This morning, both boys came toddling into the bedroom together where I was getting ready for work. They were giggling and babbling incoherently to one another. (Iâ€™m pretty sure they were plotting some intricate mischief.) I had to take a step back just to watch their interaction. Time passes so quickly.
But back to Ball.
Search picked up a small red ball from the highly annoying ball-popper toy. (This is the kind of toy friends give your children the year after you give their 2-year-old a drum set. Well played, Amber. Well played.) It may be obnoxious, but the muppets absolutely adore it â€“ it entertains them for minutes at a time (which is impressive considering the attention span of a toddler). I expect the three boys will one day be in a band together.
Search marched around the living room, chanting â€œBALL!â€ with every step. He was exceedingly pleased with himself. He would hand me the ball and look expectantly for me to toss it across the room. (Look out for Search Stream starting with the 2030 MLB Draft.) At which point he would giggle uproariously and chase it down.
â€œBall. Ball. Ball. Ball. Ball. BALL!â€
Not one to miss out on an adventure, Destroy took notice. He decided he wanted in on this ball game. Unfortunately, Search is currently quicker â€“ I assume itâ€™s the extra walking experience. So, Destroy yelled.
He finally got his brother within range, and shoved him down. Search popped back up and implemented a full tackle in return. Down goes Destroy! Down goes Destroy! Search then launched himself atop his fallen fraternal twin, mouth agape â€“ undoubtedly with every intention of using each and every one of his six razor-sharp teeth to take a chunk out of those two pounds Destroy lords over him.
Oh goodie. It only took 16 months before they started trying to kill each other. Or, more likely, it only took until they were mobile enough to maneuver their limbs well enough to wield them as weapons. (Although, Iâ€™m pretty sure Uncle Paul and I started our endeavors to kill one another relatively young. We both have battle scars that remain visible today.)
â€œSearch!â€ I said sharply. â€œThatâ€™s not nice!â€
He grinned. Then began to wail when he realized he was being chastised. Destroy, who had simply been lying on the floor wide-eyed, decided that if Search was crying, he might as well get some sympathy hugs out of the deal. He wailed.
â€œFaker,â€ Jon and I said in tandem.
I tossed the red ball across the room. My parental ploy worked! Muppets immediately forgot about their squabble and hurriedly toddled after it.
However, not being a professional athlete, I donâ€™t have the most precise aim with spherical objects lighter than a whiffle ball. The ball rolled behind the china hutch. The muppets followed instructions. They unflinchingly kept their eye on the ball. And were momentarily out of my sight.
I heard an ear piercing squeal, followed by a heartbreaking scream, and concluding with a thunk.
Just as I got up to rush over to see what injuries Search and Destroy were causing, Search emerged. (There was no blood, so that was a good sign.)
He stood still, looking at me. And with unwavering eye contact, he lifted his left arm â€“ index finger extended â€“ and pointed in the direction of his brother. He did it, Mom. Not me.
â€œSearch, I do not think that was Destroyâ€™s fault,â€ I chided.
â€œBALL!â€ announced Search, proffering it above his head like the birth of the Lion King.
And so it beginsâ€¦