My Infant Son Doesn’t Spray Devil Red Piss Directly Into My Mouth As Often As I Thought He Would

In the movies it’s constant. Diaper opens, little boy smiles and sprays; father leaps back shocked and damp and together they laugh. But the reality of raising a son is more mundane. Only a handful of times have I unwrapped the flaps and been assaulted by gushes of hot froth into my open eyes. These comic scenes of new fatherhood unfold rarely. Does my son roll back his legs in the bathtub, carefully aim, and pressure-wash my teeth with his evil soda? Of course he does. But this is a four or five times a week event, not a daily one. And does he stand over me while I sleep, hosing me head-to-foot with his vinegar, refusing to stop until I’m nose-deep in his rotten puddle? Yes, but it’s not all the time like on television. This takes place but once per night. The endearing slapstick scenes we see on screen unfortunately do not occur as often as I’d imagined they would. So when my baby boy finds me at the office and pins me down on my desk to waterboard me with his foamy brine while my boss and colleagues cheer over the wall of my cubicle, and I choke and wheeze and cry, fading from consciousness, meeting the Devil as I’m baptized in poison, I savor it. Fatherhood is joyous and invigorating, but the clock ticks. I hold on tight to these charming moments that happen only seven or eight times a day.