The morning brought about a neighborhood walk. We wrestled with the dogs before nap and then filled their little tummies with lunch. An excursion to the park was to follow in the afternoon. The end-goal: Exhaust the little ones.
Spring is here. And it was a beautiful day. The muppets were showing signs of stir-craziness. So we ventured forth into the great outdoors. Search and Destroy have demonstrated a recent penchant for playing with sticks.
Remember that old nursery rhyme about snips and snails and puppy dog tails? Iâ€™ll decode that for you. Boys = noise with dirt.
Search discovered a large branch and began wielding it as his personal walking stick. It was Search-sized. To a child, that stick is Excalibur. It is a magic wand with a core of dragon heartstring. It is anything his imagination can create.
Meanwhile his brother was scooting around the front yard collecting tinder kindling. With two handfuls securely gripped, Destroy took off down the street. I followed. And we continued on our way all the way around the block.
This is a long distance for a toddler.
They seem so big in the Toys R Us knock-off that is our living room. But watching your 2.5 ft (almost) 2-year-olds run the big bad streets of the real world really reminds you how tiny they still are. And also, cracks in the sidewalks are a lot bigger, proportionally.
A toddler has two speeds. Running and falling. These do not necessarily go hand in hand. Sometimes they fall from a standstill. I maintain one of our proudest parenting accomplishments has been teaching them to stand back up, smear around the building layer of dirt on their pants and take off again.
Destroy would announce his intent to run. Head down, arms back, like an Olympic ski jumper preparing for aerodynamic lift off. Annnd â€“ GO!
Then heâ€™d fall. Pick up his sticks. And be off again. Until he found the rocks.
As we rounded the third corner (farther than Destroy had ever walked before demanding, â€œUpâ€), Destroy stopped. He leaned down and picked up a river stone.
Weâ€™d forgotten the allure of rocks.
â€œDestroy, put the rock down.â€
â€œSticks are ok, but stones arenâ€™t?â€ Jon grinned. Nope. Sticks donâ€™t go as far when you rear back and fire zee stone missile. (Remember the upcoming 2030 draft.)
Destroy paused. He thoughtfully considered my request. Then he raised his little head, deliberately looking me in the eye. And licked the stone.
I think he ate a snail.
Letâ€™s add, â€œDonâ€™t eat snails.â€ to the Frat Boy phrase list.
The corner fire hydrant provided a respite distraction (no, we did not have the dogs with us) from the stone projectiles potentially aimed at vehicle interiors. But Jon and I encouraged the boys to move on rather quickly once we felt theyâ€™d reached their lead paint quota of the day.
â€œIs that our house?â€ I asked as we completed the circle and approached our driveway.
â€œYeah,â€ acquiesced Destroy happily.
Sticks thrown down, he turned looked at me. â€œUp,â€ he demanded approximately 10 feet from our front door.
He was exhausted. Success!
He napped for an hour. Fail.