In our home, that would not be Superman…that would be Super Ben, although I haven’t quite figured out what part qualifies for “super” when it involves being sneaky. People who don’t live with a child with minimal impulse control can’t understand how fast someone like Ben can slip out of sight.
When he’s “on a mission”, however, he can disappear in a nanosecond. Just last week he, Caleb and Micheline were playing together in the backyard. You’d think they were safe. Afterall, a six foot fence should mean they would stay put. Not Ben. I was folding laundry in the front room while talking on the phone to Nicole, when all of a sudden Ben came flying around the side of the house. He had run out the side gate and was headed 90 mph for the neighbor’s house across the street. I watched him break off a big stick from their Mexican Bird of Paradise plant and run back toward our house, stripping the stick of leaves.
He had wanted to shoot his bow and arrow earlier into a target, and I told him he couldn’t until Dad got home. I don’t let my kids play with a real bow and arrows (yes, they are locked up) unless an adult is supervising, and I didn’t have time at the moment. Well hey, who needs to wait for Dad to get home when you can make your own weapon and ammo? He already had one stick in the backyard onto which he had tied string on both ends, and as I watched him come running back home, he ran into the garage. Curious to see what he would do, I opened the door from the house to the garage, only to find him putting the stick from the neighbor’s plant into the pencil sharpener. He was making a finely honed point by the time I caught him.
Who knows…had I not intervened, he might have found a way to put some bird feathers on the opposite end and notched it with a saw as well. I never judge anyone now when I hear that their child was caught doing something inappropriate. Like many others, I used to think, “Where were that child’s parents and why was he unsupervised?” After Ben, however, I know that “unsupervised” can mean only a minute or less before he has gotten himself into trouble.