Captain Hook

When it comes to pretending, the kids have gone through several phases. They’ve always loved trains and pretending to ride on them. There was also a rather long Tarzan period, and, of course, the rescue heroes. One of the recurring themes, however, has been pirates.

Pretending to be a pirate has one serious advantage over everything else: you get to say “Arrr” and “matey!” and “avast there, ya scurvy dog!” There’s really no other pretending quite like it.

During this past vacation, however, N did discover one small disadvantage.

We were at a playground at the Atlanta zoo, winding down after having seen all the exhibits. I was keeping an eye on the kids while their momma relaxed on a bench. This is not quite as easy as it sounds. A 2 year old and a 4 year old like to do very different things at a playground. There were no swings, thank goodness, but they still were running around and playing independently.

To make things worse, N kept having trouble on the ladder leading up to the slide. He’d get right up to the top, get stuck, and call for help. The top of the ladder was designed very poorly, with no handles to grab on to, and a very wide top ledge. N wasn’t the only one running into trouble.

It was weird, though. Both the kids are very good climbers, and I kind of count on that when I’m with them.

The third time he called me over to help, I finally noticed that he was only using his left hand to climb with. Instead of lifting him up, I stopped and asked him what he was doing. He held out his right hand to me: “Arrrr, matey!”

The hand was all balled up into a fist, with his pointer finger sticking out, but bent. “Ow!” I exclaimed. “You hurt your hand? How’d you hurt your hand!”

“No!” He shouted. “Cap’n Hook, Daddy! I’m Cap’n Hook!”

He couldn’t climb the ladder because he was pretending his right hand was a hook.

There’s really not too much you can say to that.

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