I always thought it was cute.
When he was first learning how to walk, he would always trip on the rug, and yell "Uh-Oh!", followed by a hearty giggle.
I'd always respond by asking him what happened, and he would point at the rug, and yell "That!"
He would always giggle again, and I would laugh with him.
Even when it was significantly less funny, like when he shit his diaper, he would still yell "Uh-Oh!" And laugh. Then he would point to his diaper and yell "that!" I swear to God he was making fun of the fact that I would have to change him.
Sarcastic little fuck.
But I was always happy to have a little boy with such a good sense of humor. I couldn't ask for a better son.
It wasn't all perfect though.
Sometimes, he couldn't sleep through the night. He would wail and scream until I came into his room, asking what was wrong, and he would just point at the window, and yell
That! That! That!
The weird part was that it wasn't even a particularly dark window that could lead a child to imagine things, the view from the window went out to my back yard, which was constantly illuminated by low level flood lights, and LED string lights I had around the branches of my one old oak tree, and the fact that it was on the second floor. He was acting like he was being haunted, or possessed, although I never believed in any of that sort of stuff.
I'd take turns every night with my wife, going in there to calm him down, but every night it was the same.
Uh-Oh! Uh-Oh! UH-OH!
Louder and louder until I came into his room. Then I would ask him what was wrong, and he would just point at the well illuminated window and say
That! That! That!
And I would always go to the window, open it up, and look around, just to show him that it was safe. He'd quite down for the night, but he never seemed too comfortable.
But it all grew so tiresome, and, as all parents know, sleep is a commodity that should not be wasted. And I grew short and tired of my son screaming at the nothingness outside of his window.
So one night, when he woke me, by screaming
UH-OH! UH-OH! UH-OH!
I went to his bedroom, and asked him what exactly was the matter.
That! That! THAT!
He pointed at the window that led to our well illuminated yard.
I was tired.
I was angry.
I had to go to work in the morning.
I had to show him that there was nothing out there that would get him, no bad boogie man that would take him away.
So I opened the window all the way and stook my head out.
See buddy? Nothing there?
And he started scream and squeal.
It felt kind of creepy, like he was seeing something I wasn't, but I was needed to be logical and I was beginning to lose my temper.
I went over to his crib and picked him up, bringing him to the window so he could see there was nothing out there, but he kept on screaming and getting more agitated as I brought him to the open window.
I gently held his head outside the windowsill, so he could look around, and see that there were no monsters, no ghosts, no devils to ge seen.
He squirmed out of my hands and fell headfirst onto the brick patio below.