Gender, safety patrol and stuff like that

My kids seem to be enjoy holiday decorations. This year the area has turned Halloween into Christmas rehearsal. There are inflatables and orange color lights sporadically placed throughout our neighborhood and my parents. We go for long walks hunting for the 'best' displays and gawking at them.

Monday Grandma and the kids found a big blow up witch. She stands before a cauldron looking as if she's cackling an evil cackle. The wooden spoon that is meant to be in her hands flops off to one side. When its breezey the spoon handle bobs around to and fro.

"Look at the witch!" Grandma said. "Isn't she silly!"

"That's not a she-witch," said Logan knowingly. "That's a man-witch." Grandma made the mistake of asking how he could tell. He pointed to the floppy spoon handle and proceeded to tell her which male body part it was.

The next day they passed the same witch. Logan again pronounced it male. This time, however, he had changed his reasoning.

"Well," he said rather matter-of-factly, "That witch has grey hair. My Daddy is a man and he has some grey hair. So it must be a man witch. Men have grey hair not ladies." (Mommy wondered if it was worth telling him that men have grey hair and women have Clariol. However, since Mommy does not color her hair and she didn't want Logan to tell everyone in circle time that she did, she decided to let it slide.)

Yesterday Mommy, Grandma, Logan and Megan took the same walk and passed the same witch. Logan had changed his mind about the blow-up decoration's gender.

"Its a lady," he said. He again pointed to the grey hair. "She has long hair. Men don't have long hair."

We work at being honest and upfront with the kids within the confines of "age appropriate." Sometimes, however, we tend to highlight the 'danger' side of something if we think it'll help with the "obedience factor". For example, Logan is afraid to stray too far from us in public, lest the bad people take him away. He's also incredibly conscience of not walking or riding his bike into the street without an adult next to him to be sure he's not "squished by a car." He knows he can't ride his bike without a helmet both by NJ state law and parental edict. I readily admit these concerns of his are something I've drummed into his head.

There is a child from Logan's preschool class that lives down the street from my parents. The other day this kid came flying down the sidewalk on his razor scooter, down the driveway apron and into the street where he looped around a bit before heading back to his house. He was alone, unaccompanied by an adult who stayed back the 10 or so houses sitting on the front lawn - if that.

Logan saw it. He was on the lawn playing ball with Megan and Grandma. His eyes bugged out of his little three-year old head. Then he yelled "OH MY GOD! And he doesn't even have on a helmet!" He called the boy by name. He scolded him for being in the street. "B! You're going to get squished! GET BACK ON THE SIDEWALK!"

My child forgets nothing. At least nothing he deems worthy of his vault-like memory. I'm praying he forgets this. I can only imagine the conversation that will come up in school today if he doesn't.

When Megan started moving around we started to joke that when our kids were teens, Logan would debate us about curfew and Megan was just going out the window.

We may not even have to wait that long. Suffice it to say that its a damn good thing we had the chain link fence removed last year and replaced with the giant wood fortress. Megan Rose is a girlie girl who loves dresses, dolls, pretty shoes and a great hair brushing. But she's a girlie girl who has fallen in love with her inner mountain-goat. She's a tomboy in MaryJane shoes. She's a dare devil that thinks the word "no" is funny.

Put something off limits and one of two things happens - a melt-down of volcanic proportions or a little girl in a fit of giggles. See her running down the side walk and off on her way for a lazy afternoon stroll....without you. Call her as you take large steps to retrieve her, "Megan Rose, come back here!" She turns, crinkles her nose up so her eyes get squinty (that seems to help the giggles come out) then waves her pudgy baby arm at you "Buh-buh!"

Yeah, that grey hair thing - Logan may be realizing it can show up on Mom heads sooner rather than later.

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