A Rough and Tumble Day

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? I’ll decode that for you. Boys = noise with dirt.

Expecto Patronum

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.

Giant slingshot. What could possibly go wrong? Oh right. Rocks.

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 – GO!

Then he’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, “Up”), Destroy stopped. He leaned down and picked up a river stone.

We’d forgotten the allure of rocks.

“Destroy, put the rock down.”

“Sticks are ok, but stones aren’t?” Jon grinned. Nope. Sticks don’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.

Let’s add, “Don’t eat snails.” 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 they’d reached their lead paint quota of the day.

“Is that our house?” I asked as we completed the circle and approached our driveway.

“Yeah,” acquiesced Destroy happily.

Sticks thrown down, he turned looked at me. “Up,” he demanded approximately 10 feet from our front door.

He was exhausted. Success!

He napped for an hour. Fail.

Walk on little man.


Filed under Destroy, Home, Search

6 Responses to A Rough and Tumble Day

  1. What IS it with sticks?! They are all over my house! One is a bowie-knife, the other a spear. They say it’s nurture not nature. I say, that’s horse poop. Nurture, my foot. This stuff is in their DNA – why else would all us boy-moms read each other’s frazzled musings and laugh so hard?!

  2. Nurture. Hokum I say. Hokum.

    I’m raising twins who have had the same care since birth. They are polar opposites. And I’ve seen it in the universal love of sticks. Boys. Noise with dirt. It’s encoded in their little boy DNA 🙂

  3. Stephanie

    My son insisted on bringing home a stick from preschool. Did I mention we live on 5 WOODED acres? Knowing this, his teacher tried and tried to dissuade him to no avail. Now that stick is “living” in our woods with his “family”. Sigh.

    • That is hysterical. I actually read your comment as we returned from the park – coming down our tree-lined street – while another little boy marched across the street with a newly acquired tree branch.

      Never realized how accurate “sticks and stones” was before boys. 🙂

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