It’s been a while since I wrote much about my young apprentice. Contrary to some ugly rumors, this is not because we keep him confined to the crawlspace beneath our living room.The name “crawlspace” certainly implies that this area would be ideal for Kyle, given his current mode of transport. Nonetheless, he remains blissfully unaware of the space and its grisly history. Laura and I have had some discussions as to when Kyle should be made aware of it. Laura seems to think that I’ll send him in to retrieve various stored items as soon as he is able to walk (a reasonable assertion, as I have to fold myself in half to maneuver through the crawlspace). I, on the other hand, am of the opinion that the existence of a hidden room beneath our feet is something that ought not be revealed until the boy is old enough to appreciate the threat of exile to said space when he misbehaves. He lives among us, exploring his own personal microcosm (which is approximately eighteen inches high and spans across the living room, dining room and kitchen), except on those occasions when he rides atop my shoulders, something he enjoys a great deal, if the shrieks of delight and excited fist pummeling my cranium are any indication.There was an unfortunate incident involving rather a lot of vomit and my cornflower-blue shirt last week. Kyle didn’t seem too bothered by the contents of his stomach suddenly spilling out onto my shirt and pants, the wall and carpet in three distinct hurls, but I learned an important lesson: when it sound like he’s gonna puke, it’s probably because he’s gonna puke. Also, don’t put a sick boy on your shoulders; he may puke.
Until recently, the Xbox, DVD player and home theater receiver were all within Kyle’s microcosm, protected from his eager little fingers by a baby gate across the front of the entertainment closet. We were all too aware that those little fingers were capable of reaching through the gate and pressing buttonsKyle is particularly fond of turning on the Xbox (which pleases me) and he removed the shuttle knob on the DVD player (which didn’t please me so much).but I put off addressing the situation until last weekend, when I was watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Kyle began cycling through the surround sound options. He flipped from stereo to all-channel stereo to Dolby Digital to orchestral and so on, and so I scooped him up, plunked him down in the Pack-n-Play and spent an hour and a half wrestling with the tangle of cables necessary to connect the various components to one another. The end result: Kyle will not be able to reach the Xbox until he is able to stand; the remaining components will remain out of his range until he is five or six years old.
After the cable-wrangling was complete, we watched The Incredibles and then played Marvel Ultimate Alliance for a while. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that Kyle figured out how Spider-Man’s web-swinging ability works before I did. This shame is only somewhat alleviated by the fact that the Kyle-controlled Spider-Man spends much more time running into corners than he does web-swinging.
Speaking of super heroes, one of Kyle’s favorite toys is a plush Spider-Man with flat, rubber, chewable hands. Kyle has been teething on and off for several months, so anything that can be chewed will be chewed, and Spider-Man’s wacky hands are perfect.
Just yesterday, Kyle was introduced to another super hero: Batman. Miscellaneous G™ gave him a two-foot tall Batman pillow, complete with cape. Batman is a bit taller than Kyle, and he looks very stern, but the important thing is that he’s soft and cuddly (not exactly the image the Dark Knight was going for, I’m sure). Check him out…
Kyle was very pleased with the gift. The only thing he needs now is his own Robin costume. A billionaire benefactor wouldn’t be bad, either.