The Right Coast

December 29, 2005
Family life update
By Tom Smith

A dear friend of ours calls them "desert babies". The last of your bunch, had just because you like them, and tending to be very sweet. Ours is Mark, and I will spare you the details of incredible cuteness. The problem is, as the littlest and cutest, they tend to get a little spoiled. They rule the roost, bossing every one else around, even though only two. Mark has a few bad habits. One of them is throwing things. Not out of pique, but for the joy of throwing. And you have to admit, throwing things is fun. It probably goes back to the Pleistocene. I hate to discourage him, because who knows, he may have an arm. He certainly seems to. He can land a matchbox toy in a wine glass from across the room. He is, however, somewhat dangerous. On the way back from the east coast this time, he flung a matchbox toy, and caught the lady in the row behind us neatly in the middle of the forehead. I wasn't there, since I was visiting my aged parents in Idaho, but I asked Luke if he saw the incident. "No," he said, "but I heard the impact." The lady was so furious, she refused to accept my lovely wife Jeanne's apology, even though she offered it three times, somewhat biblically. I don't blame the lady. I have been beaned by the little beggar, and it really hurts. "Well," said LWJ, looking on the bright side, "at least it was sort of a lob. If he'd really thrown it, he might have killed her." (This incident is also described here, on my son Patrick's somewhat quirky blog.)

I am way past thinking unruly children are cute, and we keep ours in pretty good order, especially in public. But the youngest, especially with a gap of six years, is a challenge. Plus, I don't want him to get the idea that power and accuracy are bad things. God knows, I could stand to have one child who wants to play little league, which in my area is best avoided if your kid isn't pretty good.