And so it has come to this: I’m cleaning urine. Not just from El Guapo’s diapered area, but from the top of his dresser, from the nearby bottle of hand sanitizer, from the box of wipes and from any other object that might be within the unfortunate three-yard-pee-stream-Shamu-style-splash-zone that exists south of his penis during diaper changes. I know what you’re thinking: Stop crying. That happens to every parent, particularly parents of baby boys. I agree, but El Guapo and I have an agreement. That is to say, we had an agreement.
Shortly after he was born, unbeknownst to Wife, El Guapo and I entered into the most sacred of pacts: a gentlemen’s agreement between father and son. That’s right, sisterhood of the traveling Spanx, our pact is better than yours. I remember it like it was only yesterday. [dream sequence blurring…]
Wife, holding a freshly diapered and swaddled El Guapo: Can you believe he peed on me AGAIN while I was changing him?
Me, sitting on the couch
watching HGTV reading The New Yorker: [smirking] Yeah, that happens.
Fast forward 2 to 3 minutes, the amount of time it takes a newborn to refill a diaper with urine.
Me, in a man-to-man manner: Look, we both know you know how to use that thing as a firehose. You don’t have anything to prove. I propose an agreement between the two of us. You refrain from pissing on me and I’ll do my best to keep from embarrassing you later in life in front of your mother, in front of your friends, whatever. Deal?
El Guapo, staring blankly at me (or the ceiling, it was hard to tell): …
Me: Good. Then it’s agreed. A gentlemen’s agreement, if you will. [quietly] Feel free to keep peeing on your mother, though. It’s hilarious.
And so it went for six full months. El Guapo refrained from peeing on or near me during diaper changes and I kept his secrets in the vault. But then things changed. He grew lazy. Or forgetful. Or cocky. Maybe he thought I’d let it slide. Maybe he just decided, “It’s not worth it. When you gotta go, you gotta go.” Whatever came over him, the fact remains: My son thinks it’s ok to piss on me. This aggression will not stand, man.
When El Guapo is at his most vulnerable — likely in his tween/teen years — I will have my revenge.
Had he kept our gentlemen’s agreement intact, I wouldn’t have to embarrass him in front of the ladies. If on a camping trip I see him talking to a group of girls, I’m afraid I’ll have to do just as my uncle once did to me and ride by on my bike and shout out, “Hey, El Guapo, did you finally get a lasso around that scorching case of herpes you have?” I wish I didn’t have to do that to him, but he peed on me.
Had he kept our gentlemen’s agreement intact, I wouldn’t remind his mother just how torturous it can be to live as an adolescent boy. If his sister finds his Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition and leaves a note on his pillow that states, “Give me $20 by Saturday or I’m telling Mom and Dad about this,” I won’t be as discreet as my dad would have been when that happened to me at age 12, had I asked him for help. His mother will hear about it. And she will probably want to have a talk with him about it. That won’t be embarrassing at all, will it? I wish I didn’t have to do that to him, but he peed on me. [side note: Kate Upton is pretty and all, but she’s no Kathy Ireland.]
Truthfully, I knew he was going to screw this up. I knew he was going to pee on me and laugh at my reaction with that snaggle-toothed grin. It was inevitable from the start that the gentlemen’s agreement wouldn’t last, and I’m OK with that. And I know that in time, he’ll be OK with the goofy things I’ll do to embarrass him — whether I do them intentionally or not.
I suppose we’ll just have to formulate a new gentlemen’s agreement. How about this: He agrees to stop spitting up so damn much and I won’t force him to read my blog…