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Uutz (standard:humor, 2713 words)
Author: Bob KainAdded: Sep 17 2000Views/Reads: 2860/1340Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
My first day alone with my 2 year old son....
 



Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

Bud?" 

"Uutz", his arm came up, one finger pointing at the kitchen.   He had
two cookies left.  What else did he want in the kitchen?  Something to 
drink, maybe?  Guess a guy couldn't eat cookies without something to 
drink. 

"You want some milk"? I asked. 

"Uutz."  This time the word was accompanied by a little smile.  Looked
like I had gotten it right.  I went to the kitchen and poured some milk 
into a spill proof cup, came back and handed it to him. 

"Here you go.  What do you say?" 

"Uutz."   Okay, I was really getting the hang of things.   This
babysitting stuff was going to be no problem, I thought, as I settled 
back to watch Cookie Monster join Big Bird in a rousing duet.  At least 
I thought I was going to settle back anyway.  Two sixty pound dogs, 
Pete and Nikki, had appeared in front of me.  By the looks on their 
faces and the wagging of their tails, they seemed to have other ideas.  
 Again getting up, I opened the back door, the dogs trotted into the 
yard and I went back to the sofa. 

"Uutz."  Two small, empty hands were being held out to me.  The cookies
were gone. 

"No more cookies, Buddy.  You've had enough." 

"Uutz, uutz."  The small hands waved insistently.  Well, what harm would
a couple more cookies do?  It was still early.  They wouldn't spoil his 
lunch.  Another trip to the kitchen and I deposited two more 'Nilla 
Wafers in the little hands. 

"What do you say?" 

"Uutz." 

Right in the middle of Bert explaining to Ernie the answer to a very
intricate problem, my concentration was broken by furious barking and 
growling coming from the yard.   Bolting off the sofa, I ran out the 
back door.  There was a strange car parked in the neighbor's driveway.  
The people in the car were trying to get out, but Pete seemed to have 
other ideas.  He was racing around the car, barking his fool head off.  
 Pete was harmless, but the poor people in that car didn't know that.   
I started trotting across the yard to get him, hollering at him to come 
home. 

Halfway across the lawn, a scream came from the front of the house,
followed by more barking.  Reversing my direction, I yelled over my 
shoulder for Pete to come home and sprinted around to the front of the 
house to find Nikki on the other side of the street facing off with 
Mrs. Johnson. 

"Your dog chased my Snowball up the tree!" Mrs. Johnson yelled. 

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Johnson.  I'll get her.  Nikki!   Nikki, come!" I
screamed, running across the street to grab her. 

"Uutz, uutz, uutz".  What the hell?  I looked around and here came Logan
toddling toward the street.  Damn, I must not have latched the back 
door. 

"Logan, no!"  I grabbed for Nikki, missing her by an inch. 

"Mrs. Johnson, I'll be right back.  I'm sorry.  Nikki, come!"  I ran
back across the street just in time to grab Logan before he got to the 
pavement.  As I headed to the house with him, I could hear Mrs. Johnson 
still screaming at Nikki to leave her Snowball alone.  When I got to 
the back door, Pete was there, soaking wet, trying to crash through the 
door and get inside.  Stealing a glance to the neighbor's, I saw Mr. 
Peterson standing by his visitor's car, still holding the hose in his 
hand.   There was going to be a lot of apologizing to do later. 

I put Logan down and started back out the door. 

"Waaaahhhhh!" 

"What's the matter?   I'll be right back.  Stay." 

"Waaaaaaahhhhhhh!"   Damnit.  I ran to the kitchen, grabbed the box of
'Nilla Wafers, opening the top as it ran back to the door and handed it 
to Logan. 

"Okay, now?  Stay here and be a good boy.  I'll be right back.  Play
with Pete.  Okay?" 

"Uutz." 

Back out the door, I ran across the street again.  Nikki was still at
the base of the tree, barking madly.  Mrs. Johnson was still standing 
there, yelling at Nikki.  The cat was the only calm one there, sitting 
out on a branch, peering down, seeming to be wondering what all the 
fuss was about. 

Grabbing Nikki by her collar, I apologized to Mrs. Johnson again and
drug my wayward dog across the street and back into the house.   Logan 
and Pete weren't where I had left them, but I could hear giggling 
coming from the family room.   That sounded like trouble. 

I was right.  When I went into the family room, child and wet dog were
on the sofa, the cookie box was torn in about five pieces and cookies 
were everywhere.  Well, all the cookies except the three or four that 
were shoved in Logan's mouth, the other four he was holding in his 
hands, and the half dozen that Pete was swallowing whole. 

"Pete!  Get off the sofa!  Logan, no more cookies!"  I yelled, and
started to pick up pieces of the cookie box and what few cookies hadn't 
yet been devoured.  Reluctantly, the dog slid off the sofa, lying down 
in front of it.   I took the mess to throw into the trashcan in the 
kitchen.  What time was it?  God, only 10:00?  My watch must have 
stopped.  Felt like Trace had been gone for two days. 

Back in the family room, I grabbed a handful of wet fur and pulled Pete
off the sofa, took the remote from Logan's hands, turned off the TV and 
stuck the remote in my back pocket. 

"All, right.  Listen up, you guys.  Just because Mom's not here doesn't
mean you two are going to run wild."  I was down on my knees, looking 
them straight in the eyes.  I had their full and complete attention.  A 
sloppy tongue licked my face repeatedly.  Logan jumped on Pete's back, 
squealing and pulling on the poor dog's ears. 

"You understand me, Logan?" 

"Uutz." 

"Okay, just as long as we've got that straight," I said to nobody that
was listening, and went into my den to smoke a cigarette.  Somewhere 
along the line, I had promised not to smoke anywhere in the house 
except my den.  I'm not sure when that weak moment occurred but Trace 
had assured me many times that it had indeed occurred.  Flopping in my 
recliner, I lit a cigarette, inhaled deeply, felt that first delicious 
bit of nicotine.  CRASH!    Jeez...what now?  I stubbed the cigarette 
out in the ashtray and against my better judgement left my safe, cozy 
den to check on this latest ruckus. 

Two dogs and one little boy stood in a circle, staring down at what once
had been a clay flowerpot containing some sort of semi-alive 
houseplant.  I'd never particularly liked the plant anyway.  Maybe 
Trace wouldn't notice that it was gone.  For a moment I thought about 
cleaning up the dirt and pieces of clay.  But my male logic, honed to a 
fine point over the years, told me that this mess was best left for 
later.  There were still bits and crumbs of cookies everywhere, dog 
hair on the sofa and muddy paw prints on the carpet.  Better to wait 
until Logan was taking his nap and then clean up everything at one 
time. 

But for now, how was I going to keep this trio out of trouble for the
next few hours?   Quickly, my mind ran through the few options that I 
could think of.  We could go outside and play, but it was pretty cold 
out.  We could get the crayons out and color.  We could play with the 
zillion or so toys piled in every corner of the house.   We could read 
stories.  Or...we could watch cartoons.  I recalled Trace's 
instructions, her admonition about letting Logan watch too much 
television.  It was time for an executive decision. 

Pulling the remote from my pocket I switched on the television, then
held my finger on the channel button until a cartoon appeared on the 
screen.  I picked up Logan, sat him in the center of the sofa and 
patted the end cushion, inviting Pete to join him.  In the kitchen I 
got one of the cups of juice and a Pepsi from the fridge.  Back in the 
family room, I handed the juice to Logan, popped the top on the Pepsi 
and settled into the sofa beside my son.  A quick look from the corner 
of my eye assured me that everything was fine.  Pete was asleep on the 
sofa, Nikki was dozing on the floor and Logan was engrossed in his 
cartoon.  Leaning back in my seat, I closed my eyes for a moment.  I 
wouldn't fall asleep.  Just needed to relax for a minute. 

What was that awful odor?  Like an ammonia capsule, the smell shook the
stupor from my brain.  I looked at my watch.  It said 1:15, but it 
couldn't be that late.  I would have delved deeper into this time 
problem, but the horrible smell brought my mind back to the present.   
Looking to my left, I saw that Logan and Pete were still in their spots 
beside me on the sofa.  That was good.  Sniffing a little harder, I 
realized that the odor was coming from Logan.  That was bad; very, very 
bad. 

"Logan, do you have a dirty diaper?" 

"Uutz." 

After grabbing a fresh diaper, I laid Logan on the floor, where he
immediately began to squirm, roll and in general do everything possible 
to make things difficult for me.  Finally, I got his jeans off, pulled 
the tapes on the diaper and pulled it down.  Oh my God!  How could one 
little boy make such one huge mess?   Where the hell were those wipie 
things? 

"Stay there, Logan.  I have to find the wipies.   Don't move."  I turned
my back for ten seconds, couldn't have been more than ten seconds.  
Found the wipies and when I turned around there was Logan. 

"No!  No, Logan.  Aw, jeez.  Pete!  Put that diaper down!  Pete!  Stop!"
 Picking up Logan and making sure to hold him well away from me, I 
chased down the dog.  I stood the kid down on the floor, feinted left, 
grabbed right and snatched the diaper from the dog's mouth.  Out to the 
kitchen trashcan.  Messy little boy in one hand, messier diaper held by 
the tip of the thumb and one finger of the other hand.   Back to the 
family room.  Five or six wipies later, the messy little boy was clean 
again with a fresh diaper on.  My watch read 1:45.  Close enough; nap 
time. 

Thankfully, Logan went right to sleep when I put him in his crib.  Going
back down the stairs, it dawned on me that I hadn't given him lunch.  
Well, he'd had milk, juice and a whole lot of cookies.  He probably was 
okay. 

I had at least an hour, maybe more before Trace would be home.  I'd sit
down for ten minutes, smoke a cigarette and then get everything cleaned 
up before she got home.  Again, I sank into my recliner.   The first 
puff of the cigarette was heaven.  My second puff was interrupted by 
the ringing of the phone.  Probably just a sales call.  I decided to 
let the machine pick it up. 

"Hi, Honey.  How's it going?  Wanted to let you know we got done early. 
I'm in the car, be home in about fifteen minutes.  Bye." 

Another cigarette was stubbed out in the ashtray.  I flew to the hall
closet, grabbing the vacuum cleaner, broom and dust pan.  For the next 
ten minutes I raced around the family room, sweeping up flower pot, 
potting soil, dead plant and vacuuming dog hair from the furniture and 
paw prints from the carpet.  Toys were picked up and tossed in some 
sort of pile in the corner.  Returning the cleaning tools to the closet 
I went again to my den, and lit my third cigarette.  Nothing was going 
to prevent me from enjoying this one.  Just as I lit it, Trace came 
through the front door.  By my second puff, she was in the den. 

"Hi!  How'd it go?" 

"Just fine.  Everything went just fine, Honey." 

"Aw, that's great.  I'm so proud of you.  Jennie asked me to go with her
again tomorrow.  I wasn't going to go, but since things went so well 
for you today, I think maybe I will go.  If you don't mind?" 

"Uutz." 


   


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