Sunday, May 24, 2009
Lover vs. Fighter
Winnie was visiting Lauren's school at recess-time, which, as you can imagine, is an every-man-for-himself free-for-all of tricycles, woodchips, and tag; kind of treacherous for a little girl who hasn't had much time to develop the cunning social dis so often utilized in playground politics-and by the way, those six-year-old ladies can freeze you out if they want to...one misinterpreted hairflip and suddenly there aren't enough parts in the Hannah Montana game to go around. So-there I was on the bench, nervous she'd get her feelings hurt by an older girl, or take some sand in the eye, or be the last trike in a pile-up and therefore responsible for the ENTIRE domino of rear-enders (lawsuit!) when I realized she was actually doing great; seemed confident, was holding her own remarkably well in the sandbox. I felt comfortable enough in the COMPLETELY fenced schoolyard to take my eyes off her and visit with the teacher a few minutes, after which I noticed she'd ventured to the "upper" part of the playground, where the swings are, along with bigger slides, and certain doom. Her brother, ever-protective, saw that little polka-dotted body headed for trouble and was, I assume, spurred into action not just by brotherly love, but somewhere deep inside he must've heard the strains of the theme from Greatest American Hero: the kid ran, arms flailing, calling her name like she was about to go over a cliff, when really, she was only three rungs up the Coil Climber. Still-he rescued her. I walked over to help with the dismount, and between his Big Save and my arrival, some sort of skirmish had erupted between Lauren and another boy, the heart of which I haven't uncovered. What I did hear, however, still has me in stitches:
"You wanna piece of meat? You wanna piece of meat?" This from my first-born, complete with come-and-get-me-arms and a grimace the likes of which I haven't seen on that sweet face.
The other kid looked a little dumbfounded-perhaps he was thrown by the piece of me vs. piece of meat mix-up; I actually had to bite my lip to keep from laughing, turning away to assemble my Stern Mom Face while they continued their stand-off.
"Wow-I really hope you two can work this out," I said, my go-to Love and Logic line. The opposition looked at me, exasperated, and threw up his hands. "There he goes again, threatening to beat me up. That's the second time this school year", like he almost couldn't believe it himself.
I looked at my Mr. Tough Guy-a little puffed-up and proud, but for Pete's sake....scrawny and six. If we're talking in terms of meat, a piece of him would be a.....cocktail meatball. Or a scallop wrapped in bacon on a toothpick. He is SO big-hat-no-cattle, and for now I am really okay with that. We've got years to hone the nunchuck skills, and lucky for the other guy, only four days of school left. I'd say he's safe.