The boys and I sat on the front porch tonight while they ate ice cream cones and looked for bugs, a summertime routine in the making. When Kostyn finished his treat he grabbed a big piece of sidewalk chalk from the box near the front door and headed down the stairs to draw smiley face after smiley face on the still-hot concrete. Each one was a little bit farther away from our porch than the last.

After a few minutes Evan handed me his soggy, dripping cone and picked up his own piece of chalk, smearing it with melted ice cream on his way down the steps. He chose a sidewalk square in front of the house and began furiously scribbling.

Kostyn, meanwhile, took a few steps farther down the street.

“Kostyn, that’s far enough,” I called to him, wanting to be able to see him from my perch on the porch. He looked at me, whirled around, slashed at the sidewalk with his chalk, and then danced several more feet toward the end of the block, giving me a sideways glance to make sure I’d notice.

“Kostyn, do you want me to take away the chalk?” I asked calmly. Truth be told, he was just on the other side of the next-door neighbor’s house — hardly a solo trek into uncharted territory. But he wasn’t listening to me; he was testing to see where the boundaries really were. Both kinds. Plus he wasn’t wearing pants. (Long story.)

“Oh Mommy,” he said dismissively, drawing imaginary figure eights in the air.

Evan, who’d barely walked 10 feet from the porch steps and was now satisfied with his masterpiece, stood up and looked back at his brother. Kostyn looked from me to Evan but didn’t move.

“I want you to come back this way,” I said. Then I added, “Where Evan is is far enough.”

It took less than 2 seconds for Evan to run to his big brother’s side. Then he turned to face me, elbow to shoulder with Kostyn, who was beaming with an even bigger grin than his little partner in crime.

Yeah, that's right:  I was outsmarted by a 2-year-old.

I think we all learned a valuable, dangerous lesson tonight: Those boys are far more powerful together than they are alone.

1 comment:

Lyn said...

Your stories about your boys are almost convincing enough to get me to have another kid...almost! :)