Trouble afoot

Some kids are really good at entertaining themselves with toys or books or crafts.

Brynn is not one of them.

When her brother and sister are away, she constantly interrupts me. “Mom, will you watch me dance?” “Will you put on Katy Perry?” “Mom, read me this book.” “Mom! What does this say?”

When the questions reach two-dozen in number, I lose it. “Find something to do,” I’ll say. “On your own!

And she does.

But it’s never good.

Take the situation today. Brynn dished up rapid-fire questions and demands, and eventually I snapped. She went outside to pet the cat. I basked in the peace.

But almost instantly, it was too quiet. I hollered for Brynn and surveyed the view from the window.

It felt like a scene from the Where’s Waldo? books. I looked and looked.

Finally, I spotted Waldo.

Lurking 14 feet up a tree.



I don’t know how she scrambled up so quickly, but she would’ve completed the ascent, had I not opened the window and shouted, “Stop!”

I fetched Martin for back-up. Together, we coaxed her down, branch by branch.

Now, I am an only child and as a kid, I’d pester my parents relentlessly. And my father would often say, “Why don’t you play in the street? Go steal some hubcaps! Go climb a tree!”

I alway knew that he was joking; I never took him seriously.

But with Brynn?

I’m not sure I’d test that theory.



The Egg Tree


The other day, Cayden came home in a gloomy mood. I tried to cheer him up with offerings of pizza and unfettered TV use. How about the Ipad?

Nothing worked until I opened the fridge and checked the battered carton on the top shelf. “Want to do the egg tree?”

The egg tree. No relation to the cat tree.

I don’t remember when I hatched (groan) this plan. It was probably about 6 months ago. As faithful readers know, our kind neighbors keep us well stocked in eggs. One day I came upon a few cracked ones — which must be discarded — and just before I trashed them, I thought about smashing them.

Tossing them in the trash seemed wasteful. Plus, I wanted to egg something.

I considered an appropriate target. Some place where splattered yolks would be inconsequential. Where the wildlife would clean up the mess.

And along the driveway there’s a small cluster of junk trees. Surrounded by a no man’s land swath of grass. Ideal targets.

That first day I ushered the kids to the trees and invited them to commence throwing. Like soldiers in a firing squad, they lined up and took aim. (The actual egg tree is a particularly skinny and crooked little tree; perhaps they chose it for the added challenge). The kids were thrilled when they struck their target. When they missed, some of the eggs would survive and make it to the next round.

Since the first egging, I’ve taken to saving up the cracked ones until we’ve got a few. Hurling them is a great stress reliever.



A millisecond before impact

If there’s a more practical use for inedible eggs — a viable method to recycle them – I don’t want to know about it.

Pitching them at a tree is much more fun.



Color War


A few weekends ago, Martin and Cayden waged war on the girls.

It was an unprovoked attack; no skirmishes led to the assault. The acquisition of new weapons was reason enough for a military offensive.


“Don’t you dare shoot me with that nerf gun!” I gave Martin my most menacing glare.

But my warning went unheeded. Martin fired the entire cartridge of ammo at me. I ducked in the mudroom as foam bullets whapped the mudroom door and window.

I hunkered down — defenseless — until Brynn produced her own form of weaponry.



We waited until the guys ran out of ammo and stopped to reload. Then we launched a counter attack.



Shortly thereafter, the insurgents agreed to suspend aggressive actions.