Ball rolling & the second playground fight

By Published On: May 10th, 2013

This post is as fractured as my daily existence, and […]

05100813dev-featureThis post is as fractured as my daily existence, and I must confess is only cohesed by the micro-thread that is movement, inertia. One mostly involving an inanimate object, the other involving one or more overly-animate little brats. Let’s start with the good…
So HP rolls a ball now. Like her clapping last week, this seems somewhat early to me. I don’t know, maybe I never thought to do this with Bub at said age, maybe we were running low on orb-ish objects around the house. Who knows?
It happened much by accident. Bub and I were in their room, working on our alley-oops, which we’ll just say are a work in progress. HP was sitting there, chewing on a (clean) diaper. You know, recreating. Her legs were in a V shape, and the ball rolled right in there. She kind of batted at it, as though it were a giant wasp interrupting her quaint argyle picnic. She swatted and the ball went careening off her leg and right to me. So I of course rolled it right back.
“Roll it back, HP!” I shouted. She looked up from her Size 3 snack, confused as to why I was not holding a bottle of milk. Unless I had put the milk in this big round thing. Perhaps if I beat it, the milk will floweth forward. DIE BALL DIE!!!! She hacked at it with a fervor normally reserved for angry butchers. The ball kind of sputtered and limped back to me, like a boxer on the wrong end of a 10-8 round.
I Vaseline-d the ball’s cuts, splashed some water over it, said some nurturing things and sent it back in for another whooping. Now she was really mad. She started Miss Piggy HIIII-YAAAAAAA-ing it, the little guy never had a chance.
But we’ve worked on it. Now she even puts her arms out to catch it. And while I still wouldn’t quite term what she does as “rolling,” she does in fact propel it from point A to point B. All’s well that ends well.
And then there’s this…
“Daddy, what’s that kid doing?” Bub asked.
Well, son, that kid is being an a-hole.
You see, Bub is pretty painfully shy. He’s gotten slightly better. Last year kids would run up to him, want to play, he’d literally run away from them. So we’ve worked on it in the playground off-season, the timing, rhythms, etc. Being one with the playground, fearing no toddler, etc.
So I encouraged Bub to climb the little ladder at the playground, and this kid is standing at the top, I crap you not, blocking him. The Obstructor. Not just blocking, but also mad-dogging Bub, and mumbling a lot of somethings, but the only discernible phrase was NO!
This was not covered in our training. Fuming, I started looking around for the alleged chaperones (this was a daycare flashmob); I had already pegged this kid as a bully after three minutes, surely they were aware of his disposition. Bub took it much better than I thought (and I did, frankly)—he just stood there, asking me and God and anybody who would listen WHY this kid was doing this to him? It was a fair question, just not that easy to answer.
This was not our first (and by our I mean my) altercation of the year. Similar situation, daycare group descending on our quiet little beach community of a playground, and this kid perched himself atop the slide and started barking down, at me, about Bub, “Hey, he looks funny! Why does he look funny?” So rude.
“YOU look funny,” I countered. Hey, sometimes you’ve gotta play to the level of your competition.
“No I don’t,” he said.
“Yeah, yes. I’m afraid you do,” I said, then delivered the real crusher: “No takebacks.”
He looked at me like quizzically, like this expression was twenty years old and he had no idea what it meant. Yeah, right, buddy. Mess with the bull and you get the horns, I’m just saying. It’s gonna be a great summer.