27 November 2011

Boys with Big Sticks... a situation that rarely ends well

Today I was reflecting on how Thanksgiving feels best to me when the focus of the day is on moving my body not stuffing it. Interestingly, I don't feel deprived at all when I refrain from gorging myself on The Feast. While I was on my own for the morning Turkey Trotting extravaganza, my family seemed to share my disinterest in shoveling turkey and gravy and potatoes into their faces until their bellies felt about to explode. We spent the afternoon and evening with extended family. We ate, sure. And we were thankful. But the real enjoyment of the get-together was not centered around pigging out... it came after mealtime.

As we were getting ready to head out for a familial post-Thanksgiving dinner hike, Q-man hollers out, "Hey, Uncle B! Can we use your walking sticks?" "Sure, Q!" he replied.

I silently groaned.

Sticks become swords. Swords are weapons. Weapons are used in combat. Combat always hurts somebody. Or everybody.

But not wanting to be the family fun-sucker, I just took a deep breath, tied my shoes, and went out to the car to put on the baby carrier that I knew was going to make Miss C scream and writhe.

Really, how bad could it be? Just a half an hour...maybe they'll actually use them as walking sticks. I was trying to be optimistic.

But then they walked through the gate carrying 10-foot long poles! How can one remain optimistic when one's 6-year old and 12-year old boys are running rampant with freaking jousting poles?

Hey, everyone! Let's go for a contemplative, relaxing hike in the gorgeous Marin County woods... it'll be so peaceful. But first, let's give the boys gigantic lances!

How many times did your mom let you go on a hike 
carrying a pole twice as tall as you when you were six? 
Yeah, that's what I thought. 
That's 'cuz your mom was smart!...and maybe a little bit of a fun-sucker

See me? I'm looking the other way...

because I knew it was only a matter of time before this jedi match began. Or maybe it's kung fu?
The real question was: who would get wet or whacked first?

At some point, Big G found a lichen-encrusted tree branch.
He cast his bamboo pole aside and pretended had an Elf King Scepter...or something like that 
(actually, he just now told me it was Brom's staff from Eragon)

Anyway, it was much better because it was a peaceful stick and not a weapon. And instead of battling his brother, he spent the rest of the hike serenely surveying the lovely surroundings.

Q-man, on the other hand, continued to spin, twirl and thrust with his pole as if he were a champion color-guard flag-waving dude...or iaido master...or something that flails around with a large stick. 

Surprisingly, no one got hurt and no fun needed to be sucked.

Miss C did scream and writhe in that carrier... but that's a story for another time.


  1. Here all sticks or anything close to a stick...gets to be a guitar..does not matter the size, they will turn is and start playing air guitar!

  2. All sticks are weapons in our home. Smaller ones can be hand guns or police night sticks. Larger ones are light sabers or rifles. I don't think we have any THAT large, but I'm sure my son would love them and someone would get hurt. We have stick issues.

  3. I LOVE that picture of Big G looking serenely overlooking the gorgeous stream (?). He really did look like a jedi! Simply marvelous!

    And you, yeah, you! Family fun-sucker you are! Thanks for being such a conscientious Thanksgiving eater. Now I'm regretting all those things I've stuffed myself with. Not to mention that participating in your Jingle Bell Hell seems to have become a must in order to lose all that, ahem, fat. lol

  4. Ian used to love playing with my telescopic trekking poles given that you can dial in any length, hence any weapon you want.

    Personally,I support little guys beating the crap out of each other with poles, sticks, what have you. It builds character.

  5. the hike sounds great, but children with large polls scare me :)

  6. My daughter was more than happy with sticks and stones for the first 6 years of her life. She still likes them, but she's added a few more "real" toys to the mix this year.

    Our neighbors don't let their son have toy guns, but guess what?...he just uses a stick. You can't stop those boys...you just can't. They'll figure out a way to make ANYTHING into a weapon!

  7. Well I'm glad no one got hurt but the 5 year old in me may have wanted to use that as a sword :)

  8. Yep, been there. I have 2 stick lovers at a mere age 2 and almost 4. It most definitely never ends well. Fun Mom vs Funsucker Mom - I always pick being the Fun Mom...I never learn.

  9. OMG my toddler loves sticks, the bigger the better!!!

    You're such a cool mom :)

  10. Wait, NO ONE got hurt? How is that even possible??

  11. What an awesome mom! When your boys grow up they are going to remember getting to play when they were young. What doesn't kill them makes them stronger, right? ;)

  12. I'm still lingering over my fascination with your make-shift baby-carrier - what a great idea!


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