Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Winning a Battle, Losing the War

Characters - My daughter, Analisse (2) and my son, Jack (3).

Setting - A house in Colorado.

I'm sitting at a long wooden dining room table, quietly chatting with our hosts, Kristine sitting next to me, when I hear a quick double pitter patter of small feet.  The sound is unmistakeable for that of two children beginning a fight.  My head whips to the right as the fight unfolds.

Jack has one of those children's toys where you turn, crank, screw, or press things and faces of cartoon characters pop up.  Then, you press those faces back down and do it again.  The toy is popular with the littles and even me in an unreserved moment, sitting in an easy chair, leaning over the side, playing with the toy on the floor, stopping only when a large drop of drool escapes my lips, dropping to the carpet, jerking me back to mature reality.

Jack reaches the hallway off the living room with Analisse right behind him but that is as far as he gets.  Analisse catches the back of his shirt, spins him around by the neck, latches her arms around the toy, and drops to the floor.  Jack begins to scream a very high pitched scream, weeping through his labored breathing.  Analisse is very quiet and calculated, making nary a peep.  She slides her legs expertly under his, twists her body over from her back to her stomach, and ends up laying on top of the toy.

Jack has lost.

Then, in two swift steps, he disappears down the hall and out of sight.

Analisse sits up and calmly begins to play with the toy.  Only, she isn't enjoying herself.  She is worried sick, not knowing where Jack is or what he has up his sleeve.  She presses one face down, looks up in the direction of his disappearance, then repeats.  Press, look.  Look....look, press.  Twist, look, press, look.  Push, press, look.  Look.  Look.

Fed up with her suspicions, Analisse jumps up and quickly walks down the hall, leaving the toy on the floor, looking for Jack.  She disappears beyond the turn of the hallway.

Before you could say "hello world!", Jack appears around the corner.  In one leap, he is at the toy, swooping it up in his arms, with the devastated Analisse screaming and crying behind him.

Analisse won the little battle, Jack won the war.

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