Meet Charlie: Tools for climbing out of bad situations

This thought began due to a chance encounter with Charlie. I had not seen him for a while and I woke up to find him in bed with me. Should I explain yet?

Cai has been sick a lot this winter and we are currently living through the second bout of pneumonia. This has meant a lot of time in the house, sitting and not doing a lot; a recipe for disaster for an adult who missed being diagnosed with ADHD because it was not an available condition when he was growing up. We are also working hard to keep Cai entertained so my acquaintance with Charlie seemed like a good opportunity for a Facebook inclusion for his benefit.

Meet Charlie: every dad of young boys needs one – a farting, wise cracking, constantly laughing alter-ego.

Where is Charlie Dad? Can Charlie come to play? If only escaping grouchiness was so easy in other areas of life.


So where am I going with this?

Well Charlie has been the saving grace of my relationship with Cai on a few occasions. We are both mules and like things our own way and of course I pull the adult card and claim rank. When things have been tough between us it is nice to have a get out of jail free card. Charlie is that card, he does things that dad cannot or will not do. He is also very funny, when dad is just dad.

Kimberly bought Charlie so that Cai had a friend and proxy parent when I had to head to the UK alone one Christmas. What started as a Wil replacement became something quite different. Charlie; the green alligator, becomes the person I want to be. You can imagine some of the situations. There are times when I come home frustrated after work; Charlie is my excuse to find a light heart, laughter and the focus and presence of a child. At other times Cai & I are in a Mexican standoff, both of us believing we are right and that the other needs to flex, Charlie is my way to stand down, bring laughter back into the situation and between the two us we are able to find a compromise. Basically, any time where there is a difference of opinion and an impasse Charlie is able to breathe fresh and vibrant air onto the situation. Through laughter the charge of a situation is removed, different solutions are offered up and good choices made.

Charlie laughs, it is his personality, his essence and when Charlie laughs Cai laughs. Charlie also farts a lot and Cai laughs even louder. When Cai laughs mom & dad end up laughing too. Charlie also presents a situation from the perspective of an amused observer, he is often pretty insightful and certainly speeds up dad’s processing of a situation. The thing is that Charlie is one of the few panaceas I have come across. He really is snake oil. As I think back I cannot remember a situation that he has failed to smooth over. The only thing is that I have to remember to locate and bring him out. This is why I was so happy to wake up with him the other morning.

Innuendo aside, how often do you open your eyes to see someone who makes you smile warmly. More to the point, how do I create other Charlies to help me with the rest of my life?

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