Those of you who have kids know (and those of you that may should know) that when there is silence mixed with two little boys, more than likely, a good ole-fashioned diaper-dusting is soon to follow. It is like the calm before the storm. Like the eye of the hurricane. That is the preface to this little episode.
The boys were having a grand ole time as usual this morning, playing in the cardboard bathtub box my pop drug in the house and left last week for them – all the while ignoring their toys like they were works of art in a museum. Well, they can only run through the box so many times. There are, in fact, a limited number of scenarios that two diaper-clad boys can imagine while chasing each other through a tub box. So, I figured I would be a hero. I gave Jackman a big, black plastic spatula, and Brolin a matching big black plastic spoon.
And I commanded the boys, saying, “Of the cardboard box you mayest freely beat:
But of the furniture of the rest of the house, thou shalt not beat it: for in the moment that thou beatest thereof thou shalt surely get a spanking.”
Jackman got it. He grinned his signature grin, and led the charge. Brolin immediately picked up on it, and they commenced to beating that box like a redheaded stepchild. I peacefully returned to my now soggy Cheerios and the Hunting, Fishing, & Guns section of the Mule Trader, confident that this latest enterprise would satiate their appetite for destruction for at least an hour or so. But just as I finished my mush, all was quiet…
In an instant, my heart sank. I knew they were up to something. Where was all the beating? Where was that noise that told me their exact location and what they were up to when my eyes weren’t fixed directly on them? Was Jackman snapping the window blinds in half? Was Brolin climbing the bookshelf? Had they already discovered the boyhood joys of fire? Do I dare even walk in the direction of absolute silence?
The moment of truth… the point of no return. As I rounded the corner I saw them, with the very tools of destruction that I had given them, excavating a half-dead plant in the hallway, and merrily heaping the soil into a large mound on the hardwood (anyone remember those field trips to Moundville?). For just a split-second I was conflicted. I didn’t know whether to be angry, or proud. I didn’t know whether to chase them off, or take a picture. Then it occurred to me: “They ain’t gonna shovel this mess up!”
I gave chase…
…and then I cleaned up the mess.
They were already into something else before I was finished, and never missed a lick. They ain't got time to slow down. Anyway, although it was somewhat aggravating, this wasn't quite one of those “spank-able” offenses in their far-reaching spectrum of their punishable little-boy-crimes. So I just took’ em upstairs to our bedroom and spent a few minutes teaching them how to perform various forms of the powerbomb on the bed. They got to be the Hardy Boyz.