Thursday, February 27, 2020

How Not to Dad: Episode 16: Icicles and Spidey Senses

Some of the fondest memories from my childhood involved the colder months of the year.  There was Christmas, of course.  Even better, though, were the snow days that got us out of school and allowed us to head out to a solid white landscape, smothered in fifteen layers of clothes, to throw snowballs and make snow cream and all the other fun stuff we do as kids.

We'd search for the largest icicles.  They were usually hanging from the eaves of the house, and if they weren't long enough to grab with a hop off the ground, then it would take a precision-thrown baseball to knock them down.  We used to eat them like Popsicles.  (Side note: I had no idea Popsicle was a brand name and not the general name for any bar of ice on a stick. I got that red squiggly line under the word after I typed it, and I was like "Oh hell no, I did not misspell popsicle.  Fight me, computer!"  Turns out I didn't capitalize the word.  That's why my computer judged me.  Apparently the generic name I was looking for is "ice pops."  I like Popsicle better, so that's what you're getting.  Just like every carbonated beverage is a Coke, right?)

The past couple of years have not brought much snow.  They have, on occasion, brought a type of cold that can cut straight through your jeans and turn your dangly bits to ice pops.  It has the ability to glue your car doors shut, and will create stalactites of ice on the bumpers of your vehicles.

About a week ago one such cold snap swept through our neighborhood overnight and left a few icicles in its wake.  It was a weekday and we had gone through our morning routine.  The conclusion to that routine occurs when Nikki carries Abby to her SUV, and Logan walks along with them.  I watch from the door's window until they're in the car.  This morning my eyes found a large, dripping icicle hanging from the side of my car just as my family were heading down the steps.  That's cool, I thought.  Logan will see that and he'll think it's neat.  He may pick it from the car.  Maybe he'll drop it on the concrete and watch it shatter, or want to save it in the freezer, or taste it like I would have done (though that one's probably a little unsanitary).  All acceptable responses.

That, however, was not Logan's response.  As if on cue he saw the ice and made a dash for it.  Nikki and Abby were ahead of him, heading toward the back seat to strap Abby into her car seat.

I'm not sure if it's a parent thing or just a human nature thing, but there are times when things go into slow motion, times when your mind has worked something out and is desperately trying to clue you into the fact that it knows some event is about to happen.  Kind of like spidey-senses.  Say, when your kid is about to fall off the couch or when a ball comes flying at your head, and you react first before you even really know what's going on.  Your mind has slowed it down for you, to give you time to process it.

Logan stood up from beside my car, and without even seeing his face (he was smirking, I could tell that from the back of his head.  Weird, huh?) I knew what he was about to do.  His elbow cocked back and his free hand went forward as if he were a pitcher about to deliver a fastball. Spidey senses tingling, I was still behind a closed door.

All I could do was watch as he launched the icicle towards Nikki and Abby.  It shattered on the concrete at Nikki's feet, causing her to jolt.  She turned and admonished him, and Logan quickly apologized.

I think kids have a sort of anti-spidey-sense.  If mine slows down to let me know something's wrong, Logan's seems to speed up.  Don't worry about consequences, just throw the damn thing! his brain tells him.  Get it done before you can think about it!  He had no intentions of hurting anyone, of that I'm sure, but he didn't allow himself time to understand that he was throwing a pointy projectile at his mother and infant sister.

In the end, it really wasn't a big deal.  Even if the icicle had hit them, the likelihood of an injury was maybe 0.01%.  If there's any concern, it's that I need to work with him on his pitching arm if he ever wants to play baseball.

That throw needed work.

1 comment:

  1. Another gem Luke! I got the visual. Actually, have seen it myself. Hilarious.


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