Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Graham Carter

Aidan's alter ego sometimes takes the form of Tom Sawyer. By his powers of persuasion, he is often able to convince his sidekick in crime, Leo "Huck Finn", to do something inconvenient (i.e. fetching a band aid from upstairs) or slightly scary (retrieving paper from the darkened basement) or something gross (picking up a dead insect). Yet a recent Saturday afternoon takes the cake for Impressive Sawyer-like Smooth Talking.

It was nearly dinnertime, and as usual, the kids were going a little nutty. As usual, we sent them outside to play in the yard until we rang the bell to summon them back in. As usual, we reviewed the basic rules of safety and sent them on their way. When dinner was ready, I sent Jeff out to get the boys. He returned without them, the look on his face equally proud and terrified. "Guess where your son is right now." (Why is it always MY son when it's something naughty? I wondered...) "Which son?" I asked. "Leo." "Um...." Jeff was impatient with me. He didn't wait for me to guess. "He's across the street!" he screeched. Well, that's not so bad, I thought. He's not supposed to cross the street, but really, what's the big deal?

I waited, and Jeff continued. "HE GOT THERE BY CRAWLING THROUGH THE DRAIN PIPE!!! TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET!!!" I dashed outside to see if this was possibly true. I, too, felt equally horrified - and proud. On the one hand, what was he thinking? There could be snakes! Or rats! Or resting raccoons!! There could be rushing water! Or big hairy spiders! On the other hand... wow, Leo, you couldn't pay me to climb through that drain pipe. The one that spans the width of the street, the one that is about 2.5 feet in diameter, the one that is deep in the ditch on the side of our house...

(Notice the tiny speck of light in the second photo. That is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, the one that convinced Sawyer that it was okay to send Finn through it.)

After a very strict, very stern, very formidable talking-to about the perils that could befall a drain pipe trespasser, we asked Leo why he did it. "Aidan told me to do it. He just told me to crawl through the tunnel, so I did it. I was a little bit afraid. But then I did it."

And there you have it. Sawyer & Finn, 1; Parents, 0.

The littlest Carter is fast on the heels of mischief, too. Suddenly, food is highly interesting to Pax, and after refusing traditional baby food for months, he gobbles up any finger food/table food we place before him. Still, we're trying to go by the book, introducing a few things at a time and sticking to the softer stuff.

Our small kitchen never has enough space for pantry storage, and food is always spilling out of the cupboards. I've given up the organizational fight, and have informed all who complain about it that "It's the price you have to pay for me being such a creative woman." (....Elmer's glue, Epi pens, and an Etch-a-sketch also compete with the cupboards for space). So I didn't notice the box of graham crackers that had fallen out of the cupboard, but Pax sure did. Jeff and I were both on the main level but in different rooms when we realized someone should find Baby and see what he was up to. "Paxo!" I heard Jeff exclaim. Then a baby's giggle. Jeff carried Pax in to see me, and there he was, triumphantly clutching half-eaten graham crackers in each hand and grinning boldly. Message received: we'll move on to some crunchier stuff, Mister Baby!

And finally, a most beautiful moment. Yesterday was a very difficult day for us. I was weary and worn out from a day spent breaking up squabbles, shushing tantrums, disciplining sassy mouths and potty mouths and mean mouths. We finally sat down to dinner; I was anxious to reach the end of our day. Pax sat quietly in his high chair as we settled in to our own chairs. We began to sing our grace, "Johnny Appleseed," when we heard a most melodious sound - that of Pax joining in on our singing. Jeff and I looked at each other in surprise, then in joy, as we finished out the verse, all 5 of us singing our thanks and praise. What a moment! It was just the grace and pax I needed to get me through the rest of our evening.

1 comment:

stacy said...

Yikes! (tunnel)
Adorable! (Pax)