Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's Much Harder To Be Good

The illustrations showed sinister looking, shirtless men with great swaths of fabric wrapped around their waists and heads.

The swarthy, sword-brandishing swashbucklers were shown commiting acts of
great violence in the coffee table book about pirates that The Mayor insisted on "reading" at the Thanksgiving beach house.

I had to invent narrative to explain the pictures to him.

"You see, Mayor... uh... pirates were bad guys sailing the high seas."

"Why were they bad guys?" he asked

"Because they stole things from people."


"Oh. What did they steal, Mom?"

"Um. They stole blankies. The special blankies belonging to little boys and girls."

[The Mayor's brow knitted in outrage. The injustice!]

"Don't worry, Mayor! Good guys fought the pirates, won the blankies back and returned them to the children. "

"Why did the good guys win, Mom?"

"Because! Good ALWAYS triumphs over evil, Mayor."

"Why?"

"Because... because... good is STRONGER than evil."

"Why?"

"Because it's harder to be good, Mayor. Much harder."

Later, he was so absorbed by the activities at The Children's Museum in Charleston that we suspected The would have a gynormous tantrum when it was time to leave.

My Aunt called me from the (wait outside in the cold for 35 minutes) line at The Hominy Grill and told us to hurry if we wanted to get in on the kind shrimp and grits lunch action.

I was in the art room ignoring The Rooster's first love affair with Elmer of glue fame.

I eyed the crayons and paper.

First I drew a pirate ship flying the Jolly Roger and then, inspired, I created a pirate's treasure map.

I rolled up the pirate treasure map, tied it with a ribbon, addressed the scroll to The Mayor and went to find him.

He was dressed as a Knight of the Round Table and playing in the castle room screaming,

"I'm at the top of the bowels!"

[WTF?]

I got his attention,


"Mayor, some pirates just gave me a letter for you," I told him handing him the scroll.

"What is it?" he asked.

"It looks like a pirate treasure map," I said.

I showed him the drawing of our beach house, the path to the beach and the "X" marking the treasure spot.

The Mayor ran towards the Children's Museum lobby yelling,

"I got a pirate treasure map!!" and showed it to anyone that would listen.

When we got back to the beach house The Mayor was too excited to take a nap until I told him that the pirates had said,

"Only he that naps and seeks the treasure shall find it."

[Oh, the prophecy!]

"Mom! You SAW the pirates?" he asked wide eyed.

"Sure. They gave me the map for you."

"Where were they?"

"In the arts and crafts room. Didn't you see them? No? Oh, well. Go to sleep now."

He hurried to sleep.

He. HURRIED. to sleep.

During nap, K drove to a nearby store (that rhymes with Schmarget) and bought buried treasure supplies.

We filled two boxes with candy, coins and toys and K buried them on the beach being careful to mark each spot with a huge X.

When The Mayor woke up, he gave us all plastic shovels and, following his map, led us to the beach, found the two treasure spots and organized his and The Rooster's digging efforts.

Pirate booty was discovered!

The Mayor, out of his mind with excitement, tucked his treasure box under his arm and ran for the path back to the beach house.

At the top of the dune he turned and scanned the horizon for ships to make sure no pirates had seen him.

[He is very fond of his blankie, after all.]

With no pirate ships in sight, he ran all the way back to the beach house and played with his treasure all night.

He even slept with it.

A little boy who napped ended up with pirate's treasure AND his special blankie.

Once again, good triumphed over evil in the end.



99 comments:

Annie said...

Fun, fun fun!

I can just imagine his little eyes dancing with excitement - this is such a magical age - so great that you captured it here.

Katrina said...

Ahoy matey! Thar be me stolen booty, er, blankie!

How fun! I hope he always remembers that day.

furiousBall said...

Ahh that's great. I miss my little people so much now. Have you read them "How I Became A Pirate" or "Pirates Don't Change Diapers"? If not, go get 'em from the library, Mayor will love 'em.

Sayre said...

What a wonderful, inventive mom you are!!! You made a memory for the Mayor that will last a lifetime.

Anonymous said...

You are an awesome Mom...smart and
loving..your kids will have the most wonderful memories..I envy them...and by the by..I'm so sorry about my remarks yesterday...put it down to being overtired...


mauniejames

Family Adventure said...

Simply brilliant! :)

Heidi

Blog Antagonist said...

I'm sure that was a very heartwarming story, but I couldn't get past the fact that you were in Charleston. At Thanksgiving.

I was in Redneck hell. Bitch.

Jozet at Halushki said...

Very cute!

My girls love pirates, too. Recently, while playing at a friend's house, they were told by some boys that girls couldn't be pirates; they had to be servants. And so my girls "mopped their decks" so to speak. That wasn't quite so magical. Everyone ended up walking the plank that day.

Nancy said...

You're such a great mom. :-)

WILLIAM said...

Brilliant.

Now the kid is going to want to cut off his hand and get a hook.

Jen said...

You are a very good mommy.

tulipmom said...

You're a genius!

Seriously, you should send that idea in to Parents magazine (don't they have that section called "It Worked For Me" or something to that effect?).

Chantelle said...

Oh my gosh, what fun! I can't wait til my baby is old enough to search for pirate booty. But not other kinds of booty. I am so not ready for that yet.

Colleen said...

I just love that you did this! So fun.

MamaCarter said...

Brilliant, matey! I love it.

Shannon said...

That's awesome. I can just imagine the excitement he felt at the thought of getting at buried treasure without getting caught by pirates.

Circus Kelli said...

Dude. You are MOM OF THE YEAR!

Elizabeth said...

awww, you guys are the best parents EVERY! What fun!!

jakelliesmom said...

You are so cool. Are you available for lease? My kids could use that kind of creative, and I'm just not.

acumamakiki said...

how fun! i'm sure the best booty for you and K was seeing your boy's joy.

jo! said...

you and k are the coolest parents ever!

Mrs. Chicky said...

Brilliant!

If there's one thing I like, it's a good booty story.

painted maypole said...

oh you are a fun mom.

and it is MUCH harder to be good.

Lisa Milton said...

Suddenly I have the urge to bury some treasure before they get too big to care....

(lovely story)

Amy said...

This is BRILLIANT! We're going to the beach at New Year's and I'm totally ripping this off and doing it for Shark Boy!

Kyla said...

This was genius and SO SO SO fun!!

Fran said...

I would have loved to see the excitement in his eyes! Fun!

Don't you just love the Hominy Grill......I am missing Charleston now since reading your blog!

Fran

we_be_toys said...

Very inventive of you, Mom! So did you ever make it for "the kind" shrimp and grits? I will be dreaming of them for the rest of the day...mmmmm!

Scarlett Wanna Be said...

I love that you said good is stronger than bad because it is harder to be good. How true!!! I think when pirate ship glamor fades, that little fact about being good and strong will be the thing that lasts.

Good job mom.

Nancy said...

Necessity, the mother of invention. You did it in such a fun way ... both will never forget.

We used to make "treasure maps" ... that led to things all over the house.

Go "here" ... then there was a note sending them to the next place, etc ... the end result was treasure ... usually under a pillow or in a PJ drawer, good night =)

Jenifer said...

You probably just gave him one of his most treasured childhood memories. That was awesome. At our house the tooth fairy makes healthy food recommendations to me...inducing much awe in our house.

Hol&J said...

You and K are such cool parents!

Whether you know it or not, you are teaching some of us wonderful life lessons (for when we have children).

Thank you.

Terri said...

very cool story! I used to love to set up scavenger hunts for my kids. So fun.

Lawyer Mama said...

That was a great idea, Jess. Brilliant.

Heather, Queen of Shake-Shake said...

I want to be you.

My boys want me to be a mom like you.

That is SO cool!

Holly said...

What cool parents you are to do that! That is going to be one fun memory for him.

JoeinVegas said...

Wow, yes, good job mom! You are pretty inventive, and follow through. And good did prevail in the end.

Hetha said...

You are the best. mom. ever!!!!!
(And K, he's awesome too!)

Got any pics of the boy with his treasure?

Not the Queen said...

Cute story! Very creative of you!

-The Shiny Happy Mama- said...

You're such a great mom :-)

CamiKaos said...

super parenting at it's best.

QT said...

OMG - That is the BEST! I can only imagine how excited he was ~

Jennifer said...

Awesome! Or ARGH! Or whatever the pirate lingo is for you are a seriously cool mom.

carrie said...

You and K are the best parents in the world!

Mimi aka pz5wjj said...

Now that is just about the most exciting thing ever! How fun!

Biddy said...

seriously, you rock. could you write a parenting book for me!?

Worker Mommy said...

Nice!!! I love that idea.

My 4 year olds rarely nap anymore...I really might have to try that.

Janet said...

Do you know they best part about this? He is going to appreciate this effort even more, in the future, when he figures out that there really weren't any pirates.


You rock.

fidget said...

in case he ever wonders, ninjas are the natural enemy of pirates.

it sounds like rousing good fun and something he'll remembers for a long time!

LSM said...

Inspired parenting! One of my kids' favorite memories is of finding "pirate" treasure when we were on vacation in Belize. The pirates just happened to use a storage container that looked suspiciously like their grandfather's Crown Royal bag, but I'm sure that was just a coincidence.

wornoutwoman said...

Oh can I relate to this. What a beautiful post...I love your blog!

ImpostorMom said...

that was fabulous, you guys are such awesome parents.

oh and I LOVE the hominy grill!

Moondance said...

"Because it's harder to be good, Mayor. Much harder."

That is brilliant. I am co-opting that for my next conversation.

Owl is a pirate lover, too, and the books recomended by furiousBall are among his favorites.

We love the Charleston Children's Museum. The shrimp boat kept him busy for so long, we almost didn't have time for the castle.

kittenpie said...

That's fantastic! What fun.

Ruth Dynamite said...

Arrrrgh! You're a good mom.

Honeybell said...

I LOVE it, how cool are you??

dawn224 said...

man you are smart.

Rimarama said...

You. Are. The. Parents. of. the. Century!!!!

Sugarplum's Mom said...

pure genius that was.. I'm totally stealing that some day

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

I want you to be my Mommy.

Woman Undone said...

Oh, the days when you could fool them to believe anything. Now my 8 & 9 yr olds don't believe ANYTHING!!! I used to leave glitter trails to say that Santa, the Tooth Fairy & Easter Bunny had visited them till they found the glitter stashed in my room.

ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS!!!

jeanie said...

lol that last comment got me - my daughter found tooth fairies stash of teeth and now holds the knowledge in secret over her more gullible cousins!

What a great memory - so glad you wrote it down.

Emily said...

You are absolutely, positively, without doubt the best and funnest MOM. Ever.

pgoodness said...

You rock!

Avery Gray said...

What a great idea! I think I'll do that for the boy sometime this winter when we're all stuck in the house and are in desperate need of entertainment.

You're kids are lucky little buggers!

Maddy said...

Excellent well done you. We had a similar conversation recently, but it didn't end as successfully as yours because I couldn't come up with a satisfactory definition / explanation of 'high' seas.

Cheers

Lori- Fairytales & Margaritas said...

Damn, you are creative!

K, wife and stepmommy! said...

I hope that someday I can be as cool as a mom as you are! You're my hero:)

motherbumper said...

adopt me

flutter said...

As it always should be

Theresa said...

Arrrrr. The joys of pirating. I mean parenting. And having the Joys as parents. We use booty and pirate talk, too. Blimey! More books: "Roger, the Jolly Pirate" and "Bubble Bath Pirates."

Twisted Cinderella said...

What a great idea! What fun!

shelookslikeme.wordpress said...

Brilliant! Simply brilliant.

Mimi said...

What a wonderful, kind, fun, thing to do for the mayor! Awwww.

SUEB0B said...

You are the best mom ever.

Mac and Cheese said...

You are so good at this mom stuff.

Claire B. said...

What a great story! I can see him on top of the dune scouting for scoundrels and scallywags.

Ahh, the beaches of Charleston. Hope they are still as beautiful as they were back in the 80's.

Shannon said...

I love that museum in Charleston - actually, I just love Charleston period. If I could afford it, I would live there. Across the street from the museum is Basil's - fantastic pad thai. Our other favorite thing to do (besides walk around endlessly) is hang out at the water front park, play in the fountains and swing on the swing....

Stimey said...

Oh, God, this is the best story I have ever read. Perfection.

kevin said...

Mine's only 18 months, but I'm so stealing that idea in another few years.

On another note, things are great when you stand on your own two feet, and this guy's here to say with some luck and love life he's gonna be on top of the bowels.

La duh de dah!

wordgirl said...

My boys were MAD for pirates too, so I can totally understand The Mayor's feelings on this. You're so creative!

BookMomma said...

I completely adore this story. Thank you for telling it. I have a pirate in my house too that would LOVE this.

wordgirl said...

My boys were MAD for pirates too, so I can totally understand The Mayor's feelings on this. You're so creative!

Alpha DogMa said...

Boys are all about the booty, in my opinion.

Lisa said...

That is just adoreable. Awwwww.

What a cool idea!

EE said...

You're a cool mom!

JCK said...

This sounded like so much fun! You always amaze me with your comebacks for the Mayor's questions.

BOSSY said...

If you bottle all this Parental Goodness, do you think they'll agree to sell it at Schmarget?

Moobs said...

I realise I'm a bit old for this ... but do you think you could find your way clear to adopting me?

JayJenny said...

You are such a fun Mom - you're kids are very lucky for your energy, creativity and your love. I think that was so sweet and something he will always remember! Inspiring...

sweetney said...

OMG, the blankie-stealing pirates! snort!

g-man said...

Freekin' amazing! Can you be my mom?

Just a Walk in the Park said...

Very clever, very fun. You are making such great memories for your kiddos. Hopefully they will rememember this type of stuff rather than the recurring park ranger nightmares.haha

Diane said...

You're so CREATIVE! I want to remember this too so I can do it! I'm with g-man. You can be my mom too.

mothergoosemouse said...

Your explanation of good vs. evil beats the philosophers' all to hell.

megachick said...

awesome. great job on the spontaneous creativy AND nap encouragement.

Deb said...

What a brilliant idea, and what a wonderful memory you created for him!

whymommy said...

I love love love this! The game, the map, the explanation ... everything.

WTG!

Jo Beaufoix said...

That was fab. I must do more stuff like this with my little monkeys.