, jobs, an impending financial crisis, and the world in a constant state of social and political upheaval are just a few things that whether we recognize it or not effect our attitudes and make us all the more jaded and cynical adults we too often behave as. Our kids don’t know that, they just know that sometimes Mom or Dad gets that weird look in the eye as they stare off into the distance for a while. So, they give us reminders, memories, a life-vest to bring us back into our immediate reality and away from the worries and struggles we face. In my case, be it intended or not, my kid farts in my car, and it works, because here I am laughing while I tell you all about it.

 

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