Monday, July 15, 2013

Underdressed and Overtired

Don’t mean to brag, but back in High School I was pretty fast.  Not sprinter speed, or anything, but fast enough to play varsity sports.

You wouldn’t have known it today if you’d seen me “sprinting” down the block, trying to catch up with the two-year-old boy who'd decided he wanted to go with his mother when she went to drop his sister off at a friends.  Of course, I was barefoot and a bit underdressed for our little neighborhood stroll, wearing my standard-issue, home-project attire.  But at least I had clothes on -- which is more than I can say for the boy.

Many young kids get upset when a parent leaves the house on an errand without them.  I’ve seen one of my daughters cry at the window for a full hour waiting for mommy to come back from the grocery store.

Occasionally, one of the kids has the bright idea to go outside and wait for mommy to come back.  It’s cute to see them sitting out on the lawn staring down the road looking for that familiar blue van's return.  

But in all my days as a parent, I have never had a kid who would go outside and then proceed down the block in hot pursuit of the missing vehicle.  The boy has done it twice.  The first time he was fully clothed, and he slowly meandered down the sidewalk as he cried, “I want mommy.”  He was easy to catch at that speed.

File footage of Overtired Boy on the run
-- properly attired this time. 
This time, he was running as fast as he possibly could, screaming “I want to go,” without a stitch of clothes on.  And his naked little butt is quite fast.  I was rumbling after him wondering whether I was more likely to pull a hammy or trip and crush my only son.  Despite my speed back in my glory years, I was unable to gain any ground.  I felt like I was in a scene from an Adam Sandler movie on parenting. 
For the record, Drew usually has clothes on -- usually.  Lately, he’s been disrobing whenever the urge compels him.  He'd just gone potty, and that was enough.  So it was off with the clothes.  Try as I could to convince him, he wouldn't put his outfit back on.  Then mom announced she was taking his sister to a friend's house for a party.  He wanted to go, naturally.  I told him he couldn't go unless he got dressed.  That caused him to have a meltdown, which ended in his birthday-suited dash down the block as they drove away.
Had he been clothed, he probably would have been able to go on the trip.  The irony was lost on this particular two-year-old.   

The whole being-naked thing is just part of a recent increase in antics by the boy, which my wife attributes to him being “overtired.”  Overtired is how she has explained our kids’ worst behavior ever since she read that book on healthy sleep habits and well-behaved children almost ten years ago.

By my count, Drew has been overtired since he turned two, eleven months ago.   Don’t even ask how long our ten-year-old has been behind on sleep.

You know who’s really overtired?  Here’s a hint: the guy who was just outrun by a naked two-year-old.

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