Monday, June 18, 2007

bocced up

Father's Day was quite a busy day. I think I could take a day of rest and relaxation to recover.


Our church's Spanish group invited my family to a picnic. It was almost unbearably hot. Mrs. Craver will not attend outdoor events until the cicadas are gone. My kids do not speak Spanish (yet), and my own Spanish is only so-so. But we had a brief, cool, refreshing rain, great food and the company of really nice folks, so it was a good time. They had a few games, but I brought Bocce Ball. I like that game. It's low impact, but it gets people off their seats and out on their feet. First, you toss a little yellow ball (the jack), and then each team tries to toss or roll their wooden bocce balls as close to the jack as possible. My kit even includes a measuring tape, because sometimes it's hard to see which one is closer.


There was another group in the park that day. I gathered that these were the wives and children of soccer players. The uniformed athletes dropped them off and then drove away. There was one toddler from their group who was running around in his underwear. His haircut was like a mullet gone from bad to worse, spikey on top, with a super long, thick "tail" halfway down his back.


My 17-year old son was forced into an awkward situation. He would either have to play with the little children or sit speechless with the grown ups. Mercifully, I asked him to play bocce ball with me. He's good... real good. But while I was soundly receiving a whoopin' in the game, that underdressed kid with the crazy hairdoo decided that he should go to where we were tossing the bocce balls and move them around, even the jack ball! Do you know how hard it is to try to get a toddler to stop doing something without making them cry? He just acted like he didn't understand what I was saying.


There it is, both of us beaten by this little pantless spikey-tyke stranger. We packed up and went home.


Image by mrettig


L.L. Barkat said...

Ah, toddler power. (Though, if you dressed like him and got his haircut, you might accomplish a few new feats of majesty too.)

Craver Vii said...

Mmm... Perhaps at first, but one must think these things through. What do I do after the police catch up with me and throw me in the cooler with nothin' but my skivvies?

L.L. Barkat said...

True, true. Always good to think ahead!

Pete Juvinall said...

Toddler = Freedom. Case in point, at our church, the 3-5 year olds go up for prayer right before the sermon. It's always fun, but yesterday, my 3 1/2 year old turns up to the pastor and says at the top of his lungs "Pastor DAVE! I just got a Wiggles book!"

Definately good times.

Anonymous said...

I think his power was in his hair. Cut off the mullet, and he would have been putty in your hands!

Great story!

spaghettipie said...

What a way to lighten the mood around here...I laughed out loud.

And yes, I have come to believe that toddlers rule the world. It's amazing to me the things my daughter can convince me (a grown adult!) to do just because I don't want to deal with her to throwing a fit.

Llama Momma said...

I love it!

Don't bring Mrs. Craver to our yard...we've got our fair share of cicadas. In another 17 years, we'll be completely covered.

Though at this stage, I don't mind. I've gotten used to the afternoon hum and they're all up in the trees. I don't look forward to cleaning up the carcases, though. Give me live cicadas anyday. But stepping on the crunchy, sticky shells? Nasty.

Craver Vii said...

"Cut off the mullet."

There again, I see a scenario that would likely end up with me in the slammer. But it sure was funny to think about!

Jennwith2ns said...

I'm just a fan of the phrase "this little pantless spikey-tyke stranger." And so I had to tell you.

Martin Stickland said...

Sorry Craver, I thought you would see through my disguise, I did not mean to ruin your game!

Lifelong Learner said...

You know, I'm just too competitive. That would have ruined my day. At least for the day. Maybe a while later I could have laughed about it...

And I'm with your wife on the cicadas. Just hearing them makes me think it's 100 degrees outside.

Jen2 said...

THAT was hilarious~

God has a sense of humor....don't believe me?
Just look at the giraffe......

"let there be.....yellow, spotted horses...with a big long neck!"


Anonymous said...

This made me smile, Craver. I especially appreciate the way you took it all in stride (or was that only upon reflection?)

I'm afraid, like Stacy, I just have trouble letting toddlers be toddlers sometimes. Though I'm happy to be interrupted by Pirate Lyle (my son) any day.

For the record, he doesn't have a mullet. I think mullets are a hanging offense for pirates.

Anonymous said...

Mark - I'm so glad to hear that you don't mind being interrupted by "Pirate Lyle" any day! My friend does not appreciate being interrupted by his kids. He'd rather be doing something that he feels is much more "important." Sometimes I cringe when my friend tells me her sad stories. That's part of what raising them includes, sometimes being interrupted and spending time with them, talking to them, showing them things, constantly explaining. I love doing that! When my little one asks me, I stop to fill that curiosity. Before you know it, in a blink of an eye, they grow up and you stand there wondering where the years went. They remember - good and not so good - they remember.

Priorities, people!

Where are the priorities?

Craver Vii said...

Hmmm... I don't want to be a Scrooge, but I don't want to spoil them either. I have erred both ways, I'm sure. In the final analysis, I hope they think of me as fondly as I think of my own dad. I respect him immenseley, but we can laugh together as well.

Do you want to see a baby with a robust sense of humor? Go to and search: laughing baby. The audio from that video just melted my heart.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful for your positive relationship with your father but has he ever admittedly regretted anything?

I know I most definitely have made my share of mistakes with my kids but you learn as you go along. The amazing thing that I have learned about my kids is they have an overwhelming amount of forgiveness to give to us. No matter how much we mess up, they still love us and continue giving us chances.

Yes, I know we do the same with our kids, continue giving them chances and still love them even after they mess up.

Hmmmm . . .
Just like our heavenly Father.

Unknown said...

I think the mullet is probably how pirates hang "mullet-people", Mark. :)

david mcmahon said...

G'day Craver VII,

I ain't never played bocce, but I've had a go at petanque, which is awesome.

Beware pantless spikey-tyke strangers!



Halfmom said...

No mullets allowed - mullets-attitude!

Now bocce ball, that's a different matter - and I don't think we've played since last summer - when we teamed up to beat PM - that was quite fun!

I rather like the Cicadas - in fact, I think their humming is rather like a praise chorus all raised up at once from the drees. why doesn't Mrs Craver like them?

Thanks for the book - I have 36 pages left in a counseling (yawn) book and then I can move onto it!

Halfmom said...

whoops - praise from the trees that was supposed to be

david mcmahon said...

Aussie afterthought, mate

Shal we put each other's sites on our respective blogrolls?

Let me know ...