Tonawanda News

October 21, 2013

CRIB NOTES: Two kids, two different perspectives

By Paul Lane
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — By the third time I cleaned salad dressing up in the bathroom (bleu cheese this go-round), I began questioning a couple things.

First, I questioned why I didn’t even think twice the first two times I found salad dressing in the bathroom. The answer, of course, is because Rigby is Rigby and defies logic on nearly a daily basis (so THIS is what living with a man feels like).

That realization led to a second question. Why does he make some of the choices he makes? Penny has her share of stupefying moments, but her strangest acts look like feats of scientific marvel compared to some of Rigby’s bigger blunders.

The answer to that, I figure, must simply be because he’s a boy. For as much as I try to treat Penny and Rigby equally, that’s just not possible in some facets. That attempt is made harder by how differently they handle various situations we come across on a regular basis.

SITUATION: Potty time.

PENNY: Walks into the bathroom, conducts business there.

RIGBY: Discusses going to the bathroom and delays it until he has to run in there and barely beat the clock on making it into the toilet. Sometimes he actually does beat the clock.

SITUATION: Eat breakfast.

PENNY: Eats breakfast. Slowly. Very slowly.

RIGBY: Stares at the food and ponders how it was made, whether it’s eco-friendly, the meaning of life ... honestly, I don’t know what’s going his through his head. But it’s not eating. Usually, his thought process ends up at “this yogurt would be much better used thrown on the ceiling and in the fish tank than ingested.”

SITUATION: Play time in the backyard.

PENNY: Runs to the swing. Swings.

RIGBY: Gets tired of football, swinging, baseball and chase. Ends up with his hand in the hole that reaches 6 inches below the ground, searching for worms or Professor Lidenbrock or something. Takes special joy in wearing as much dirt as he unearthed.

SITUATION: Arts and crafts.

PENNY: Gets her Picasso on.

RIGBY: Paints for four minutes. Brings out the water cup in which to wash the brushes. Wants to fill the little paint cups with water. Ends up in the bathroom filling the sink with water. Complains that his shirt is wet, honestly baffled by the result.

SITUATION: Get ready for school.

PENNY: (Eventually) gets dressed, brushes her teeth, looks fantastic.

RIGBY: Ends up naked, butt pointing upward, having to be dragged into the bathroom to take care of things.


PENNY: Cozies up in her bed, sleeps until 7ish.

RIGBY: Ends up in my bed, butt pointing upward, tossing and turning until it’s determined I need to be up with him at 4:50 a.m.

SITUATION: I need to use the bathroom. I leave them in the living room for five minutes.

PENNY: Reads “Junie B. Jones.”

RIGBY: Becomes an interior design critic. Determines the hallway walls are missing one thing: mustard. Takes the redesign into his own hands. Ends up with his butt pointing upward (yeah, it’s a theme in our house) laughing about his handiwork when I emerge.

Now, this is not to knock my son’s intelligence. He’s quite the genius. He was just named Student of the Month. So he’s brilliant. He just makes choices that are sometimes ... lacking.

If you ask his mother, I do as well. But I don’t remember doing things quite like this. I guess that’s one of the advantages of having bad habits that are outgrown early in life.

These habits are outgrown, right? And early? Because I love my kids dearly, but the sooner I stop finding Catalina in the toilet paper roll, the better.

Contact Paul Lane at