Sometimes, in the midst of rewatching an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine for the fourth time in two weeks, I like to pause and contemplate the great mysteries of life–like, for instance, how sweet sleepy little babies transform into inexhaustible little tyrants, a.k.a toddlers. This contemplative pause is fleeting, however–twelve seconds if we’re being exact, which is the precise time it takes for a new episode of Thomas and Friends to autoload on our TV.
These days, I do my best thinking in the momentary silence between episodes of whatever my toddler is binge watching. For instance, during the last twelve-second break between episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine, I devised a complete overhaul of our justice system that would reduce crime to all time lows and alleviate overcrowding in prisons. As this blog is not about serious matters, like criminal justice reform, I’ll spare you the details, but here is the gist: it would merely require any violent offender to listen to the Thomas the Tank Engine theme song on repeat, uninterrupted, until they transform into a placid drooling vegetable. And if you think that is cruel and unusual punishment, just remember that’s what toddlers do to their peaceful law-abiding parents all the time–plus, if I really wanted to be cruel, I could have suggested the old theme song for Barney (I love you. You love me…).
The real problem with toddlers is pretty simple: they don’t toddle. They ramble, run, climb, crawl, roll, wallow, and wail, unless, that is, they’re mesmerized by God’s gift to parents, a talking train from the Isle of Sodor. If you take twelve seconds to think about it, solving the world’s energy crisis ought to be as simple as harnessing the unlimited energy source that powers your average toddler. I mean, when toddlers meltdown, at least they’re not radioactive. And though some diapers come pretty close to toxic waste, a diaper blow out doesn’t have nearly the environmental impact that a blown out coal ash pond would have.
Anyway, I could go on solving life’s most pressing problems, but my toddler has suddenly tired of Thomas the Tank Engine and was last spotted moving southward bound toward the kitchen. Judging by the clanging sounds emanating from that direction, he is currently spelunking through the kitchen cabinets, and I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be providing parental oversight of his exploration. Wish me luck.