| Posted in:Family, Writing

King of the Castle

My last post was about the state of my backyard after the long and crappy winter 2013. This post, to shake things up a bit, will be about my front yard. (I am all about variety here at highly irritable.) But I’m throwing in a bit of parenting theory for good measure. Because what good is personal parenting theory if it’s not spread around so everyone who does things differently can be made to feel they’re actually doing it wrong? That’s sort of why blogs were invented.

It’s been established that my backyard and garden are a nightmare. I am anxious for the weather to finally turn the corner here so I can get out and do something about it. I love having friends over in the summer and despite having some fairly brave friends no one would venture back there as it is unarmed or un-drunk or both. The raccoons who live under the hot tub aren’t going to be very happy with their eviction notice and neither is the nice Amish family I saw raising a barn next to the wheat field that somehow germinated there.

Because of the conditions behind the house, my son plays out front. It’s still a good sized area and we’re set back from the road far enough that he can play freely without worry, but he’s…well, he’s a curious child whose brain asks two questions: 1. What’s for supper? and 2. What will happen if I __________ ?

It’s his attempts to answer the second question that has left me with a maple tree wrapped with bright orange string, an old bath towel flying in the breeze at the top of a 30 foot pine tree, and assorted fallen tree limbs twisted into intricate and (probably) symbolic structures. Just in case, I’m staying on his good side lest he request sage and a lighter and suddenly wants to know which way is due North. But for now, I let him have at it. I’m not sure my neighbours appreciate his creativity with building materials, but as long as I keep the grass cut and the noxious weeds at a minimum I can’t be reprimanded legally, right? Are hockey sticks poking out of the eavestroughs okay now that local play-offs are over? Where do we stand on buckets of rocks dangling from a makeshift winch and pulley over the outside light fixture?

I know it’s not the most neighbour-friendly look, and I do make him tidy each project us when he moves on to the next. I don’t particularly enjoy seeing my old linens stuffed and woven around the fencepost, but I’d rather see that than a glassy-eyed child who plays video games until muscle atrophy sets in. I’d rather have him pee outside because it’s too much fun to come in than have him saving 2-litre soda bottles to avoid toilet urination because DUDE I made it to LEVEL 47, Call-of-Kill-All-The-Duty-Ops-Shoot-Em-Up-Game.

He is the King of the castle with a Kingdom spanning the whole of the front yard, and I am happy to let him have it. Because the rest of us here on the street? We are mere plebes here.

P.S. He spent a great deal of time making these these with an industrial roll of duct tape this winter. They were crafted with care so to be durable for what will hopefully be a long and warm “outside” season. Should I be afraid?

Making a shirt from duct tape

 Duct tape gloves

5 Comments

  1. Katja Wulfers

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    You should run.

  2. Pam Dillon

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    Be very afraid. I read industrial as indestructible.

  3. Heather

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    Ha! That’s awesome. With the new puppy he can now have a noble stead to assist him on his valiant summer quests :)

    • Jeni M

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      Yes! I’m betting Harlow has her own suit of duct tape armor before the end of the month.

  4. Javamom

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    It’s probably a good thing we are not neighbours. My 6yo girl and your son would be up to all kinds of mischief….trust me when I say that she not only would keep up with him, she’d ENTERTAIN him to do more of what he already does…probably from atop the birch tree in the front, also the current favorite place to play at the moment due to similar backyard issues. But like you say, I prefer their mischief (up to a point) to Videogameitis. :)

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