Some days every effort one makes in one’s capacity as a parent is rendered completely futile. Every plan is rendered useless. Every attempt to provide the perfect toy is scoffed at. Every little action is immediately pretty dumb. There’s nothing to be done to stop this.
Above you will find a picture of my youngest so noting to look at dirt and clover instead of playing with the myriad toys I presented to him. He did not even play with the dirt and clover. He put his little hands on the barrier between bed and lawn, popped his diaper clad butt into the air and stared at the dirt and clover.
It was mesmerizing to watch. He is still for all of three minutes a day and to see the entire quota hit in one sitting was astonishing. He just looked at it for a bit.
Then he took a handful and ate it. At least his immune system will get a tiny boost. Right?
As I was watching the wee one avoid anything I had to offer, the firstborn took a break from fending off swashbuckling evil cyclops pirates and snuck a lightsaber into my cargo shorts pocket (I dress incredibly ‘dad’ like).
No joke. He walked up behind me in near silence, as if he was a mini Croc clad ninja (he too dresses ‘dad’ like apparently. Don’t worry though, once he starts school the crocs are done for). He even put a pool noodle under foot. I am fairly sure he was setting a trap for me.
“Come on, Dad. Let’s lightsaber battle!” He said as he dropped into a Jedi pose. I tried to get some of the dirt out of the baby’s mouth, grabbed the lightsaber from my pocket and the three of us went to battle.
The firstborn always wants to be able to see his shadow, so we went to a sunny area of the yard. The best sun happened to be next to the swing set.
“Dad, you wanna see this?” He asks without really making it a question.
He drops his lightsaber and belly flops onto the swing, launching himself into the air.
Then the baby leaned over my face and ripped off my glasses. Once I recovered my spectacles he shoved a finger deep into my ear.
The lesson of the day was that there is no power in any of this. Being a parent is not so much about providing the toys or the tools for the kiddos to have a good time. It’s about being present for the changes and wims of tiny curious people. Plans help, sure, but they don’t last too long. These little monsters have plans of their own. And if they are not followed they will shove a finger into your ear and laugh.