This past Saturday, Kyle took our eleven-year-old deer hunting (or, rather, he took him stand-sitting because the only thing they bagged was some magical father-son bonding time). Kyle also wanted to bring along our seven-year-old, which I nixed because Seven is not a fan of quiet, or sitting, and especially not quiet sitting. For example, Seven and I went to see the Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile in the theater a couple of weeks ago and mere seconds after he finished his popcorn he leaned over and said in what I suppose could be considered a whispered tone but was more of a shouted volume, “Let’s go home.”
ME, in a for-real whisper: We’re going to stay and watch this movie.
SEVEN, whisp-yelling: But I don’t feel good. I need to go home.
ME: Why don’t you feel good?
SEVEN, shoveling in a fistful of fruit snacks: My stomach hurts.
ME: If your stomach hurts, you need to stop eating fruit snacks.
SEVEN: The fruit snacks are making it feel better.
ME: Have some water and watch the movie.
SEVEN: I’m allergic to water.
[Thirty seconds pass.]
SEVEN, holding his general calf area: Ow! I think I broke my leg. I need to go home.
ME: You broke your leg sitting in that chair?
SEVEN: I broke it earlier, but it hurts now.
ME: You’ll need to rest it. Good thing we’re at the movies.
[Thirty seconds pass.]
SEVEN: I need to go to the bathroom. Don’t come with me. [Runs out of theater on broken leg]
Seven went to the bathroom eight times during Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile. He watched exactly five straight minutes, which happened to be the final five minutes – after which he announced it was “his favorite movie in the world” and spent the next forty-eight hours singing all of the songs, which he somehow miraculously heard and retained.
As a consolation for being withheld from deer hunting, I offered Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile’s Biggest Fan a variety of some of his favorite non-quiet/sitting activities, including the pumpkin patch, laser tag, and the trampoline park.
Here’s another thing about Seven: he marches very much to the beat of his own drum. As another example, Seven has announced every single day this school year that it was the BEST DAY because he learned about the Titanic and how chicken nuggets are made. At his Q1 conference, his teacher told us no, they hadn’t yet learned about the Titanic or chicken nugget production – but speaking of learning, she’d really like to see Seven finish his own non-Titanic/nugget-related assignments before moving on to assist his classmates’ with their work. When we brought up her comments to Seven later that evening, he said, “Did you know a cockroach can hold its breath for 40 minutes?”
Anyway, when provided with a list of non-deer hunting fun options (funptions), Seven went predictably off-script and selected a walk from our house to the nearby gas station for ice cream.
It was an absolutely glorious day, and so we took our sweet time meandering to the ‘station – checking out Halloween decorations, pointing out birds, and, of course, crunching through blocks and blocks of fallen leaves. Midway from Point A to Point I(ce Cream), Seven took to gathering a bouquet of the reddest leaves, which I, his loyal assistant, was allowed to carry for him. Suddenly, he stopped.
“LOOK AT THIS,” he said, holding up a brown leaf with a teeny-tiny fuzzy ball on it. “This is a grasshopper egg.”
“Are you sure?” I said.
“Yes,” he said.
“Should we Google it?” I said, surreptitiously Googling what the Internet quickly identified as not a grasshopper egg (inconclusive otherwise).
“No,” he said.
We continued, me with a handful of now-less-good leaves, him cradling this all-important proof of life.
“When this hatches,” he told me, “I will put the grasshoppers in my bug cage.”
“Wouldn’t it make sense to put it in the bug cage before it hatches?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “It will be too lonely.”
There were three other people – two shoppers, one employee – at the gas station. Like any good dad would, Seven loudly announced to all in attendance, “Shh, these grasshopper babies are sleeping.” Like any terrible mother would, I tried to gently undo his shushing by saying, “Oh, haha, no, everyone is fine.” No one (including the grasshopper egg) seemed affected one way or the other.
I was put in charge of the leaf when we walked home because “I know about these things,” according to Seven (also, he was holding ice cream). At the house, Seven put the leaf in the my car.
“What about the bug cage?” I asked, skeptical that the answer was because the car was in the front yard (where we were) and the bug catcher was all the way in the back.
“That won’t work,” Seven said.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Because,” Seven said. “Did you know the first wedding cake was made out of bread?”
“What about the grasshoppers?” I asked.
“Grasshoppers eat grass, not wedding cake, silly,” Seven said, marching into the house, humming the first bars of a Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile song.
The photo above was taken at the pumpkin patch the day after our gas station walk. Seven, Eleven, and their friends spent two hours playing their faces off. After it was over, we asked Seven his favorite part and he said, “The car ride.”
This week’s news has a grand marshal and a doughnut walk. Read on.
Watford City’s Olga Hovet led the high school homecoming parade honor of her 103rd birthday (and 86th post-graduation year). As a side note, I’d like her to put out a beauty guide because if that lady is 103 then I’m a fairy princess. (KFYR TV)
There are so many fun (and free) Halloween events going on across the state – like at Bonanzaville, where kids can participate in old-timey games like a doughnut walk. (News Dakota)
Garrison’s Mike Matteson is the recipient of the AARP’s most prestigious volunteer award, given to one North Dakotan annually. (Minot Daily News)
Happy 100th to the largest mill in the country! (Facebook)
An update to a previous news item: the Meyhuber Family won their episode of Family Feud. (KVRR)
Dickinson’s Tessa Johnson is the only nurse to be inducted into the North Dakota Nurse Hall of Fame in the past 35 years. (KFYR TV)
Let’s Be (Official) Pals!
Sign up for the weekly North Dakota Nice email and get a story and the news delivered to your inbox once a week (and never more than that).