Monday, January 16, 2006

Childish or Child-like?

Yepper. It was another one of those weekends at the Pearce household. I suppose we have a lot of various types of "one of those weekends," but this one fits in the type of "Rich gets in trouble with his wife over the weekend." And that type of the "one of those weekends" happens probably more than all the other types of "one of those weekends" put together. Did you get that?

Sometimes, although it could be argued fairly well that it's far more than sometimes, I'm just an idiot. This weekend was one of those times.

Our whole family had been invited... to a birthday party at a place called Sci-Quest, a hands-on kid's science museum. The party portion came and went without much happenstance, and then the kids were loosened to roam wild through the place. Well, aside from the neat little gadgets and experiments they have, there's also a huge, toy house and tree right in the middle of the place. My son, Davis, loves the house and could spend most of his time right in there with the kitchen, the musical instrument room, and the building block room.

It was the latter room where I hunted down both my sons, where they were throwing these large, Lego-like blocks at each other. Of course I put on my fatherly persona and told them to calm down. Davison sat down in a pile of the blocks [Rich pulls his pants up by the belt loops and holds out his chest as his child minds him the first time he says something -- "this is how you do it all you other parents," I'm thinking], while Carson came up with the brilliant idea of using one of the arm-length blocks as a bat and some of the blocks half the size as baseballs. So he's knocking "balls" around the block part of the room. Davis, after seeing Carson's good fun, decides he'll join in as pitcher. So, he throws a few blocks up to Carson -- more at him than "straight over the plate" so Carson's swinging to protect himself more than to hit. A couple of them he hits well, so I tell my boy to watch out as a little kid, probably about two, wanders into the room.

Seeing what Carson is doing, the 2-year old's mother, walks up, gives me a look that says "Hey, papa-boy, someone's going to get hurt and it better not be my son, and drags her tiny tot from the area over to the kitchen side. I give her a look back that says, "Look lady, I know exactly how to watch my own kids, and thank you for minding your own business. I have boys dadgummit, and we're going to play like boys should."

Once her little boy is out of the area, Davis lobs another block right at Carson's tummy, and Carson half-swings it straight down. Obviously, I think to myself, Davis doesn't know how to do it right. So there I am sitting on a pad across from Carson, and I start chucking him blocks. Ah, this is more like it. Carson takes a full cut and knocks the "ball" block against a padded wall. Now, I start throwing curve blocks, fast blocks, and change-ups. Davis loses interest now that Daddy's in the game so he starts playing in his pile of blocks about six or seven feet from Carson.

Now, we're in the game. I shoot a block by Carson's bat. "Strike one!" A curve ball slips through next. "Strike Two!" "I gotta hit this one!" Carson shouts as I ready for the third strike. When Car shouts, Davis turns toward him. I've got the pitch on the way.


The crack is Carson wailing into the pitch. Perfect swing, perfect line drive. The bam is that perfect line drive hit fast and hard right into Davis' nose. The yell is Davis' screech. And the splurt is the blood that spews from my boy's nose.

Next thing I'm doing is picking Davis up, and blood's pouring over both our sweatshirts. "Get my jacket, Car!" I yell as I head out for the bathroom. Just before jetting out of the house, though, my leg bumps into a little something. With blood everywhere, I stop and see that same 2-year old toddling right there in front of me. As light as I can, I try to brush him to the side. "I'm sorry," someone says, and it's his mother, who grabs her boy's hand and pulls him out of the way. I could have kissed her for not saying something that would have made me feel even smaller than I did at the moment, what with my boy in pain, screaming, and blood running like a river. She appeared sympathetic, but when we exchanged glances, there was that "I told you so" moment, and I wanted to cringe.

Saw my wife and called to her as I tore down the ramp. She was holding our seven-month old and upholding our duty to be sociable, another failing of mine. "What happened!" I hear her cry out, but I'm not stopping anymore. I bust into the men's bathroom, sit my crying lad on a stall, and go to the business of stopping the blood flow.

Not five seconds later my wife busts into the friggin' Men's Room, baby and all. She can't help but give me instruction on clogging the nose to stop the bleeding. I'm holding Davis' nose with one hand, and shooing her away with another. "This is the boy's bathroom!"

Carson had diligently grabbed my coat and followed us all the way into the bathroom. But he trailed out with my wife. "So what happened?" I hear.

Now, here's where I'm just bad to the core. I'm sitting on the floor, holding one son's nose and trying to stop the pain and get him to stop crying, all the while hoping for Carson to either come up with something so vague that it doesn't describe the situation at all or just flat out lie. Yeah, I'm thinking that. I'm awful. I know. And it's not like I'm going to be able to make up something myself. I'll have to come out with the truth. I'm not sure why I'm hoping my kid lies/sins. Be all that as it may, Carson comes out with the truth -- the best thing for all concerned. But inside, I'm going, "Ugggggh." And then comes the, "You were what?" "Your Dad threw it to you?" Beam me to Helena, Montana now, Scottie. Or Albuquerque, New Mexico. Or Melbourne, Australia would be nice. Anywhere but here. We didn't stay long after that, but I felt miserable for the remainder.

At home, the boys got the "Use things the way they're supposed to be used" lecture, and I'll include myself with the boys.

Unfortunately, things like this happen more than they should with me (in charge). I'm all about letting boys be boys, and pushing our limits, and the like. I'd like to think I can step outside my skin and get a view of myself, at least a little, as to how others -- especially those I'm close to (i.e. family) -- perceive me. More than that, how God perceives me. The Apostle Paul talks of a time of putting childish things away, and I agree with that. But not the child-like things. We're told to have a child-like faith, and I think that extends to hopes and dreams as well, so long as Christ is where He should be. At the same time, I seem to have a little trouble differentiating between the two far too often. And then it becomes a respect issue for my wife. Not good.

I'd like to file all this under, stuff happens. Of course, when too much stuff happens, then what? And where am I on the child-like/childish scale anyway? I'd probably hate to see that answer.


Scot said...

I'm reading this one to my wife. This is going to make me look good.
Thanks, Rich.

codepoke said...

Huge smile on my face. I love those kinds of stories. I have more than a couple of my own.

I'm sure the little soldiers survived, and everyone is a little better for it. Your honesty is a testament. Thanks for sharing!

Scot said...

That's a really original, funny story. Although, actually, a similar thing happened to me one time...well, at least the shampoo part. Not so much the whole porting to another place thing and definitely not the garden society thing.
Yep, good original, creative story.

Rich said...


I think your comment should have gone under Lost, but I'm more than happy to accept it here :)

Scot said...


Rich said...

I'll accept that one, too ;)