And so it has come to this: I see my kid in other kids.
A month after Bean was born this glorious video of a little girl playing with a dead squirrel appeared on YouTube. (Safe for work, no blood or gore. Just a kid with a squirrel. Watch it, then read on.)
The Wife and I must have watched the video a hundred times. Every time we laughed and laughed and laughed. Sometimes hysterically. It became a bit of an obsession. We quoted her. “Hey, Wife, look outside on the deck. A squee-ole!” We wondered why our dog hadn’t killed a squirrel for us to play with (she’s too old and slow.) We both hoped our daughter would be as cool and seemingly carefree as the little girl in the video.
Fast forward two and a half years. Bean was winding down at the end of a long day of playing. She brought the iPad over to me and asked to watch something. She’s kind of into people dancing, especially kids, so we watched one of Wife’s favorite videos of a kid dancing. Bean was less than impressed. I figured she might like to see the video of the little girl with the squirrel. She doesn’t understand the concept of “dead” (I don’t think (?)) so she’d probably just see a kid with a furry creature. As the video played, Bean stopped paying attention and jumped off my lap to play in her cardboard box (currently a spaceship).
Two year olds are so fickle.
Wife and I kept watching, mouths agape. The video was still painfully cute to us, but it’s also painfully real.
I don’t know how old the girl in the video was at the time. I’m guessing she was just on the 2 side of 3-years-old or just on the other side of 3. It doesn’t matter. As we watched her twirl around gleefully with her squirrel, all we saw was our Bean.
Bean is matter of fact. (“A squee-ole. It’s dead!”)
Bean is innocent. (“Look at this baby sqee-ole! Wanna touch him?!”)
Bean is observant. (“Now I have two animals, a dog and a squee-ole!”)
Bean is imaginative. (“Look, it’s bobbing its head!”)
Bean assertive. (“No, I don’t wanna bury it.”)
Bean is a planner. (“I wanna touch it tomorrow.”)
Bean is devastatingly cute. (“Hiiiiiii. Goodbye.”)
I’ll admit, as awesome as the video is, it’s now a little gross to imagine my own kid wandering up to me with a freshly dead animal pelt draped across her shoulders. That said, it makes me wonder what awesomely gross things Bean and El Guapo have in store for us down the road.
But kids, if you’re going to pick up a dead animal and play with it, please make sure it’s something like a squirrel or a rabbit and not something like a skunk or a snake. I just don’t think I can handle that.