Monday, June 2, 2014

The Great Outdoors

My four year old son is not an outdoor person. This works out smashingly because a) we moved from a condo to a house so that we could have a backyard, and b) my husband spends 6,000 hours a month cutting the grass.

I’m not an outdoor person either, especially not when we have moths like this one hanging out at the front door, big enough to sell me a set of encyclopedias:

And also this guy, hanging out around back waiting to slit my throat:

No, I can’t say that I blame him. Bugs are icky and having to slather on sunscreen is the absolute worst (drinkable sunscreen anyone?) But the weather is finally nice, we dropped a load of cash on this place, and there’s that thing I mentioned earlier about my husband not having dismounted the riding mower since 2012. SO WE KIND OF HAVE TO USE THE YARD. Life isn’t fair, kiddo.

Out we go into the yard with a selection of bats, balls, gardening equipment, Velcro catchy things, bubbles, plastic lawnmowers, watering cans, gardening gloves, and assorted other crap that has a picture of Lightning McQueen on it because, let's face it, everything has a picture of Lightning McQueen on it - and it's only going to get worse with the upcoming release of Cars 3.

“What do you want to do first?” I ask, picturing him leaping gleefully across the lawn, the dog that we will never have because I hate dogs, chasing joyfully behind. It’s a beautiful image.

“I don’t WANT to play outside!” he declares. He collapses onto his knees, then, upon realizing that he has collapsed into grass that has bugs in it, springs to his feet and runs around in circles squealing.

“But it’s so nice outside. Do you want to play in your sandbox?” I point to the sandbox that my husband spent a month building and is now the storage area for lawn chairs when he cuts the grass.

"I want to go inside."

"What did we even buy this house for?"


"Never mind."

Eventually, after a thorough application of bug spray, he will relent and agree to play some baseball.  This is until, by some fluke of physics, I happen to hit the ball clear across the yard.  

"How come I'M not as good as mummy?"

(Seriously, he thinks I'm good at sports.)

"I'm not good, I just got lucky.  You can do it too, you just have to keep practicing."

"I want to go inside."

"We're not going inside yet."

Baseball is over.  Child goes over to a ceramic turtle, lifts it up, and releases about fifty gazillion ants in close proximity to his feet.  Somehow he's totally okay with this.  We all stand around for a while watching the ceramic turtle become engulfed in tiny black moving dots.  It's rather peaceful.

Wait, what's that sound?


I'll let you decide if it was me, my husband, or my son, that just screamed and ran full speed through the wall of our house like Wylie Coyote.

It doesn't matter.  We're inside now.