Monday, November 07, 2011

Frogs and snails, and puppydog tails

I've been trying to recall the mischief my boys got  into. They accuse me often of just not remembering their squabbles and tricks. I do still have the mental image of Colin who at about 18 mos. covered himself thoroughly with corn starch or baby powder or some similar white stuff--I can see him standing in the hall, a dusty white ghost. At about the same time he stuck one foot in the commode and flushed, watching intently--I did get a picture of that. And the time Jamie wrote on the wall--but what child doesn't do that? Jamie was always into something, from stepping in every puddle he could find to dragging home a stray cat by the tail. But in my mind they really weren't mischievous.
I had a lesson in inventive mischief this weekend, with three little boys, ages 5-7, running loose Sunday morning. When they were supposedly playing with the dogs in the backyard, they took Scooby, my big old Aussie who was muddy, into the guest house--forbidden and unfamiliar territory for him. They proceeded to freeze wet balls of toilet paper in the small fridge out there. Then they froze acorns and leaves and finally they filled an ice cube tray with mud and froze it. Megan defrosted and cleaned, bless her! Then she swept out the mud they'd tracked in.
If those boys went in and out the back door once, they did so a thousand times. My alarm system does a little jingle when a door is opened and closed--I find it nice for monitoring Jacob but yesterday the system seemed to sing all morning. Muddy dogs streaked into the house, Sophie once making right for her favorite chair in the living room, followed by my two screaming daughters. If someone let her in wherever Ford was, he began to scream because she jumped on him--well, of course she did: he was screaming. The boys climbed on tables, rode the ancient trike at breakneck speed, and chased each other. They had a wonderful time, punctuated of course by quarrels and spells of yelling at each other. The quietest thing they did was to pore over those advertising inserts that come in the Sunday paper, pointing out toys for their Christmas lists: "I want that . . . and that . . . and that" until each boy had a list of dozens of items. I never did find out who smashed rocks on the porch steps by the driveway, creating a white powdery dust I did not want tracked into the house. You've never seen such expressions of innocence. And Jacob opened the driveway gate and went out to talk to a neighbor--I didn't even know he knew how to open it, but now that he does, it's forbidden.
In retrospect they were adorable and wonderful and fun; at the time, maybe not so much:-)

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