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I Like to Think I Was Almost Fast Enough...

Dad and Magoo

But honestly, what could I have done? From where I stood at the living room window, I could see Magoo waddling quickly across the lawn, his face set in intense concentration, his fist clenched, with something brown and jiggly dangling from its grasp.

“Ack! The salamander!” I ran to find my shoes and rushed out the door. By the time I reached Magoo, all that was left of our dear little friend was a residue of brownish goo covering the palm of little buddy’s hand. Sal, we loved you well. Some of us loved you too well and now you are gone. We will pause for a moment of silence.

We will now unpause for a moment of justification. I must inform you all of the material cause for Sal’s untimely passing. Magoo is, in fact, a boy. It is true.

I have looked long and hard at the evidence and I see no other possibility.

The following is a partial list of reasons I have for believing Magoo is male.

1. Strollers — I am too cheap and our house is too small to go out and buy a bunch of cars, trucks and other "guy" toys for the little nipper. I'm sure that, in time, some relative will take pity on him and he will have all the wheeled plastic manhood his little heart desires. For now, there are plenty of dolls, blocks and princess things to get him through the 15 minutes per day he is not eating, sleeping or dismantling the house. Use your imagination, kid.

Last week I noticed that he'd taken a great liking to Laylee's doll strollers. How sweet. He was pushing them around the house, crashing them against each other, gathering speed and making loud car noises with his lips and tongue. Either someone's been sneaking him out to watch The Fast and the Furious in the middle of the night or that kid has something male-ish about him.

2. Noises — He learned to make car noises at around 9 months of age. He learned how to say mama with regularity at about 16 months.

3. Blankie — Magoo has lovingly named his little duck blanket "BUBBA." Great name. I'm sure it will fit in well at the monster truck rallies and gun shows he's sure to take it to.

4. Wild Kingdom — Under Magoo's tutelage, the toy animals that were once Laylee's "babies" now say RAARRRRR and attack each other ferociously in my very living room.

5. Bruises, Rocks and the Father — Life for Magoo seems a constant search for self-harming thrills, GOCKS! and DAT! Each time he enters the house, I confiscate the gocks as he runs from room to room peeking around corners and yelling "Dat? Da-at? DAT!" That kid loves his dad even more than he loves rocks and that's saying something for our little man.

With the untimely passing of the salamander, I am left pondering the origins of life and gender differences. Unlike Melissa, I don't still wonder about nature vs. nurture. I feel fairly confident after watching this cute little killer in action, boys just...happen. Now if only I can harness his powers for good, I may never have to kill another spider again.

Fish bowl