The Damp Shaman

By Momo Estrella 2019-05-31 17:40:37

Late one evening, I'm being an all-round perfect Father by sitting and playing video games. I hear a bang, but it's not from my virtual quest. Another two loud bangs come from the other side of the room — the AA batteries from the air-conditioning remote slam onto the wooden floor as my son decides that all of the (many) toys that I bought for him are much, much more boring than this engaging plastic cuboid. And now he sees the batteries. Thanks to my now elite hand-to-eye co-ordination, I leap (well, kind of) into action and race my son across the room to the batteries, like that moment in the movie when the goodie and the baddie are racing to grab the Golden Chalice (or whatever) from its central resting point. Thankfully, I win, and try some sleight-of-hand to defer my son's gaze from the batteries to Piglet. It doesn't work.

Starting to cry (both of us), because the golden batteries are gone, the best thing in the world happens. Mum gets out of the shower. This brings some laughter into his crying as she walks into the room, and we both perform the insane garglings of two parents trying to stop their baby from crying. My wife is shaking her head from side to side and singing, but with her damp hair it looks like some kind of tribal blessing to the gods. I'm the backing dancer, hopping like a crab (I don't know why. I'm latino, so I should dance better than this) and trying my best, but my wife's damp hair slapping into my eyes makes the whole thing even more tragic.

Our son turns one this week. He has changed how we eat, sleep, talk and act. From failing latino-crab dance to wet-hair crazy shaman dance, our moments are defined by our obsession with making him happy. Our reactions to him are adventures that take us to new places, that test us, challenge us, but ultimately bring us closer together and create wonderful, bizarre memories. If you ever see us in public doing crazy dances to make him happy, please feel free to come and join in. Just don't get too close to my wife's hair.

The best thing in the world happens. Mum gets out the shower.