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The Family fits like a Glove

Dec 24, 2001

Let my tale be a beacon of light to those that follow me,
Let my experience help guide you in your darkest hours,
Let my love and hope ease your mind and dry your tears,
For Christmas comes but once a year.

My story is difficult to tell and painful to hear, but I make this sacrifice for the benefit of all. It began one cold winter Florida morning on December 24, 2001. {I cannot tell time nor read a calendar.} I woke up to the sound of my magnificent mother preparing for work. I woke up with boogers in my nose and snot on my cheeks and a grogginess in my head that made the morning seem bleak.

The fact that my mother was preparing for work did not bother me at all, for she does this almost everyday. She showers, and brushes her hair and her teeth; she dresses for battle in the office I’ve never seen. I leep from her bed, taller than I, and head for the bathroom ‘cause I have to go potty.’

I pull off my jammers, and pee in the bowl, and I take my top off until I have no clothes on at all. I realize that the shower is still going and cry out aloud, mommy, can I take a shower with you, and take it right now. I want to be a puppy curled up on the floor with the water beads from the shower hitting my hide.

Mommy says yes, and I step gingerly in and crawl up on the floow and let the water soak in. I pump out some soap from the foamer on the shelf and rub it all over my belly, my arms and my butt. I wait my turn and then the spray comes and washes off the foam until there is none.

I sit back on my haunches and relax in the steam and continue my dreams for just 1 just 2 just 3 minutes longer. Finally the water stops and my mommy announces aloud, ‘its time to get out of the shower, where is your towel?’

I dunno, I say and she asks again and I say I said I dunno maybe daddy’s can help. Mommy yells to daddy, still asleep in the big bed, ‘hey brett, Can you get Corbin a towel?”

Now there’s something you have to know about daddy. He could sleep all morning long, he could sleep in a storm, he could sleep in a barn, nothing wakes up daddy once he goes to sleepy time, in fact he doesn’t even wake up while he’s walking or talking not until its ‘coke time’.

Mommy yells again, ‘ Brett, can you get your son a towel’

‘Just a minute, just a minute I’m getting there hun, I just have to put this can back up on this hook’

‘What the hell are you talking about, your not even out of bed, wake up you big sleepy head’

‘I’m getting there, I’m getting there, . . . huh., what oh a towel, just a minute let me just lift my legs out of bed.’

Two minutes later, half sleeping half standing, mommy yells at daddy again and again, Until daddy amazingly still sleeping, still dreaming, walks to the closet and pulls out my towel and tosses it to me.

As I’m drying my hiny, my legs and my arms, but not my hair, I can’t see it so it must be dry, there’s nothing to fear, my mommy asks me if I know what day it is as if she doesn’t know.

I start to say ‘I dunno’ but before the words leave my mouth, something flickers in my cranium of 9 billion cells and I suddenly remember just what day it is. Its not Tuesday, nor Wednesday, nor Thursday, nor Friday. Its not Saturday nor Sunday nor Monday even though it is. Its not Pizza Day not turkey day not Halloween , in fact its not even my birthday even though there are similarities indeed.

Today its Christmas and I know what that means cause I’m four years old even though my parents only count me three. Christmas means Santa Claus and Christmas trees and presents. It means candy canes and pretty lights and tinsel string and snowy paper. Christmas means pictures of white stuff called snow that intrigue my parents a lot, but I must admit that I don’t’ quite get it its not as fun as a sandbox.

Today is Christmas I say, and my Mommy says that’s right. If you’re good today, just one more day, Santa Claus will come tonight. She gets a gleam in her eye not when she says Santa or that he’s coming tonight, but when she says I have to be good today as if I, might be bad but I know better. I have to lead them on just another day, just another night, just until . . .

I digress, and I have so much more to tell. My mommy says something to Daddy, already back under the covers. He mumbles something that makes no sense as he’s so apt to do awake or asleep. Then she says that I have to get dressed and points out some clothes. She says, “ Can you put those on with out any help at all?”

“No, I want you help me,” I say looking up real cute. But my trick doesn’t work and I have to do it myself. Soon I’m dressed and Mommy turns on my TV. I’m drawn in, and can’t turn away. The TV has got me and there’s no hope of being free. In the back of my mind, I hear my mommy say, “bye, bye, you be a good boy Corbin for your Daddy today. I have to go to work now and I’ll be back real soon. I only have to work a half day today, I’ll be back by noon.”

This last part triggers something in my mind and I pull my attention away from the TV just in time. “no I don’t want you t’go to work today, Mommy, Mommy play with me, Can’t you see it’s Barney.” I say this as I turn and point at the TV and then I know. I’ve made a severe tactical error and now there’s no hope at all. I’m stuck in the TV and Mommy who is immune, kisses me on the cheek and says, “I’ll see you real soon.”

I play in my room for about an hour, when I begin to hear stirrings from sleepy daddy, “Oh my gosh he’s waking up early!” I watch Dragon Tales and Barney, and Barney again. Daddy comes and goes from my room saying ‘hello’ and ‘how are you this morning’ and ‘what ya watching there big man.’ ‘Be careful’ and ‘hold on’ and ‘don’t sit on the edge, of your bed when your climbing up that side or that ladder while your watching TV. I don’t want you to fall down and get a real bad owwie. I don’t want you to get an owwie at all, I want you to be happy.”

The goof says this while stepping right in front of me until I can’t see the TV at all. He blocks the screen and won’t move at all. If he didn’t love me, I’d think he was trying to be mean, by not letting me see my TV, Oh wait I’m free. I listen to his last sentence and think to myself. {He broke me away from the TV just to tell me he wants me to be happy without any owies. What is this guy thinking?} and then the thought is gone. He stepped aside, out of site and I’m back in the TV sitting way way up high.

I climb up and down my bunk bed a dozen times or more, that makes a hundred on this Christmas morning and I’m not even breaking a sweat. It sure is hard to get a good work out when your this small and light. Good thing there’s Barney to help keep up the good fight.

Time flies by slower than my orange Madagascar Mommie frog burrowed in the mud. Not moving for anything, not crickets, not barney not slugs. Daddy wanders by in various states of dissaray. He peeks in with shaving cream on his face and tells me to be careful. One minute he’s wearing shorts then a towel then pants, then a white shirt then a blue shirt then flip flops then shoes. He buzzes in and out quick as you please saying something about putting my shoes on and my socks if I please.

Soon he tosses some socks at my feet. He says, “Barneys almost over can you put on your socks, we’re going to the store in a couple of minutes and you need to be good or else Santa will know.”

Now, I’m watching Barney and have been for an hour. I know and you know that Barney doesn’t wear socks. I know and you know that Santa knows this too, and I don’t know what daddy means about Barney going to the store. Its not possible, Barneys in my TV and not in my car.

Soon Barney’s ending and funny names are rolling up the screen, and here comes Daddy quick as you please.

“Why didn’t you put your socks on?” He says with a frown.

As I roll around on my rug, curled like a ball, rolling on my back and smiling up at my Dad.

He says, “you need to put your socks on, right now or else, Santa will know you’ve been bad and won’t bring you any presents.”

I smile up at Daddy as I continue to roll because I know I’ve been good and know Santa won’t fail. He’ll bring me presents not one not two not three but a whole tree full of presents and the Grinch can’t even steel them because we don’t have a real chimney!

Daddy gets mad and his ears turn red. He stomps his feet and steam comes out of his head. He tells me with his oh so fake sad voice, “I’m calling Santa, I’m calling him right now. I guess he won’t have to bring you presents this year not this year after all.”

Daddy pulls his red phone off the clip on his pocket. He pokes a couple of buttons and lifts it to his ear and then he pretends to talk to Santa as if I didn’t know. That he’s not talking to Santa not Santa at all. But silly Daddy, I smile some more. I think he’s cute and funny and want to see just how far he’s willing to take this, the big fuddy duddy.

You see, daddy only has 3 billion brain cells in his cranium way up high. The air is thin up there and he gets light headed easily. He doesn’t realize that I’ve got him outsmarted, outsmarted so easily. I’ve watched all the training tapes on Santa, and Christmas and crew. I now Santa doesn’t have a phone. He lives back in time almost a hundred years ago and he flies with magic, and the songs all say that he’ll know if you’ve been naughty or nice and not a spot or a tune about Mommies and Daddies calling to tell on the phone.

I let daddy continue on this charade some more, I smile to myself when I realize how silly this is. If Daddy really wanted to scare me he’d put Santa on Speakerphone and let me talk to him myself, but Daddy isn’t talking to Santa, he’s talking to himself!

He hangs up his phone and says once again, “Corbin you need to put your socks on right now or else, or else . .” . and leaves the room again saying, “or else, you put them on before I get back.”

I start pulling on my grey striped tube socks, such a burden, such a pain, so much trouble afterall. This is Florida and if we were normal we wouldn’t wear shoes at all.

I pull both socks on with difficulty until. Just an inch or two is flapping losse past my toes. My daddy reappears, squats down and helps straighten an pull the socks onto my feet, then my shoes, then we’re ready to go.

We turn off the lights, we put up the gates, that keep my doggies out of trouble, in the kitchen where its safe. I climb into my car seat in his green car with the funny roof, that pops open and hides behind me when he pushes a button.

He buckles me in so I don’t fall out and we back out of the carport on the way to the store. Then all of a sudden we stop and go back, silly daddy has forgotten the videos, the reason for the trip, he’d forget his own nose if I hadn’t given it back.

We drive down the road to the store to have fun. He tells me if I’m good, we’ll go to Big Donalds for cheeseburgers and fun. I love ‘Big Donalds’ cause they have great toys. Their real name is McDonalds, but
Daddies silly and goofy and not to bright so I use the words he knows and this keeps him happy.

We go to the store and I’m really very good. I have fun on the floor, jumping and spinning and before I know it we are leaving again. On the way to the next store for movies. Daddy asks for five and reaches his hand back to me. I slap his hand with both of mine and he says ‘Thank You!’, but I don’t let go. I hold on and hold on and keep the hand with my own.

Eventually, daddy, who complains that he is driving, wriggles around and pulls and wriggles and pulls some more. He Slips away and says that I can’t hold on anymore. This makes me sad and I hide my face for a second, but he doesn’t see me cause he’s looking where we are going. So I have to drag it out and pout and get a little louder until he notices I’m unhappy and he says whats the matter. I tell him that he wasn’t being very nice to me with a sad sad voice.

He tells me, he was mean to me and says since I’ve been good. That he’s going to call Santa Claus and tell him I’m being good.

He gets his phone out and does it all again, but this time tells no one that I’m good and that the presents should come afterall. So all is well with the world and we continue to the video store. Where we get a whole bunch of movies and I pick out chicken run. Not the empty chicken run with no movie in it at all just a picture of the silly chickens and that’s when daddy steps in and says I have to take the one with out the pictures, but words and a real movie instead. This is fine with me and as we walk around the corner. I see a Big Buzz Lightyear and Woody and say, “look daddy at this Big Buzz and Woody on the floor.”

But Daddy’s in a daze and says yes that’s nice and says stick by me don’t get lost or too far away. We walk through the aisles until what do I see, but Pokemon:2000 on the shelf calling to me. I grab it and say I want to see Pokemon daddy, please.” He takes my chicken run and says, “OK” but only one movie, while he takes 4!
We go pay for them and I see lollipops galore, I try to ask for one but daddy says no, you never even eat them, you just throw them on the floor. Before I can protest, he catches me offguard, by saying besides we are going to Big Donalds next, so lets go have fun.

We go through the drive thru at Big Donalds not the play ground not here. Cause we are going home to get Mommie and find another play ground real near. I get a Monsters bag with a Monsters toy somewhere in side, but I can’t eat it until we get home to Mommy and get inside.

When we get home, no mommy, no mommie’s car. Just our doggies, Mommies still at work but should be home soon. Daddy puts my Monsters bag on the table pulls out chicken and fries and my orange drink, then a little bag, with my monster, I wonder which one it is what do you think?

It’s a spider, with a tag that daddy cuts off. He’s good upon request at such tasks especially if you ask twice. Soon Mommy is home and all is well with the world because this means we can go to the playground, yawn , we can go right now. I get out of my chair and leave the rest of my food un-eaten. I go tell Mommy the good news, we get, yawn, to go swing. Mommy looks a little sleepy from her long day in a cube, and says what have you eaten and you are not through. I say we’re going to the playgroun’ mommy lets go, let go now.

She and daddy say in unison, not now not till your thru, eatin’ your lunch, your chicken and French fries too.
Crushed and upset and, “yawn,” mad at the world my knees buckle and I sit on the floor. I can’t go to the playground not after all. I lose my appetite, “yawn,” for Big Donalds and his fries. I don’t want to eat it, I just want to cry. Mommy and Daddy simultaneously say, “you can go as soon as you eat all of your food, but if you don’t it will be nap time, so what do you want to do.”

I don’t hesitate for a second because I’m smarter than them. “I’m going to go take a nap, I’ll see you in ten.” I walk out of the room and head for my room. I grab my little pillow and a pillow case .aka Florida sleeping bag and lay on the rug. Daddy comes in and helps me into my sleeping bag and I roll around for a while. Playing with little toys and things and talking for a while. Just when I think, “yawn,” that I can’t wait any longer. I pull one foot and then another out of my bag, and run into the living room and ask Mommy, “Did Santa come yet, is it time to open presents?!”

“No mommy says not until tonight,” at she winks at smiling daddy. How about I take a nap with you now and we can go to the playground later. Torn and vanquished but most of all tired, I won’t pass up this opportunity to nap with my mommy.

We go lay down in my bed and soon my eyes flutter but not before mommy snores once or twice do I drift off myself. You have to be careful with these grownups you know, they are awfully sneaky and you can’t let them out of your sight lest they sneak away to their own bed in the middle of the night.

When I woke from my mid day dreams, I couldn’t’ shake off the night mare I’d had. I dreamed that Christmas would get here and Santa would never come. I thought, I’ve waited all year and I’ve been very good why won’t this day end? Why hasn’t Santa come?

I began to roll out of bed, but didn’t roll far. Mommy was still asleep in my bed and not her own. This made me smile since I knew I had won the fight. Even though it was day-time, she hadn’t snuck away in the middle of the night!

I giggled to myself then giggled aloud. Then giggled and squirmed until Mommy woke up too. We got out of bed and went to see what daddy was upto.

Daddy was sitting on the couch of course this day. Sitting and watching some silly Army show. With silly guys walking and singing and yelling a lot. Daddy’s a strange one and at times like this, I just can’t understand, why he doesn’t seize the opportunity, take action my dad, and change the channel to funny cartoons instead.

“Oh brudder,” I say as I roll my baby blues, which are very blue but not baby eyes, No no, just blue oh so blue.
I trod through the house and check on the dogs, I go back to my room and the siren starts to sing, but something is nagging at me, calling me away oh the Tv’s not going to get me again this afternoon, not this day.

Mommy asks, “Corbin!” with her normal exclamation of something fantastic to come, “Corbin!” she says again, “Do you want to go to the playground now?”

“Yah” I say with a difinity I’ve found is useful for one of my stature and 38 pounds. “I wunno go to the pewrayground, I wunno go now.”

Mommy says, “Ok, but you have to put some shoes and socks on.”

And Daddy echoes from the other room, “Hey Corbin, as soon as you put your shoes and socks on we can go to the playground to play!”

Now, let me explain something to you about Mommy and Daddy. As you can probably tell, they have a one track mind. I don’t know what a one-track mind is but I do know that they are very serious about this shoes and socks thing. We have had more than one heated discussion about what can and can’t be done before my shoes and socks go on. Today isn’t a day for messing around, I want to go to the playground, and play right now.

So I say, “OK” without a seconds delay. And I sit down on my brand new Christmas rug with a picture of a city and I put on my socks and I tell Mommy, “I want a kitty.”

Its always wise, I’ve found to constantly remind these poor old souls my parents of the things I need and the things I want or else they just can’t retain the thoughts in their head long enough to bring me a toy, or a car or a ball, or a kitty home so it can sleep in my bed.

So I get all ready to goto the playground. Daddy helps me into my car seat and asks me in a whisper, “Can I sit in front of you?” as he opens the passenger door.
I say, “Sure,” and when I see my mommy I say I want Daddy to sit next to me. But Mommy, who is on a diet, which is like a nap for grown ups, says, “No, I have to eat my midday snack.”

So daddy drives us to the playground with care with hopes of sneaking into the passenger seat sometime next year.

We get to the playground and get out of Mommie’s jeep. I make a bee-line for the playground the part with the slide. I climb up and up and run across the suspension bridge and up some more until I’m looking down a twisting slide that some call a Tornado, but I call a fun ride. I grab the go bar hangin in front and swing up with my feet kicking the sky and crashing down, “Smack!” on the slide ready to go in no time flat.

I look to my left and look to my right, I could care less about cars, but I cannot proceed until my audience of two is ready and agreed. I spot Mommy on my right and Daddy on my left and go down the slide with the wind at my back.

Mommy climbs part way up the spiral slide I’m on and blows strawberrys at my face and I’m sliding along. I giggle and scream and start to twist until I twist to the bottom and roll of the slide, landing on my bottom, woodchips in my hide.

I climb up again and again and again and then I swing and I climb and I go down again.
Then I make a dash for the second playground slide where the little kids play on their little kids slide. I used to play here when I first came to this place, but I’m a big kid now and I prefer the big kids space.

I swing through the small playground an old pro at this game. Running by the little kids struggling down the slide. Other Mommies and daddies have a panicked look in their face. I tell their kids in our secret code. “Don’t worry, they’ll grow out of it soon, they all go through this phase. Soon you’ll be running and climbing too and they won’t bat an eyelash, won’t flinch a muscle won’t even scream out your name.”

The other kids wink back and sigh and relax a bit. Its no easy job this little kid stint.

Soon Mommy and Daddy with a far away look peer out into the field looking at strange things and people and I have to wonder why. They can’t get into this playground thing, why they can’t stay focused on the game.
Mommy asks, “Hey Corbin, you wanna go for a walk over there.”

Daddy chimes in with an excited, “Yah do you want to walk over there and take a look around?”

I look in the distance and see a basketball game, I see people running and an old lady doing some stretching, squatting thing. Now I like basketball I like it a lot so I say ok, and we head off away from the playground lot. We walk by the baseball diamon and my daddy tells me its name, we walk by the basket ball court, and I tell him its for big big kids. We keep on walking and now my hackles start to go up. Why are we still walking, Why didn’t we stop. I glance over my shoulder to the playground in the distance and realize I’ve been had, spin and run for it man. I run and I run as fast as my blue’s clues shoes will move. I’m almost back to the park, when my daddy bounds by, turns and catches me as I start to cry.

He says, come on Corbin why are you running from us, that’s not very nice, now lets go back and tell Mommy your sorry for running off so quick and scaring her so.

I kick and I cry and I’m not happy at all why all this drama, why all this show, why are we leaving the playground, why can’t I stay and play on the slide on this glorious day.

We get back to Mommy and she scolds me like daddy. Saying, “you should run from your daddy, you shouldn’t run from us that makes us sad and might get you an Owie.

I take some deep breaths as we walk away. We walk down a path, towards some trees where its dark and I think about alligators in my playground park. We near a bend where I’ve been on walks before, Mommy and Daddy suddenly veer to the left, off the path going nowhere. Where are they going? This is getting worse by the minute. But in the distance I see something shiny, its blue and its red and it yellow and it might be . . .

Daddy says, “Hey buddy, do you want to go play on this playground now,” and points in the distance.

Oh, those trickster’s, they new there was another playground all along. They are not so bad. They are pretty darn good. I guess I’ll keep them one more year, maybe with time, maybe with love, maybe they’ll come around
until the family fits like a glove.

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