Sunday, May 11, 2008

Diverting Destruction: A Tale of Hope

We live on a third of an acre and being able to have a relatively large yard for our children to play in is one of the primary reasons we moved to Charlotte. Yet, sadly, having only green grass, rocks, dirt, trees, and other assorted plants and wildlife is not entertainment enough. When God's green earth threatens to bore them, this is what commences.

See how there is a carefully constructed piece of lattice on the right hand corner of the bottom of the deck? There should be one on that big middle section as well, but it was torn off by two determined little boys. I know what you're thinking. That's a big piece of lattice, Melanie. How long were they unsupervised out there to be able to physically tear that off of the deck? Like five minutes. I had to (ahem) use the facilities. Indoors. Let's call this Exhibit A simply because one day I may be forced to consider bringing some litigation against the two of them.

Exhibit B shows the deck to the left of the above picture. You'll note the peculiar absence of lattice here as well. One afternoon they had a unquenchable urge to joust and deconstructed it to use as sabres...sabres that were just loaded with rusty old nails and staples. Perhaps in 2024 when they are both fencing in the Olympics, I will be able to look back on this and laugh, but at present I find myself choking back a more medieval response.

In Exhibit C, I'm proud to say I caught them in the act and screeched at them for an extended period of time. Because that is what a calm, collected, self-controlled parent does when she realizes that her kids are more than capable of taking apart their ENTIRE HOUSE and she begins to panic.

Exhibit D. Disturbingly, their urge to destroy is not limited to the deck. This is a blueberry bush. It is one of seven I planted early last spring in hopes of this being their first big year of production deliciousness. Alas, six of them were ripped from the ground in January having commited the lesser known crime of deciduousness. Here at Chez Freshour, daring to look dead while dormant is a crime punishable by actual death.

The evidence notwithstanding, while Jeff was in Hong Kong in April - a period of time I fondly refer to as Two Weeks of Terror - I decided I just couldn't take it anymore. I have to be able to leave the boys in the yard for two seconds without calling in the National Guard to protect our property. And after assesing the repair work that needs to be done to the deck, Jeff agreed.

Brilliant strategists that we are, we've decided to try an elaborate method of diversion as far as keeping our kids occupied outside goes. We're going to build them their own house that they may systematically destroy at their leisure in hopes that they will keep their grimy little hands off of ours. Right now it looks like this.

But we hope one day it will look like this.

According to the 68-page instruction manual, assembly should take two moderately skilled people 20-24 hours. We have one highly skilled person and one person who looked at Step 1 and knew she was going to be of limited assistance when she saw the following words; Tower Leg, Spike T-Nuts, Hex Bolts, Lock Washer, and Flat Washer, incorporated into just TWO sentences. It's like a Home Depot vocabulary test. Give me an Ann Taylor or a Sur La Table vocabulary test. I'd do better. In the meantime, Honey, call me if you need me.


  1. Hey...when he's done with that can you send Jeff over to finish our bathroom?! Come'll be fun!