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Steve Bartlett: Like father, like son

Like father, like son.
Like father, like son.

“Steve, can you stop over to Rennie’s?” my wife asks over the hands-free as I’m driving home.

Steve Bartlett: The Deep End

I say yes to her and “YEESSS!” to myself.

Rennie is our neighbour.

I suspect (er … hope) my wife was over talking to them and he’s asking me to stop by for a pre-dinner beverage.

Instead of a cold beer, I’m greeted at Rennie’s door by a bandaged face.

My son’s!

He took a stick in the eye playing street hockey.

He acts and appears fine, but apparently he’s lost some blood and the cut is deep.

My wife leads me outside and points to some stains.

The blood loss, combined with the proximity of the wound to his eye, mean a trip to the emergency room.

My boy wants no part of it.

“I just want to go back out and play hockey,” he argues.

I feel like channelling Cherry: “Put ’er there, kid. You’re my type of player, a great Canadian kid. Takes one in the eye and all that matters is getting back out there.”

Instead, I go into dad mode: “I know you want to play hockey, but a doctor has to look at your eye.”

We head to the hospital.

An intern examines him and says the cut is borderline, that my boy may or may not need stitches.

He leaves and returns with another doctor.

They opt not to stitch, but to seal it with glue.

A nurse joins the doctors and they begin sealing it up.

My son fires a million questions at them.

What are you doing?

Why are you doing it?

How are you doing it?

What kind of glue is it?

Will it get in my eye?

Have you done this before?

OMG, I say to myself, he’s like a little journalist.

OH NO, I say to myself, he’s like a little journalist!

I love my profession, but not the accompanying occupational hazard.

I’m always asking questions — of everyone and everything, from complete strangers to stray dogs.

Those who are close to me get the worst of it.

And then there’s my poor wife.

She takes more daily questions than Sean Spicer.

I call while writing this and ask, “Do you think I ask too many questions?”

It was just like I had thrown gas on a lit barbecue.

“Yes, you certainly do,” she replies, “Sure, last night I asked you to pick up one simple item at the store and you phoned me twice with more questions about it.”

Guilty as charged.

And the thing is, I know the constant questions are really, really annoying.

I just don’t know how to turn the freakin’ things off.

And now it appears my son is a chip off the old block.

I feel bad for the doctors and nurse as he continues grilling them.

He’s the patient, but asks more questions than the three of them combined.

I try to spare them by answering one of the boy’s queries myself.

“Dad, you’re not a doctor yet,” he shoots back.

He continues prodding the physicians.

On the way home, I ask if all his questions were answered.

Except one, he says. “Can we go to McDonald’s?”

The child is a mini-me. No question about that.

Steve Bartlett is an editor with SaltWire Network. He dives into the Deep End each Monday to escape reality and questions about the number of brown McDonald’s bags on his car floor. Reach him at

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