In keeping with his nascent criminal tendencies, Small Fry lifted a mini pumpkin from the flu immunization clinic on Halloween.
In an act that I'm sure to come to regret later as having nurtured the Seeds of Badass sprouting within him, I gave the theft a decisive "meh" and carried on with our afternoon plans. However, this long-term-poor decision has turned out in the short term to be inexplicably awesome: pumpkin rolling has become the latest craze in our house. Seems there is nary an activity into which pumpkin rolling cannot be incorporated. Yoga, dominoes, lunch - you name it, my kids are rolling a mini pumpkin around in it. And that pumpkin is truly beloved: it debuted at number 1 among the most bickered-over items in the entire household arsenal of available toys.
(I don't pretend to understand this phenomenon, but it does occur to me that the job of designing new products for children must be a deceptively difficult one.)
Although it can sometimes be hard for the recipient to grasp the honour imparted by the act - sortof like when your cat brings you a dead mouse - the granting of permission to use toys of particular importance to a child can be viewed as a proximal measure of the esteem in which the child holds a given person. (At that particular point in time, anyway - again, very cat-like.) Judging by the withering look Small Fry gave me when I initially declined his sweet little invitation to "woll my pumpkin?" in favour of finishing up the dishes I was washing, it must be a bit of a cultural thing, with adults originating on some far away planet with inscrutable norms where no one rolls pumpkins or basically has any fun at all. ("Okay, okay, jeez, I'll come roll your pumpkin, just stop looking at me like that already!")
Parenting fail. I should really know better by now.
But kids know. They get it. When someone says to them what really amounts to, 'Hey, wanna do some weird shit with me that I think is pretty rad?' there's no hesitation - they're all in. They're smashing driveways and rolling pumpkins like nobody's business. If only we could carry that enthusiasm and enjoyment of the happiness of others with us over to Planet GrownUp the world would surely be a better place.
Yesterday, Small Fry invited Neighbour Baby to both roll his pumpkin and rub his sheepie. Neighbour Baby promptly and happily - yet solemnly, as befit such an occasion - obliged. And I know Small Fry would do the same for him.
Theirs is a true bromance.