Head case

August 25, 2008

Oh, the travails of parenthood. How do father and mother anticipate this scenario: Atticus, newly turned three, begins crying. We find him wearing on his head a rigid cardboard can, his Lincoln Logs container.

“Why are you crying, son?” I ask. “It’s stuck!” he wails.

We can’t budge it. Suzame pries out his ears and holds his head while I tug, gingerly, several times. His feet start to lift off the ground. We move him to a bed. Same results.

We contemplate cutting off the can. Too dangerous. What about rubbing cooking oil around the lip or soaking it with a sponge? Then I reconsider cutting. With scissors I poke a hole near the bottom, far from his head, work in a finger, and manage to tear the cardboard. Atticus’ whimpering turns to laughter.

A memory is born.