Kids, Dragons, and World Domination
“Someday, I’m going to rule the world.”
“When I grow up I am going to rule the world. I will be the king of America! And I will blow up China...”
“Ummm... Okay. Why would you want to do that?”
“I don’t know... Just because. And then I want to retire and work at 7-Eleven. . . And have all the icees I want!”
My brother was about six years old and already had big plans for his life: rule the world, blow up China, and work at 7-eleven. Yep, he was definitely going big places! And while this conversation (which occurred, entirely randomly, one day while we were simply sitting around the kitchen table) could be taken as an isolated incident, it’s not. My younger siblings, as a group, seem to possess a strange and slightly disturbing obsession with the topics of power and destruction...
* * *
“Ow! Naithen! Stop it! Ah!” *sobs*
Hurrying in from the other room I surveyed the scene in front of me: Natylee, two years old at the time, sat sobbing with a large red mark on her arm while Naithen (four) sat beside her apparently playing innocently with the pile of duplos before him. Scooping her up I turned to face him.
“Naithen, what happened to Natylee?”
“I pinched her.”
“That’s not an acceptable answer.”
*exasperated* “Naithen, you need to apologize to your sister right now!”
“ . . . No.”
As my frustration with the situation rose I realized that I needed to get him to his bed quickly before I did something I would regret. “Go to your bed right now.”
There was no noticeable response.
“Naithen! Bed. NOW.”
Reluctantly he stood to his feet and shuffled slowly back to his bedroom. Turning my attention back to the sniffling child in my arms (the sobs had subsided as she watched my dealings with her brother) I got her a cup of milk and put a movie on for her while I regained my cool before dealing with her miscreant brother. Finally, I headed back to his room where I found him sitting quietly on his bed, apparently lost in thought.
“Naithen, the way you were treating Natylee was unkind and unacceptable. You have to be nice to her. She’s just a baby, and she needs you to protect her. Do you understand that?”
“Naithen, I’m going to have to spank you for hurting your sister.”
He finally turned his big, blue eyes to me and responded "But . . . I am sad because we are all going to die." (He wouldn't be changing the subject now, would he?)
His ploy worked, and, although still frustrated with him, I melted. "Oh, Naithen, you don't need to worry about dying because if you love Jesus you will just go to be with Him when you die."
He sniffled, "Yes, but my body will still be dead."
"Well, that's true, but eventually Jesus will raise it up and give you a new and better body!"
Suddenly, his entire demeanor changed as he responded enthusiastically, “Yes! And then I can be a dragon!!!!”
At this point I had to leave the room to restrain my laughter before returning to dealing with the issue at hand (the mistreatment of his little sister).
* * *
Dragons seem to be a fairly common theme in the conversation of my little brothers and sisters. My youngest sister, in fact, is going through a bit of a dragon obsession right now. You see, my brothers have a large collection of toy knights. This Christmas, that collection grew to include several dragons and a bevy of princesses (the latter were actually given to my sister because they had been begging for some time to be more included in their brothers’ games and wanted girls to play with, of course). My youngest sister is two years old now, and very independent. She, in fact, would far rather play with the knights all by herself than have her brothers or sisters interfere with her games, and her imagination can keep her games going for hours. One day, then, she was observed playing the following game with her knights:
A troop of about 15 knights, seated proudly on their horses, parade in a stately row across the play room and away from the castle. Suddenly, though they begin screaming as the dragons begin swooping down on them, snatching them from their horses and throwing them to the group, where, of course, the screaming stops. The horses, witnessing the carnage created by the dragon horde, but not themselves yet victims of the dragons’ wrath, begin screaming too “Aaahhh!!! Help!!! Princesses! Save us!! Ahh! Help us! Princesses!”
The response to this outcry is swift as a group of princesses suddenly emerges from the castle and flies over to the battle field. The princesses, instantly catching sight of the dragons and assessing the situation at hand take immediate action, “Shoo, Dragons! Shoo! Go home!”
The dragons, who apparently live in dread fear of princesses, directly leave their prizes and fly off to some distant part of the play room, never to be heard of again in this game.
The princesses, apparently quite satisfied with their work, mount the knights horses and ride cheerily back to the castle singing “Jingle Bells” as they go and leaving the hapless (and apparently dead) knights lying strewn about on the ground.
My friend Tamara, having watched this entire procedure, asked my sister, “Leisy girl, why did the dragons kill all the knights?”
With an exasperated sigh, Eilyse responded, “Well, the dragons were hungry. They had to eat!” As if Tamara’s questions were clearly ridiculous and one of the silliest inquiries she had every received.
* * *
Children, in fact, frequently find adults and their questions silly. We are in their eyes extremely gullible creatures, and they live to exploit that gullibility (see the first dragon story above). Surely, they think, if I can just figure our how to say this in just the right way she’ll buy it. Sometimes, though, their attempts at manipulating the silly adults can be quite entertaining to those very same adults. I had one of these encounters with my little sister this past summer. . .
“Kyndra, let me stir. Pleeease, Kyndra!” I was sitting at the stove stirring pudding, waiting for it to thicken so that I could work on getting some of the other things done on my rather lengthy to-do list that day. Standing at my feet was my three year old sister, pestering me to let her help, something I was a bit loathe to do since pudding has a tendency to get quite lumpy quite easily and I didn’t quite trust her little arms to have the strength to efficiently stir a half-gallon of it.
“No, Natylee, not right now. Let me do it.”
Apparently finally accepting my answer, she turned and walked from the room. Not two minutes later, however, she returned, dragging a large barstool behind her with the clear intention of using it to stand on to stir the pudding.
“Natylee, take that barstool back to the other room. You cannot be up here right now.”
“The one you’re standing in front of.” (Important to note is the fact that the barstool was, in fact, taller than her, and standing in front of it did little to nothing toward obscuring it from view)
Moving out from in front of the barstool, she looked at it, then back at me and said, quite simply, “What barstool? I don’t see a barstool. You don’t see a barstool…. There is no barstool…”
Shocked by her ingenuity and attempted Jedi mind tricks, I nevertheless quickly regained my equilibrium. “Yes, Natylee,, there is a barstool. I do see it, and you need to take it back to the other room.”
*sigh* “Fine.” And with that she finally gave up (for a few minutes, at least) her attempts at the pudding.
* * *
This same sister has a young man whom she has been planning to marry for about two years now, since she was two and he was three. His future life plans are to be a world dictator, and, for the most part, she’s alright with this. Although, her plans to differ just a bit. As she explained to some of my friend when they were over one day:
“And then, I will grow up, and I will marry Nate.”
“And then you’re going to conquer the world, right Natylee?”
"Uh. NO! Then, we are going to make babies… Then conquer the world.”
* * *
What does one even do with a cast of children whose minds are so cunning and vicious? Who wish to be dragons, willingly sacrifice entire armies of knights to feed dragons, have already begun to experiment with Jedi mind tricks and other brain-washing techniques, and have plans for future world domination. But maybe it’s not so serious. Yes, the stories start to add up, but they’re just kids, right? I mean, it’s just the silly things they say, and they’ll grow out of it as they get older?
Maybe. Or maybe not, as I remember the time Naithen prayed that the wolves would come and eat his whole family because he was mad at them… Or the time Layne and Lance constructed elaborate “girl traps” along the path of the zipline, reinforcing them with rows of sticks they’d sharpened to points . . . And as I contemplate these things I hear echoing through the house my littlest sister’s cry “Where’s my minion!?! I need my minion!!!”
Then again, perhaps, we should be concerned after all…
08 March 2011
Kids, Dragons, and World Domination
The following is a paper I recently wrote for a Creative Nonfiction class. As of right now, I'm having difficulty finding additional time in my crazy life for blogging. So, I thought I would simply start posting some of the things I have written past and present for school, starting with my creative writing class although I may eventually move on to other things I have especially enjoyed writing. So, with that in mind, enjoy this piece of narrative/memoir writing about the craziness of my many younger siblings. :)