Mama is an elementary school teacher and now that she is out for the summer we are starting to focus on things we want to get done around the house. There are some renovation projects–like we want to add some shelves in the laundry room–and then there is our oldest son, four-year-old B.
During the school year–when I am home with the kids–things kind of fall apart, or they stay just status quo, mainly because I am unwilling to take on anything new. I’m just trying to survive. Now, however, I want us to focus on things I’d like to see change. A primary reason is that we’ve got a quickly developing one-year-old who we could do a little better job with in some respects.
The first son is in some ways a trial run and I’m able to look back and see where I’ve erred. For instance, we’ve always bought him a toy when he wanted and really did not teach him to respect his possessions. As a result, he will leave them out on the back deck in the rain or out at night in the middle of the floor. I’d like to see this change–for one thing, I’m tired of stepping on them (actions figures and Hot Wheels are particularly painful), plus it seems like an important life lesson for B (to take care of what’s important to you)–and I want baby G to act differently as he grows older.
It won’t be easy–and possibly impossible?–but the tag team of Mama and me should be able to carry it out. Otherwise, we will live in a constant state of what is and what should never be.
On Wednesday, I took my son to a little league baseball field where we’ve gone to play recently. We take a big bag of Hot Wheels and often he will sit in the dugout and line them up and race them, or take them on the infield and make little dirt roads. Usually, he wants me to play with him, but there is still plenty of opportunity for me to sit on the dugout bench and read on my phone. As a result, I thought I’d be able to get away with making a call to the local paper’s editor to talk about an article I’m working on right now.
I told B to play while I talked on the phone but a few minutes into the conversation I felt something hit me in the butt, then again, and looked to see B throwing his metal airplane at me and giggling. It wasn’t too intrusive so other than shoot him a dirty look I kept talking while he bounced the airplane off my midsection.
Then I was suddenly pelted by infield dirt. On my head. Down my shirt. I was incredulous as he thew handfuls of dirt at me over and over again. I tried to dodge them as he laughed, he was really having a lot of fun. I scowled at him as I conversed and made motions for him to stop but he was adamant. I started to run at one point, not wanting to interrupt my editor, but finally I had to, grabbing B by the scruff of his neck and ordering him to stop while I shook the dirt off my body and fluffed it out of my hair. I could literally feel the rise in my blood pressure.
The phone conversation over, we played for a few minutes and then it was time to go home and meet Mama. I started cleaning up all of B’s toys as he grabbed a ball off the ground and we went over to the car where I told him to wait while I unlocked the doors. When I came back around he was smiling. He had thrown the ball back over the fence.
As I put him in his car seat I asked him, “Why’d you do that? I asked you to just stand here.” He barely paused. “I didn’t did it because it would make you happy.” Nevermind the flubbed verb tense, I got his meaning. As I walked back over to grab the ball–my chest feeling tight–I thought to myself, “He’s trying to kill me.”