Tag Archives: Fences

Ook, Ook To The Monkey Boy

by Richard

Look out, world. Today is the day Zippy the Monkey Boy turns 18.

It’s the day he’s been looking forward to for a long, long time. He likes to think that, just because the law considers him an adult now, that he’ll be treated like an adult here at Casa de Dude.

His mom and I don’t like to disillusion him* about stuff like this, but he’s really not going to be treated as if he’s a house guest. Okay, we’ll probably not cut up his food and wipe his mouth for him, but he’s still a kid in our hearts.

At least until he’s the one who pays for dinner when we go out, but that’s a separate thing entirely.

Today, we come to praise Zippy the Monkey Boy, not to bury him.

With a name like Zippy the Monkey Boy, you’d think he was the one who was always running around, knocking things over and flinging poop all over the walls. He was. But that wasn’t why he got the name. He got the name because he took to climbing like greased-up pigs take to sliding.

He never did learn to crawl. Instead, he kept low crawling until he could stand up and walk. He wanted the extra height, you see.

Once he got up on two feet, it was only a matter of time until he started seeing the fences and stuff we’d put up around the play area, not as a thing blocking his way so he’d better turn around, but as another toy, something we put there so he could have fun climbing and dropping.

That was what we listened to when he was a baby. That thump. We’d hear it and know he’d found his way over another obstacle and we should be expecting his arrival any moment. Diapers were a wonderful thing for Zippy the Monkey Boy. Great cushion. Of course, if it were already a full diaper before he climbed and dropped, we got to clean a lot of flung stuff after.

He’s kept it up. One of my favorite pictures of him shows him high up in a tree, screaming out his triumph for having climbed that high. He was 15 when we took that picture. He likes to climb is what I’m saying.

His other most distinguishing feature through the years has been his love of animals. This is a little dude that has wanted to be a zoologist since he knew someone could actually tell people he was going to study animals all his life and people would be okay with it. Now he’s going off to one of the best marine science schools in the country so he can make the study of sharks his life work. If nothing else, it shows he’s able to find a goal and stick with it.

Zippy the Monkey Boy is getting ready to head off to Wilmington to try his act out down there, along the beaches, among the co-eds and out on his (metaphorical) own. Sure I’m worried.

But only a little. I have the feeling Zippy the Monkey Boy is going to keep on climbing, always reaching for something just out of his reach and finding a way to get it and then seeing the next thing just a little higher up.

It’s been an adventurous 18 years. I can’t wait to see what the next 18 bring.

Ook, Ook, Zip.

*no, that’s a lie. We love disillusioning him. It’s such fun.

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The Guide: That Ounce Of Prevention

by Richard

Let’s talk safety. Last week, he started our discussion on how to make sure your little dude or dudette doesn’t get wheeled into a dust-covered death trap when he or she gets brought home for the first time.

Although, yeah, it does sound sort of like fun, we can assure you the minor bit of funny you find won’t be worth the years and years of hel– heck you’ll be getting from the mother of said little dude. Anyway, here’s the rest of the list from the guide.

5. As seen in the upcoming chapter about diaper changing, we recommend you get a changing pad for the floor. The pad should have a safety strap with a plastic buckle that will keep your little dudette safely on the pad and not rolling across the floor. Plus, falling off the pad won’t happen if it’s on the floor.

6. Get some baby blankets. These are specially designed to be more porous so, in the unlikely event your kid gets stuck under it, she will still be able to breathe.

7. A good thing to have for the bath is a plastic cover for the faucet. You can get them in a lot of cool shapes, like fish and stuff, which will stop your little dudette from whacking her head on the hard, metal faucet.

8. If you’ve got stairs, you need to get safety fences for the top and the bottom of each staircase. These are expandable and will stretch to cover the opening.

Personally, I like the kind of fences that you can open with your foot. That way you can carry the baby up and down the stairs without making a major production of it.

9. Welcome to the high-tech age. We recommend you get a baby monitor. You’ll place the larger broadcasting unit in with the little dude and get the receiver to carry around with you. Some models even have more than one receiving unit, both of which function as two-way radios. That way you can listen to the baby and talk to your partner when you’re in different parts of the house.

10. You’ll also need to do some redecorating. When the little dudette gets to be able to crawl and walk, she’ll start to explore and she won’t know the difference between a priceless souvenir Star Wars jelly glass and a worthless piece of junk. So you and your partner will need to move all breakable stuff out of reach, and that includes stuff that might break off and go down her throat.

11. Make sure any toys you buy are age appropriate. When the box says it’s for ages three and up, it really is for those ages. Toys for older kids often have small pieces that a baby cold easily put into his mouth.

And that’s about it for now. We’ll be back next time with really cool stuff. Like little dudes pooping and peeing in diapers and why it’s not a good idea to just keep waiting and waiting before changing said diapers. They don’t really hold 10-13 pounds.

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The More Things Change. . .

Some things, it seems, never will change. Take my middle little dude, just as a for instance. Zippy the monkey boy got his name because, as a little little dude, he would climb anything he saw. I mean anything. Couches, legs, counters, trees, fences, cars. Seriously. Anything.

I’d thought that as he grew older (he’s now approaching his 15th birthday) he just might have grown out of it. Turns out I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

When we were at the beach for our family vacation last month, Zippy and I parted ways after the deep-sea fishing trip. He stayed behind to eat lunch with some of the cousins his own age, while I headed into town for a little shopping. What can I say? That’s how I roll.

Anyway, he headed home with the cousins to an empty condo. There was no one home. To top it off, the front and back doors were locked and, he said, he couldn’t find any way in.

So, what did he do? Did he decide to stay with the cousins? Did he ask an adult for help? No. Of course not.

He reverted to type.

Zippy the monkey boy decided to climb up the outside of the condo to the second-story balcony, clamber over the iron railing and then open the sliding-glass door to get inside. Luckily, the sliding-glass door was unlocked and he got in without incident.

Here’s an artist’s conception of Zippy the monkey boy getting into the empty condo.


Considering the artist has never met Zippy, well, let’s just say it’s a pretty good likeness.

— Richard

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