January 29, 2008
Originally published June 16, 2003
When I took Jack and Quinton to the beach Saturday, I made them recite the rules before I let them go in the water.
#1) I will put two fingers above my belly-button and imagine a big, red line there. I will go NO DEEPER THAN THAT into the water.
#2) I will check in with Daddy every thirty minutes to let him know what we are up to. If I don't know whether it's been 10 minutes or 30 minutes, I'll go check in just to be on the safe side.
#3) You boys stay where I can see you. The current is gonna pull you down toward the rock jetty. If you can't look straight up the beach and see me, you're drifting away. Get out of the water, run up the beach and get back where you belong.
#4) If I have to rescue either ONE of you from drowning, I will kill you both and bury your dead bodies in the marsh by that fishing pier we passed on the way here. You got that?
#5) Have fun. Just don't piss me off.
I brought a book to read, but I didn't make three pages the entire time I was there. I kept an eye on Quinton and Jack. They minded me well, but twice they got carried away riding boogie boards and kept edging toward the rock jetty. Both times, I went down to the water and asked, "Do you know where you are? Is that where you're SUPPOSED to be?"
They jumped out of the water and ran back to where they started from.
Little boys are natural hellions and they believe that they are ten feet tall and bullet-proof. They minded rule #1 very well, but kept having trouble with that check-in and know where you are stuff. That's why I had to keep a close eye on them.
I dragged them out of the water once. "Get out!" I ordered. "It's been 35 minutes and I've had no check-in from either one of you. What was Rule #2?"
"Daddy, we saw you up there. You were talking to that lady in the black bathing suit."
Oh, yeah, I was. That was a black BIKINI, too. She was one of the true babes I met that day. I was being flirtatious and about to ask for her phone number before I decided to be a dad instead of a slut-muffin Lothario. "That don't matter," I said. "Y'all get out of the water."
As punishment, I made them spend two hours building the sand castle that the yankee vandals destroyed. By the time we finished the castle, the lady in the black bikini was gone. Oh, well.
"Can we go down to the jetty now and murder fiddler crabs with mud-balls?" Quinton asked.
"Sounds good to me." I replied. So we walked down to the jetty and murdered fiddler crabs for a while. (Take THAT, PETA!) Quinton swore that he saw an eel-head bobbing in the surf.
"What does an eel-head look like?" I inquired.
"Like an eel with his head cut off!" Quinton responded. We looked and looked in the surf and never did see anything that resembled an eel with his head cut off. "It was THERE, daddy! I SAW IT," Quinton insisted. The boy has a vivid imagination.
That's when we went back to find the yankee vandals smashing our sand castle and I was "rude" to the little shitbirds' mama. She doesn't know how lucky she was. My gut rumble was to grab one ear on each little vandal and bang their heads together until they fell unconscious on the sand. Then, I could drown Mama in a tidal pool at my leasure and let the crabs have them all. Asswipes.
I believe in rules. I don't believe in STUPID RULES (NO SMOKING ANYWHERE!)or rules just for that sake of rules (55 MPH speed limit), but good rules make sense (Don't smoke around the propane storage tanks. Wear a full acid suit when breaking an acid line. Stop for school buses.) and you should enforce them. Otherwise, they are merely suggestions, not rules.
I try to keep my rules simple and sensible. And I enforce them.
That's what daddies and bosses ought to do.
All content © Rob Smith