Tornado E’s school is surrounded with giant, old eucalyptus trees. As any kid knows, they make great sticks. Some are great sized for swords. Many of them work as staffs. Every once in a while Tornado E finds the perfect pitch fork. All three of my boys have to take one home every day. Asked a teacher, “My, what are you boys going to build with those sticks?” “A bonfire,” I answered. (For the record, I really do want a fire pit. Ah, fire.)
The other cool thing about Tornado E’s school is the playground is about 100 yards from the school itself. It has basketball couts and a giant sandbox. There are benches and tables under trees. It has plenty of room for kids to run and play. For mothers with little ones, it is perfectly acceptable to let those little ones play on the playground for a little bit after school has started as the mothers talk.
The other day I was on the swing with Tornado A, and Tornado S was trying to make friends with two other younger siblings. Because the children already knew each other, Tornado S was having a hard time connecting with them.
Then he decided to stop asking questions, stop asking them to play, and stop telling them stories. He wondered off and found a two-foot-long stick and waved it around. He brought it back to the kids.
Tornado S: Look at this cool stick!
Tornado S: It’s a sword!
Tornado S: It’s a light saber!
Tornado S swung the stick more. He started t0 draw with it. With the bottom of the stick still touching the ground, he rested the top part on his crotch.
Tornado S: HEY! Look at my penis!
Me: (With The Voice) TORNADO S! Come here, NOW!
Tornado S picked up his stick and walked over.
Me: We don’t pretend things are our penis. Especially in public.
I shouldn’t have to make rules like this.