I did a terrible thing yesterday. It started innocently enough, as most things do. I had good intentions, as I usually do. Thinking through to the consequences though, not so much.
While out running errands Plum and I decided we need to stop at the local hot dog stand for “root bear” floats and coney dogs. His dog comes with only ketchup and my float without ice cream but these are minor details. He loves the hot dog stand, eating in the car with the sun roof open, climbing from front to back, freedom from the car seat. Feet out the window, peeking at me over the top of the windshield through the sunroof, his positions change like the restless 5 year old he is. Finally the food came, I ate, he continued to roam the car and have bites in between. We still had errands so Gran was trying to rush things along, unusual for our trips to this stand. He was drinking his float, not using the plastic spoon that came with. The devil came in to me, I picked it up along with a ketchup packet and fired it at him, catapult style. I did a terrible thing. How was I to know it would go out the passenger side window, delighting him, disrupting our meal, bringing the devil front and center to our lunch?
I thought of course he had seen that before, I wasn’t showing him anything new. Apparently not. The stand is generous with their ketchup packets unfortunately so he tried this new trick, he found plenty of ammunition. Ping, off my glasses. Ping, next to my mug of frothy deliciousness. Then, fire, but no ping. Where did it go? Fits of laughter followed as he pointed to the steel beam above us, the girder holding up the awning. Out the sunroof, resting gently on the edge, too high to retrieve, lay one tomato bullet. Not content to rest in that victory, pieces of his hot dog bun began flying out, my fried mushrooms next. All hell had broken loose in the form of a 5 year old with a plastic spoon. When I tried to regain control of both my laughter and my grandson, he came back with that childhood mantra “but you started it.” Yes, yes I did. The difference is knowing when to end it. Taking my mushrooms crossed a line.
I try hard to teach him that just because someone else starts something, you don’t have to join them, you can also end it. This concept may be a bit beyond him yet I am planting seeds. I love the quote about not attending every argument that you are invited to. Maybe I was just giving my Plum some practice on avoiding trouble, thinking about consequences, not being a follower. Or maybe I was just a bad role model for the day, a granny having fun instead of always being in the parental role. I do know for sure that if you pull up to the third slot on the left side and look up, you will see what a great shot my Plum is, and know I did a terrible thing. I worry about future trips to the hot dog stand, knowing I started something. How am I going to avoid getting pinged by a 5 year old? Next time we will ask for two spoons.