Friday, July 24, 2009

And the victor is...the squirrel.

OK, here's a funny little snapshot from this morning's playground trip with my guys. So, picture a triangle. Directly in the center of this imaginary triangle is the main play structure with the slides and monkey bars and such. The top point is the swingset, where I am pushing Spence "To the sky, Mommy, to the sky!" Directly opposite that point, on the other side of the play structure, is a park bench, upon which sits our little cooler next to two open juice boxes and about a quarter of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (which Foster has already announced through uncontrollable giggles is actually a "peanut butter and belly sandwich".Ya gotta love 3-year-old humor, right?). One of the side points of this invisible triangle is an open area, which becomes a sprinkler park every late afternoon in the summer. (I'm not sure this triangle thing is helping anybody, but what the heck. Work with me here.) Anyway, that's where Fos is running around, hopping from sprinkler head to sprinkler head, alternating between pretending to be a monster and singing to himself. (In case anybody cares, the final point of this imaginary triangle is the parking lot. I promise I won't do this triangle-visualizing thing ever, ever again! I'm even confusing myself, and I was there.) So, there I am, pushing away, chanting my swing mantra, "Kick 'em out, tuck 'em under, kick 'em out, tuck 'em under..." (My ongoing attempt to teach my little guys to swing their feet out and back, so that I can finally become one of those enviable playground Mommies who can actually read a book and sip a coffee on a bench at the playground, while their children swing themselves.), and I look up from pushing Spence to see a skinny, bedraggled-looking black squirrel hopping up onto the back of the picnic bench and eyeing Foster's unfinished lunch. Since my little guy is a lot closer to the bench than I am, I yell, "Fos, a squirrel is about to get your sandwich!" The rest of the scene plays out as if in slow motion, with all of the playground parents' eyes glued to the unfolding drama. Foster hollers "MY SANDWICH!" and takes off running toward the bench at top speed, stocky little legs pumping, fists clenched, arms waving, screaming something that sounds a lot like, "Yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!" The squirrel freezes halfway down the back of the picnic bench, staring at this rapidly approaching tornado of little boy fury and clearly weighing its options. When Foster is about 10 feet away, the squirrel leaps onto the top of the cooler, snatches the sandwich, launches itself off the back of the bench, and starts bounding for the trees with the sandwich hanging from its mouth and Foster in hot pursuit. Now, from the title of this post, you already know who wins this particular battle: Squirrel - 1, Foster - 0. As I approach, I can see my little guy standing on the grass, staring up at the tree, and it looks like he's shaking with anger or frustration or something along those lines, so I am anticipating a pretty ugly scene over the loss of his lunch. But, when I get there, he's shaking with laughter - just giggling away like a crazy person. "Mommy, that squirrel got my sandwich," he laughs. "I bet she's taking it home to feed her babies. They're gonna have peanut butter and belly sandwiches for lunch." And away he runs, to jump once more from sprinkler head to sprinkler head, singing his little song. Another entertaining moment from life with my little boys. Cheers!

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