Monday, February 20, 2006

Sleeper cell?

Thought you might like to read my column from Sunday's Star:

Well, the tease of an early spring quickly faded to the gray of winter this weekend. Meanwhile, my kids are going a little stir crazy. While they’re on my mind, here are a few snippets of life with family.

-- My 3-year-old is really figuring out just how much destruction and mayhem he can initiate. He’s developing some favorite techniques. Here are a few:
The ploy: "I wanted to play with that"
How it works: One of his siblings finds some toy hidden back in the corner. The sibling dusts of the cobwebs and determines the toy still works, then begins to play with it. "HEY, I WAS GOING TO PLAY WITH THAT, IT’S MINE!" screams the 3-year-old. Never mind that we’ve had the toy since he was minus 3 years old. It’s still his and he was JUST about to climb over 46 other toys to pick it out from the back of some closet that he didn’t even know existed.
The ploy: The pre-emptive tattle
How it works: The 3-year-old commits some sort of foul and before his sibling can alert mom or dad, the 3-year-old runs and tells on the sibling for something that probably never happened. By the time mom and dad sort out what happened, both children end up being chastised and the 3-year-old has claimed a victory.

--Honestly, if I didn’t know better, I’d think he was a member of some sort of toddler sleeper cell. They look like they’re off playing in the sandbox in the corner of the playground, but actually they are plotting their next move. The conversation would go something like this:
My son, in a low voice: OK, look, start shoveling that sand into the bucket so nobody suspects anything. Every once in a while somebody start giggling.
Boy No. 2: Chill out, they’ll never catch us.
Boy No. 3: How are things going with your brother?
My son: Oh, I’ve got that taken care of. Let’s just say that when mommy finds her fine linens in my brother’s closet, covered with paint stains, he won’t be playing Playstation anytime soon!
Boys No. 2 and 3: Awesome!
My son: Now, here’s the plan for taking over this day care…
OK, OK, it’s not all bad — he loves to play golf, he’s becoming quite the sports fan ("Daddy, who are the Panthers playing?" — "Actually, buddy, that’s basketball.") and he’s got an infectious laugh.

Now, on to other observations:
--Idea for the mall: Allow young people to be at the mall unattended so long as they have receipts showing they spent at least $20 that day at mall establishments.
--Even though North Carolina lost to Duke a few days back, Tar Heel fans should feel good about the direction of the program.
--Panthers draft needs: wide receiver, offensive line, running back, defensive tackle. I’m not buying this trend in mock drafts that has Carolina taking a tight end. By the way, if Chad Jackson of Florida is available, I’d snatch him up.
--Can anybody explain to me why some of these snowboarding events are in the Winter Olympics, but golf — one of the most widely played sports in the world — isn’t a Summer Olympics event?
--There’s a guy who looks like Peter Brady from "The Brady Bunch" who is one of my early favorites in "American Idol." He was the last one to make the final 24 on Wednesday night.
--If you are a fantasy baseball player, these are tough guys to figure out where to draft: Carlos Beltran, Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, Rafael Furcal and Alfonso Soriano. If you play, you know why they’re tough picks and if you don’t play, you don’t care, so I’ll leave it at that.

Skip Foster is the editor of The Star.


Mark said...

OK, so are we going to ask the adults for a $20 receipt as well? I think the best answer is to ask the problem kids to leave, or call their parents to come get them. Personally, I have stopped shopping at the mall now. If we need to identify problem kids, have them all get an ID, with parental permission and info., then the security guards can ask for their ID at any time, as well as call the parents of the trouble makers. I've got an even better question, which I posed to one of our youth at church this past Sunday. He works inside the mall, and is only 16. So do his parents have to come supervise him while he works, or at least, while he's on break?

Anonymous said...

When I've been out there, beware if you get in those walker's way! They think they own the place. And how much are they spending?