Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Punching Deer

Pre-children, Diana and I went to the western suburbs to see Neil Young play his guitar. He was on tour with some new, experimental (i.e. crappy) stuff, but I was happy to simply be in his presence.

Other people in the crowd weren’t so happy. Midway through the set, a fan started calling out, “Play ‘Heart of Gold!” Come on! Play ‘Heart of Gold!’” The request was so incessant that at one point Neil stopped playing and shouted, “Shut the f*ck up!”

It has to be irritating to be asked to play the same thing every day of your life. Almost as irritating as being asked to do the “Punching Deer” routine every day of your life.

It all started innocently enough. Luca has been struggling with an intense desire to hit. I decided to give him a lesson the evils of hitting, a parable if you will. I stood in the boys’ room having a conversation with a little stuffed deer.

Midway through my convo, I puppeteered the deer’s hoof into my face. Repeatedly. I then had a frank discussion with the deer about how hitting is bad and he not only hurt my face, but he hurt my feelings.

I directed my gaze to Elijah and Luca do see if my message had sunk in. Both of them were rolling on the floor, laughing. Tears were literally streaming down Eli’s face. In his mind, a stuffed deer hitting his father was the funniest thing ever to happen in his 4 years on the Earth.

He begged me to do it again. The deer parable turned into “The Three Stooges.” I was happy to oblige, because I love an easy audience. For Elijah, it never got old.

And that’s where the trouble began. It never got old. Elijah asks for the “Punching Deer” every minute of every day.

He asks for it while Diana and I are trying to have our one adult conversation a day. He asks for it while I’m pretending to understand what the contractor is saying. He asked for it at my Dad’s house this weekend, 100 miles away from the stuffed deer. He asked for it in the middle of the night after a nightmare.

I gotta find a new funniest thing in the world. I’m currently testing out a stuffed monkey scissor kick routine.

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