Nana is the one who initially dubbed her expectant grandsons Search and Destroy. Destroy heard those words from within and declared, â€œChallenge accepted!â€
On the final day of our Oregonian excursion, we were herding our horde of hamsters into the rented DadMobile when Jonâ€™s eyes went wide. A gash was newly imprinted on the car next to us. Destroy was happily climbing into his car seat and buckling himself right in. Even when heâ€™s behaving he seems to strive for destruction.
Way to live up to your nickname kid.
Upon our return, some of the enthusiasm of a weeklong no-nap adventure remained â€“ even back at school. Apparently his listening ears were lost luggage.
Warning after warning resulting in nothing more than blatant ignoring, whining or an enthusiastic interpretive dance symbolizing exactly the opposite of whatever it is he was supposed to be doing.
He was ordered out of this classroom, trailing after his teacher at a quick clip in anticipation of his lecture. Alas, the door was slightly ajar. And at 38 inches tall, that put little man directly in line with the doorknob.
Always a plus when you get a call on the second day of summer school informing you, â€œThe black eye isnâ€™t nearly as bad as I thought itâ€™d be!â€
Always a bruiser. And so used to troublemaking was he, that the hit merely resulted in shock. He cupped his swelling eye and refused to let himself cry. (Or heâ€™s just really good at figuring out how to achieve maximum sympathy when headed toward time-out.)
He ended up serving that time-out later when busted in a hair-pulling kerfuffle. When asked to present his defense he claimed the aforementioned follicular fallout was simply part of the game, â€œPull Each Otherâ€™s Hair.â€ The concept of his close-cropped buzz cut contrasting his girlfriend Minnieâ€™s pigtails seemed to be lost on him.
(And because I don’t actually feel it goes without saying when it comes to these children, Minnie was not involved in the dayâ€™s primary black eye incident.)
But the day wasnâ€™t done yet. The next administrative call of the day informed me that Destroy was in the Transitioning Twos classroom, bathing in the sink.
Heâ€™d sauntered into his classroom with all the swagger a newly minted 4-year-old could muster.
â€œDid you get kicked out again?â€ his teacher asked.
â€œNope,â€ he replied. â€œIâ€™m poopy.â€ (Suddenly a lot of that charismatic swagger was lost.)
As I later learned, this was an extreme example of an understatement. Destroy was not simply â€œpoopy.â€ Rather, there had been a post-apocalyptic poopsplosion. Neither his underoos nor khaki cargo pants survived the volcanic eruption. His shirt was quadruple bagged. His hair needed to be washed.
True to form, he was pleased as punch with himself.
That evening, as we readied to check out some World Cup snippets and discuss the muppetsâ€™ upcoming call-up for American Youth Soccer Organization Region 63 U5 division team, my son declared:
Destroy: I donâ€™t like soccer. I like the Giants.
Jon: No, you like the Aâ€™s.
Destroy: No. I like the Giants.
Jon: Who told you that?
Destroy: My teacher, Miss Blue.
Me: And now I donâ€™t feel bad you poop on her every day.