That Time I Waterboarded My Son

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One of my all time favorite shows from my youth will always be 24. I spent nearly a decade watching this action-packed show, becoming more and more engrossed with every passing season. Some people (like my wife) even say I developed an unhealthy man-crush on the main character Jack Bauer. Well if loving Jack is wrong, then I don’t want to be right!

How could you NOT fall in love with Jack and all his rugged badassery?!? I mean the man has saved the world from imminent terrorist threats on more occasions than you can even count. The man just knows how to get shit done; at any cost. He’s MacGyver on fucking steroids!

I know what you’re thinking – “But Mike, that show was so unrealistic. If it was supposed to take place over 24 hours, how the hell can Jack travel all over the world, and still have time to thwart a terrorist attack, all in the same day?” Well, the answer is very simple…SHUT UP!

Spending the better part of my single days twenties watching Jack save mankind one crazy adventure at a time, it never really hit me that watching all his tactics for gathering information no matter the cost, would one day prepare me for fatherhood.

Now let me be clear here, I am in no way condoning torture for information, however; jackevery time I pick up Ferris from preschool and am met with the same non-answer or incoherent babble when I ask the simple question, “What did you do in school today”…all I’m saying is I understand the lengths Jack goes to in his information-gathering sessions with terrorists. Sometimes extreme situations call for extreme actions.

When Ferris was about 9 months old the Wife went out of town on a business trip, and not just like down the road kind of out of town, she was out of the continental United States in Puerto Rico lounging on the beach and enjoying adult beverages, while I was home with an infant all by myself.

This may come as a shock to many of you, but I was nervous as hell to care for my son for those 3 days all alone. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “But Mike, you’re like the poster child of I’ve got this parenting shit all figured out,” but trust me when I tell you, I was even more clueless back then than I am now.

On the second day the Wife was gone, the kid was still alive and our apartment hadn’t been burned down, so needless to say, I was feeling pretty awesome about myself. I picked the boy up from daycare and being that it was a nice day out I decided to take the kid on a walk (well, I walked, he sat his lazy self in the stroller) around the neighborhood.

We had a great time. The walk was great, I talked, pointed out different animals and plant life, and Ferris did his usual ignoring me. It wasn’t until we returned home that the real problem started.

Upon returning home I set the newly mobile agent of destruction (aka infant) playing in the living room while I started preparing dinner for the two of us. And much like the evil-doers on 24 my son moved in silence, while my back was turned, unknowing and unsuspecting. I was lulled into a false sense of security by his miniature size and overall cuteness, yet unbeknownst to me, he had a diabolical plan for chaos.

I turned around just in time to find my son licking the wheel of his stroller. Normally I would just chalk this action up to his usual buffoonery and think nothing else of it, but this time I saw the wheel was covered in some sort of brown substance and Ferris was nomming on it like it was some veggie puree.

At the time we lived in an area with lots of dogs, with even more lazy owners who refused to pick up after those dogs, so naturally my mind shot to that brown substance being dog poop. HOLY SHIT, my son is eating dog poop!!!

I scooped up Ferris so fast I’m surprised I didn’t snap him in half. The moment went from calm and fun to OMG DEFCON 1 in a blink of an eye. All I could think of that my son had just ingested some poodle poop. I frantically searched all over the kitchen for the magnet we had been given by pediatrician with the number for poison control.

After thoroughly destroying the kitchen with no number to show for it, and a frightened infant in my arms, I decided it was up to me to fix this situation. Much like Jack Bauer, I knew I had little time to do it in.

First I tried opening my son’s mouth to scrape out the yuk that was in there. This is when I found out that kids jaws are made out of fucking steel. I would have had an easier time breaking into a safe than getting that damn kid’s mouth open. Luckily for me, for as strong as my son may be, he’s even less smart. As soon as my kid yawned I stuck my finger in his mouth to keep it open, but this is when I discovered I wasn’t much smarter than my infant son. I had forgotten my son was getting his teeth in; razor sharp teeth at that.

I was at a loss. My son wouldn’t open his mouth, and I had no other way to get the toxic crud out and keep it from seeping through my son’s body. It was time to go full on Jack Bauer, because desperate times call for desperate measures.

I grabbed the tiny water bottle we used to wet the cloth wipes for cleaning his butt and shoved it into his mouth. Maybe it was out of shock or him thinking it was a bottle to drink, but the boy opened his mouth, and that’s when I squeezed with everything I had. Water filled my son’s mouth then came shooting back out like a fire hose into a bucket. That’s right, I literally douched my kid’s face.

The look on his face was one of sheer terror and confusion. But much like my teacher of interrogation methods, Mr. Bauer, I wasn’t satisfied and decided to ramp things up a notch, just so this little agent of chaos would know I meant business, or maybe I was still so freaked out by the thought of poop in my kid’s mouth. I flipped on the kitchen faucet and shoved his face under while rooting around his mouth to clean it out.

So if you’re keeping score, not only did I douche the face of my infant son, I waterboarded his ass too. Satisfied that I had removed all foreign objects from his mouth, and possibly a couple of teeth, I set Ferris down. My son crawled away with a look of bewilderment on his face, but also now armed with the knowledge that his father meant business.

Later that evening after putting Ferris to bed I did a closer analysis of the substance on the stroller, only to find out it was only mud. That’s right, I used enhanced interrogation techniques on my 9 month old all because he put mud in his mouth. Father of the year right here folks.

Hey, even Jack tortured an innocent person once or twice.