Friday, November 6, 2009

Boys With Saws and Shovels

I just said one of those sentences that you never expect to have to say when you first become a parent of a tiny, soft-headed, angelic baby.

"A. Peevie! Stop sawing the deck!"

I was in my kitchen when I noticed that I was hearing loud sawing noises from somewhere nearby. I opened the back door, and the noises were louder. I stood on the deck, and I heard the noise, but couldn't see anybody.

"A. Peevie! Where are you?" I hollered.

"Under here!" he called, from under the deck. Then another little head popped up on the fence side of the deck and looked at me with wide-eyed innocence. It was his much-younger friend, K-Pup.

"What are you guys doing under there?" I asked, stupidly.

"Sawing a board," he said.

"What board?" I asked. Pause. "Are you actually sawing the deck?"

"Weeeellll," he said slowly. "Yeah. Kind of."

"A.!" I said sternly. "What are you thinking? Stop sawing the deck! In fact," I added, "Stop sawing--period! Stop playing with sharp implements. Put the tools back in the garage where you found them."

This is what comes of mom sending the kids outside to play without strict instructions and stricter supervision. You would think that an almost-12-year-old boy would know that his mom would not approve of him playing with an actual saw, and especially would not approve of him inviting the 7-year-old neighbor to also play with serrated blades.

I got a lot done in the house, though, while the kids were outside playing with pointy objects. It's sort of a trade-off, sometimes.

I don't know which is worse, playing with a saw, or digging an unauthorized trench on the side of the deck--which is what A. Peevie did yesterday with a different playdate buddy. Not only did they dig a hole deep enough to bury a body, but they did it without calling 811 ("Know what's below! Call before you dig.").

They also conscripted M. Peevie to lug buckets of water over, so they could fill the hole and...what? Stock it with bluegill and then go fishing? I don't even know. By the time Mr. Peevie busted them, all three kids were caked with mud, their shoes were unwearable, and they looked like they'd need three showers each to return to their normal pigmentation.

When I mentioned the ditch-digging to Playdate's dad--to explain the extreme filth on his son's gym shoes--he told me that they had holes all over their backyard because Playdate and his little brother also really loved to dig holes. What is up with boys and holes in the ground?

I love it when my kids play outside. I guess I just need to be a little more specific about the rules: No playing with sharp objects. No unauthorized demolition. No unauthorized digging.

There. That should do it. Until they devise another "project" involving new activities that I have not yet specifically forbidden.

I give it a week.


Anonymous said...

I love this story. You really should write a book.

Eve Bradshaw said...

Thanks, KT.