I first have to say I am sorry for any and all whom this post may offend.
I have two boys, Hayden who is almost four and Garth who has just turned two. From time to time the universe conspires against us and no matter what you do; it is going to be wrong.
I have a tree in my front yard which produces countless millions of these little barbed hard balls and manages to spread them all over the yard. They drive me crazy as I have to pick them up all the time, and as they have been accumulating in the yard over the past several weeks I have wanted to get them picked up. Sunday it rained all the way through until Monday when I went to work it was wet and cold. By the time I got off of work it was sunny and seventy-five degrees out, absolutely beautiful. Driving home with the window down and enjoying the first of the nice weather I had seen all day. It was approaching 5:30PM when my wife called and asked if I wanted to eat out with the boys. I said that would be fine if I could just take a couple of minutes and pick up the front yard. I have no idea what kind of tree it is or what the hard spiny balls are called but I call them “Dingle Berries” for lack of a better term.
So the boys played in the driveway while my wife and I picked up the Dingle Berries. By the time we were off to dinner it was well past six and the boys had played a lot that day. So much so they hadn’t gotten a nap which meant their attention span was short; they were border line unruly with the prospect of becoming defiant, intolerant, screaming and crying inconsolable young boys growing with every minute we were out. We made it through dinner but we had to make one more stop at the grocery store before heading home. I stayed in the minivan with the boys belted into their seats watching ‘Shrek’ for the millionth and a half time.
I knew the warning signs of their intolerance and bad attitudes which ultimately drives me to intolerance, bad attitude and screaming at them to stop crying, stop hitting, and to generally stop whatever they are doing they shouldn’t be doing. They began bickering about the movie and the subjects and suggestions of stuff to try were switching as fast the second hand on my watch. Now keep in mind I was desperate to keep things from escalating into total chaos and screaming, and the world looks completely different to a two and three year boys than it does to adults.
The car parked in front of us was approached by two people and they were loading their groceries into their car. I normally wouldn’t have said anything or made a derogatory comment of any sort but I was desperate to redirect their attention from each other and forgo the coming storm at least until my wife got back to the van. It was already their bed time and we were still out, they were done, and we were thirty minutes away from home, pajamas, and them going to bed. I messed up by commenting on something I should have never even have mentioned. Something under normal circumstances I wouldn’t even have noticed or paid attention to.
“Hayden, look at how big that woman is.” It was out. I knew as soon as the words left my mouth it was wrong, the wrong thing to say, and definitely not something to be pointed out to young impressionable boys. In my defense she was huge, not that it helps my situation in the slightest.
Hayden looked past the front seats and declared, “Hulk Butt!”
I looked and blasted out laughing. The way they always draw the Incredible Hulk in a crouch his butt looks enormous and sticking out. That’s exactly what I saw in the headlights of the van when I looked out there as what he said registered in my mind. He was absolutely right. That’s what it looked like. If my whole world was made up of things relating to Super Heroes, like his is that might have been the first thing I thought of also. He was wearing a shirt which had Hulk, Green Lantern, Batman, and Ironman on it with shoes that had Hulk, Ironman, Spiderman, and Batman.
I regained control of myself and turned and explained that we shouldn’t say anything like that because if we said that we might hurt their feelings. That’s when Garth chimed in with chanting “Hulk Butt”, “Hulk Butt” and I lost it again. Then we were all laughing. As our fit of hilarity subsided I heard the suggestion of, “Let’s throw the soccer ball in the car!”
I was in the middle of yelling “No!” and explaining why this was not a good idea when Mommy got back to the car. The couple in the car before us had already left, none the wiser, thank God.
Mom, my wife, had no sooner deposited the groceries in the van and got in before the boys switched back to chanting “Hulk Butt” again. I was in trouble and the explanation didn’t help the situation in the slightest, not to mention the continued chanting coming from the back seat.
“Hulk Butt”, “Hulk Butt.” This is one of those instances which gets chocked up to definitely funny but very wrong!