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Thoughts from the Lower 40: I'm Not Kiddin'!
In March 14 Issue
Russell County News
By Wade Daffron, Columnist

I think I’ve decided to stop having kids.

This great epiphany came to me the other day when I was lying face-down in the front yard after attempting (unsuccessfully) to dive after…and catch…my four-year-old son as he was running toward the road.

Minutes earlier, I had watched him run down the driveway as he chased my wife’s car.

Renee’ was making a quick trip to the grocery (which is less than a mile away), and Drake had "something" he wanted to tell her.

That "something" was "Goodbye,Iloveyoumommy,I’llmissyou,mommy,haveaniceday." (And he runs it all together like that).

He’s going through this phase where he MUST tell her this whether she’s going overseas, to work, to the bathroom, or just outside of his line of sight.

When he was half-way down the driveway, I was hoping my wife would look in the rearview mirror and notice him.

Thank goodness, she did.

She slammed on the brakes, and jumped out of the car.

Good, I thought to myself, that little "momma’s boy" is finally going to be disciplined.

As he approached her, she bent over, thrust out her arms, and swept him up into a hug.

"Oh, come on!" I yelled. "He could have got out in the road and been hit!"

Renee put her hands on her hips, and scowled at me.

She did make Drake walk back toward the house, and I ordered him to help me clean out my vehicle since it was a nice day outside.

Renee’ eventually made it out of the driveway, and I was down on all fours trying to get something out from under my passenger’s seat while giving Drake the "Don’t Go Near the Road" speech.

I noticed two, tiny feet dash past the back bumper, and before I knew it, Drake was about 20 yards out in the front yard-dangerously close to the road.

I leapt up, and began running after him.

The first thing I noticed was it had been a l-o-n-g time since I’ve tried to "run," and it seemed like I was going in slow motion.

My legs didn’t move as fast as I thought they should, there was a sharp pain in my side, and I was gasping for breath.

I screamed for Drake to stop, but he kept going.

My fast-beating heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest when I noticed a car coming down the road…and Drake getting close to the ditchline.

By the grace of God, I got close enough to dive toward him.

It was only then that he stopped…and I fell face-down about four feet from him-my body stretched out like a cartoon character run over by a steamroller.

Drake stood silently until I managed to get back to my feet.

Then he took off running again…toward the house.

He got back on the carport, and I slowly made my way to him.

I was too angry, too exhausted, too emotionally drained to do anything but point toward the back door.

He screamed and cried all the way into the house until his face was covered in a "snot mask" with long strings of drool hanging from his open, screaming mouth to his trembling knees.

"Just…don’t…even…say…any…thing…to…me," I sputtered.

About that time, his mother walked in and scolded...ME!

"What did you do to Drake?" she screamed.

"ME?!" I screamed back. "What did Drake do to me?"

She scooped Drake into her arms and stomped away.

Our two-year-old, Kate, was watching all of this unfold from the living room floor.

She stood up, walked over to me, and said, "Bad daddy!"

Then, she took a box of cereal she was holding, and threw it on the floor.

"HEY, LITTLE GIRL!" I shouted. "You pick that up NOW!"

"NO!" she said.

"Excuse me...did you tell daddy 'no'?" I asked.

She took her little hand and brushed the hair from her face.

"I said...'no,' " Kate spat, sashaying past me-twisting her butt back and forth like windshield wipers.

"KATE!" I roared. "You're just like your mother!"

She stopped, put her hands on her hips, and scowled at me.

"Whatever!" she said.

I sat there thinking about my faltering fatherhood.

Oh, my oldest, Myles, 17, is doing well.

Hard-working and industrious (he takes after his mother) I call Myles "The World's Only, Living, Teenage, Dump Truck Owner."

Somehow, someway, he traded around and ended up with a dump truck.

And he makes more money in a week with that truck than I do in an entire month of work.

My 15-year-old, Evan, is an Emo Ninja with talent I could only dream of having.

Every once in a while I'll ask him, "Hey, have you ever thought about playing (insert obscure, classic rock or obscure, low-fi, indie rock song here) on guitar?"

He'll pick up a guitar-his fingers flying effortlessly up and down the fretboard-and say, "You mean that one?"

"Uh...sure," I'll say, feeling somewhat defeated. "I guess that's it."

"But wait, Evan," I may say, "I meant the CD Bonus Track Remix Version released only in England on colored vinyl."

And he'll reply, "Oh, then I need to tune down to drop A, and play the intro twice instead of once.."


My pathetic pondering was disturbed by a tugging at my pants leg.

It was the youngest child, eight-month-old Izabella.

"Hey, Izzy," I said, "you want daddy to pick you up?"

She grinned, and it tugged at my heartstrings.

I held her close, and felt a...warmth.

"Izzy?" I hesitated. "You didn't..."


There was a sound like someone throwing a tomato against a brick wall.

I looked down to see toxic, sludge-like goo seeping out of the side of her diaper and down the front of my shirt.

"Oh well," I said, "that's not the first time somebody's done that to daddy."

"Da...Da." she said.

"Daddy?" I replied, with tears in my eyes.

I like the sound of that. 

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