Chill, Dad; It’s Just Some Rust

I told you about the little soccer players, and ended that story with how little kids are pretty hyper, just flying from thought to thought, action to action; living each moment to the fullest. Life, when you’re four or five years old, is just a series of immediate events, and one must deal with each situation quickly then move to the next one.

I was more laid back when I was at that age, but I still did the same stuff. I remember one time Mom left me at home with Dad, and I went out back to play in the yard. There was this huge rusty pipe in the lot behind our back yard, which I thought should be investigated. It must have been about four feet in diameter, because I remember walking right inside the thing. But, what fun is just walking in a big pipe? I got down on my stomach, rolled as far up one side as I could then let myself rollback down, and did the same thing going the other way. After what seemed like an hour of great fun, tumbling in the big pipe—it was probably more like ten minutes—I decided I’d go back inside and play with my toys.

When I walked in the front door, my dad was in his chair reading the newspaper, and he dropped it down so he could see me. I knew something was wrong when his eyes attempted to leave his head. A five-year-old hates it when that happens! He jumped up and stood waving his arms like he was being attacked by bees.

“What the…” he shouted then did the I-forgot-your-name-thing parents do so well. “Bill-Bob-Sam, Chu… dang it, boy! What the heck did you do?”

I’m oblivious, not realizing my white T-shirt and light colored shorts are now a thoroughly, dusty-looking, rust, red. My legs, arms, hands, face, and hair, incidentally, were an exact match to the ensemble.

I looked down at myself—truly couldn’t see what the fuss was about—then looked back up and did the four-year-old plead-the-fifth gag: I smiled and shrugged my shoulders.

He did not find my reaction amusing, and I spent the next thirty minutes standing in the corner, where he’d determined I would stay until Mom got home. While I was there, I named every swirl of paint and even made friends with a nail someone had left in the wall—it probably used to have a picture hanging on it. I actually had a pretty good time.

When Mom came in, her and Dad had an argument. Her main point was I was just a little boy, and Dad finally had to agree with her on that, but he said Mom had to clean me up. When I left the room, he had his eyes squeezed shut, and was holding his head in his hands, like he thought it might fall off, or explode, or something. He was a strange guy sometimes.

I skipped into the bathroom, thinking what a great day this had been so far.  Shoot! Somebody put some water in the tub, and get me my toy boat. This day is just getting started.

Being five; wasn’t it great?


  1. Yvonne said

    Similar story: When my son was in college, he bought a westie for his girlfriend…worked extra hours to pay for the dog. In later years, when he married (another girl), the new wife decided the dog had to go. Sid (dog) was a constant reminder of old girlfriend. So Sid came to live with us. Sid mourned, whined, grieved over my son’s absence, so one day while I was talking to my son, I said, “Sid is just pitiful…he’s whining, lying by the door. He’s waiting for you to walk in. It’s just so sad.” My son said, “Mom…..he’s a D-O-G.”

    Sid doesn’t know he’s a dog.

    • I think you commented on the wrong story, Yvonne. But I get the point. Sherry’s daughter asked us the same question last time we were at her house. Dockers does not think she’s a dog!

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