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At some point — usually when kids are around the age of two — every parent embarks on a series of painful journeys. They are highly emotional and often frustrating, but for most parents they are unavoidable.
And usually it takes place from the bedroom to the kitchen.
You see, like all little kids, Will has toys. Lots of toys. Too many toys. They come in all shapes and sizes, and despite having several large bins to store them in, MJ and I have found there is some unexplainable phenomenon that occurs when you try to place these toys inside the bins. Despite being inanimate objects, these toys either grow legs or they gain the power to magically teleport themselves to the floor.
Basically if you put away all the toys at night, in the morning you wake up to find your living room looks like a toy chest projectile vomited all over the house.
Now if you’re anything like me, you like to walk barefoot around the house. The only problem is when you do so, you’re exposing yourself to dangers the likes of which you can’t possibly fathom. And to make matters worse, when you’re trying to navigate your home in the dead of night without waking up your wife and baby, that’s when things really seem to go wrong.
Take last night for example:
I woke up parched and I decided to head for the kitchen for a sip of orange juice. Will has had trouble sleeping lately so I wanted to be quiet, plus if you wake up Slumbering MJ she tends to turn into a praying mantis and she will tear me apart from limb to limb. Except without mating first. Just a bad scene all around, but I digress.
I got up off the bed and immediately stepped on a toy frog. “RIBBIT!” croaked the little green bastard. Thankfully it wasn’t that loud and neither MJ nor Will stirred. I was incident free for the next six feet until I got out in the hallway. All of a sudden I wasn’t walking so much as sliding. Because I stepped on Will’s three-wheeled wagon that was clicking and clacking into the hallway. It’s a wagon I’ve tried to throw out dozens of times but I can’t, because my grandmother gave it to Will on his first birthday before she died. But as I struggled to regain my balance, I swear I could hear her laughing at my bumbling idiocy, and flat out guffawing when I tripped and whacked my head on the bathroom door. Thanks Grandma.
But miraculously no one seemed to be stirring. So I counted my lucky stars and continued on to the fridge. But I had no idea what kind of shit storm I was about to walk into.
My right foot landed on the tape measure Will likes to play with, then my left foot stepped on a water bottle Will’s obsessed with right now. But I only caught the edge of the water bottle, which caused it to shoot like a rocket into the closet door. “Shit, shit, shit!” I muttered, while the dog eyed me curiously from the couch. I managed to successfully locate the massive Cozy Coupe toy car and circumvent it, and I thought my luck had changed.
That’s when I stepped into the Lego minefield.
I totally forgot he had dumped an entire box of Legos before he went to bed. The searing pain in my right foot when I stepped on the first one made me hop around like a lunatic. Except the hopping led to my left foot suffering the same fate. I started to lose my balance and fell backward, right onto the aforementioned Cozy Coupe which began to roll backwards with me sitting on top of it.
It was like a scene from a Chevy Chase movie, I shit you not.
When the Lego fiasco concluded, I then stepped on the end of Will’s plastic bat which made it shoot up and hit me in the shin. For my grand finale, I grew frustrated and kicked the bat across the kitchen which hit the cat sitting in darkness across the room, causing a fairly audible “MEOOOOW.”
But amazingly, the wife and kid were still asleep.
At that point I grabbed the flashlight in the kitchen so I could more easily navigate my way back to bed. Past the bats, Legos, tape measure, Cozy Coupe, water bottles and frogs. I got to my side of the bed and turned the flashlight off. Silently, I crept under the covers, laid my head on the pillow and let out a small sigh of relief.
And that’s when I heard it.
“DADDDDDDAAAAAAAAAA!” was the wail from the other side of the wall.