Last weekend, while my six year old daughter was (apparently) missing, my 11 year old son had a friend sleepover. Hosting a sleepover for two boys is a little bit of this:
Some of this:
with a sprinkle of this:
And a whole lot of this:
They were, in a word, industrious.
And that is a good thing. Boys of this pre-teen ilk (which is to say, curious and completely lacking in common sense) need to be kept busy at all times, so that they do not get into mischief. Come to think of it, I could say the same for all boys, regardless of age. But these boys in particular are two peas in a pod. Birds of a feather. Men on a mission. They had a plan: to build the best fucking catapult ever, and engage in warfare - the enemy to be determined at a later date. It didn't really matter who they were fighting - or if they even fought. They just needed to make the vision a reality.
And, oh. What a vision.
"It's a trebuchet, actually." My son's friend informed him right off the bat.
"A traybitchhay?" My son was enthralled. "Sounds great!"
They stormed out into the yard to examine the pile of wood that my son had been pilfering from my husband's scrap pile. In his excitement, he had painted some of it already and drawn elaborate designs and/or instructions with a Sharpie, but he assured his friend that once their catapult - excuse me, their "traybitchay" - was complete, they could paint the entire thing one color, or maybe paint some areas in different colors, or maybe the bottom one color, and the arm a lighter version of the same color, or mayb-
"The color doesn't really matter." his friend interrupted. "We have a lot of work to do. Look, see? This angle is all wrong, and this needs to be much longer to get the distance we need."
So they eagerly pulled the haphazardly nailed boards apart, and began again. After a few hours, they were feeling a bit peckish, and eventually they wandered back inside to inquire about snack. Was there one? And when would it be ready?
I settled them down with some hotdogs and Max reached for the bottle of ketchup, in order to spread the gospel during their meal.
The gospel of label reading.
I texted the other mom. "I think Max just outdorked your kid. He's reading the label on the ketchup bottle aloud over lunch."
The kid loves reading food labels. I love that he loves reading food labels. His friend? Unconcerned with the fact that there was both corn syrup AND high fructose corn syrup in ketchup. Max found this state of affairs APPALLING! Everyone should be up in ARMS about this! These big food corporations are sneaking corn syrup into EVERYTHING and Max, for one, is not having it. Perhaps, he mused, they should go down to the protest outside Monsanto later, just to make a point.
His friend stared at him, mouth agape. Then, as if they were in some sort of dork-off, he began to rattle off the secret menu from In and Out, discussing the finer points of a 4x4 vs a 3x3, and how everything is better animal style.
Max asked if they had corn syrup in their ketchup.
"Dorkback Mountain" came the reply from the other mom.
The boys stood up and marched back outside. There was much work to be done, and light was fading. They were going to need headlamps, for sure. And then later (LATER!) they would need a hammer, in order to break apart some rocks for ammunition. But that delightful endeavor wouldn't begin until early Sunday morning. I still had a few hours to prepare myself for the inevitable injuries resulting from flying rock shards.
I sat on the sofa crying silent tears. Thank god these boys have found each other. I'm pretty sure that they would be hard pressed to find such a kindred spirit on the playground, unless he was tied to the flagpole with a wedgie.
5 hours ago