Baby-Sitting Boys For Wild Weekend Of Kings, Dragons

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 28, 2013

Exhausted, we dragged up Interstate 77 in a mental fog from baby-sitting three little boys in Waxhaw for a weekend. Elizabeth and I had been outnumbered. Diapers and Cheerios, toys and baths, tears and squeals … we did it all.
I squeezed into a 4-foot-square cardboard castle — legs folded “crisscross-applesauce” — until my knees locked up. I had to swivel my hips awkwardly to get in and out. Little boys proclaimed themselves to be kings, princes and dukes. I was the dragon.
It was rainy and cold all weekend. We were stuck inside, and I had to release my inner child to keep up with their wild imaginations and various toys. Lots of trucks. John Deere tractors. Stuffed animals. Action figures. And markers.
Little boys are wilder than little girls. Not as loud. They don’t dance or dress up or play school the way the grand girls in Virginia do. But the Waxhaw boys climb things they shouldn’t and dangerously go where no child should go.
We slept with one eye open.
We finished our assignment without loss of blood and only minor scrapes and bruises, but there were plenty of close calls.
I had to remind myself that sweet Lori commands these boys every day. We could not have lasted two more hours.
We had mostly recovered by mid-week.
I am impressed with scrubbed-clean Waxhaw. It is a town exploding with growth, and a railroad runs through the heart of town.
Like Bermuda Run, however, Waxhaw has its trouble with Google and other Internet search engines. My telephone tried to send me to Wax, Iowa, when I asked for directions. Perhaps it was my accent, but I never got Siri to understand “Waxhaw.”

Reader Martha Taylor of Clemmons suggests I should count my blessings that my 4-year-old granddaughter is gaga over singer Taylor Swift instead of select other musicians. She has a point. I recently noted that Miss Swift often writes songs about ex-boyfriends and used the term “lyrical venom.”
“Really, lyrical VENOM? And what would you call lyrics from a guy, Justin Bieber for example. Or Toby Keith? Lyrical PATHOS, no doubt. Will you men ever get it? Better question, are you even trying?
“P.S.  Maybe you ought to encourage that 4 year old not to listen to that or adore Taylor.  She might grow up to be a beautiful, talented, grounded, role model who knows who she is. Wouldn’t that just be the worst and don’t you hate it when that happens. Maybe steer her toward Kesha.”
On reflection, Taylor Swift will do just fine. For good measure, I sometimes play old Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline and Waylon Jennings tunes for my grandchildren … to bring them up right. The babies find the old songs very soothing.

 West Forsyth High had a day wasted a couple weeks ago with hundreds of students staying home because of a scare exaggerated — and fast-fueled — by social media connections. Hundreds …