Child Rearin'

Published on March 26th, 2015 | by Richard Black

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Grocery Carts, Testicles and Other Errors in Engineering

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The seemingly innocuous shopping cart AKA The Nutcracker.

After a trip to the grocery store with Darcy, my four year old daughter, I concluded that the engineer who designed shopping carts was either possessed with a decidedly low brow sense of humor, a sadist, a eunuch or perhaps some combination of all three.

It turns out that when seated in a shopping cart a child’s feet are precisely positioned to kick a man of my height squarely in the balls. It may be one of those rare moments when an oversight coincides with tragic consequences like the smoking section on the Hindenburg or the creation of jeggings for men but I suspect that there’s some more devious force at work.

The most likely culprits are the North Koreans who intend to bring down our nation by rendering its men incapable of procreation but I couldn’t really say. My balls still hurt too much to allow me to concentrate on the issue at any length or depth.

For the next hour or so at the store I dodged the assaults on my genitalia amidst my daughter’s giggles and my own muffled screams. During the time I surmised that there really isn’t anything more hilarious than watching a small child kick her father in the nuts. If I could’ve charged admission to the show I would have made a fortune.

Mothers, children, women, men and fathers brighter than myself who had the forethought to leave their children at home in a locked closet with a bottle of cough syrup all had a good laugh. I would’ve as well if I could’ve managed the act without throwing up on the cashier. Instead I looked to see if the store had jockstraps and cups in stock. They didn’t but I bought some duct tape and a small metal bowl that rang like a gong every time my daughter swung her feet at my crotch.

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Frozen peas. Not just for eating!

Coming home from the store with a bag of frozen peas wedged firmly under my crotch I was in a rare reflective sort of mood.

Darcy, exhausted from the past hour or so of exertion from pummeling my testicles with her feet, had conked out in her carseat. Once home and as I carried her up to her room for a nap it occurred to me that something like karma might be afoot.

Some twenty five years ago or so, give or take, my youngest brother Bear was about three and a few years younger than my daughter is now. Bear was a sweet little kid with boundless energy who was about as bright as a concrete cinder block.

He had also reached the tender age so many younger siblings do when he could cheerfully follow, without question, instruction from his beloved older siblings. Bear’s brothers, and I must include myself in this category, began to explore the possibilities to be had with a malleable toddler at our disposal. If memory serves our first task was to instruct Bear to seek out our father and then pound him, as hard as possible, in the crotch.

“Daddy will give you a present if you hit him right between the legs,” we directed, “but you’ve got to hit him hard.”

“Really hard” someone, probably me, clarified.

Bear toddled off like a chubby little guided missile in corduroy overalls in search of our father who stood blissfully unaware of the oncoming assault. I distinctly remember hearing my father’s pleasant baritone greet Bear before it rose to a pitchy falsetto like shriek of anguish and Bear’s maniacal laughter as he careened back to us for additional instruction.

If memory serves we spaced the attacks on my father’s balls out over a few days before we were found out or had moved on to more important endeavors like hiding a sizable stash of pornography from our parents or learning how to smoke. It was a simpler, dumber time and one I have much to atone for especially when it comes to my siblings and parents.

I really can’t wait to see what sort of karmic boomerang the powers that be have in store for me next but I sincerely hope that it doesn’t have much to do with my balls.

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