Monday, March 31, 2008

El Destructo

Kids have unique personalities. I, for instance, was ridiculously afraid to talk to strangers. At 10 years old, if I went into a 7-11 to buy a $.10 candy and the clerk didn't give me change from my dollar, I would have walked away without saying a word. I would have preferred to be out the $.90 than have to create any form of confrontation with the clerk. That's changed a bit in my older age, but I am still definitely a "white" personality. I avoid conflict, often at my own expense, and depend on peace. It is a necessity that all things are functioning and happy. I can't get into an argument and let it remain unresolved. I have to have closure and know that the universe is once again working as intended. I should have been an educator or a social worker. But nooo, I had to choose sales. A world of never-ending confrontation. That largely goes unresolved.

It makes me wonder what other people were like as children. Did Ted Kaczynski tinker with broken radio parts? Did Michael Jordan play with balls? Did Bill Clinton chase skirt? I'm hoping not. Because I don't wish my youngest son to grow up a human demolition ball.

Eric has earned a number of nicknames at his young age and they get progressively more violent. His first nickname was "Rico" and sometimes "Coco." Talmage somehow invented the nickname "DayDay" which stuck for a while but has become a distant memory. Some of his nicknames come off the cuff and border on ridiculous, i.e. "Schmokaka." Of course Talmage, poor soul, has grown up as "Sausage" so Eric can't have MUCH to complain about. Recently Ashley has started calling him "Eric the Red" for he is as the vikings of olde. He pillages and plunders. He walks into a McDonalds playground and completely owns the place. His goal is, for example, the ball pit. If there are other children between him and his ball pit then those children are obstacles keeping him from his prize. They are expendable. Just like a viking feels entitled to his loot, Eric the Red feels entitled to his...erm...balls. And anything in his way shall fall.

He has also earned the nickname "El Destructo" from grandpa. Eric Derall = E.D. E.D. = El Destructo. I think this name fits best of all because he seems to feed off of destruction. Like when Dahmer would eat his victims to permanently absorb their life-force, Eric gains power and energy when he breaks things. Or at least disturbs them. For instance, if I were to build a house of cards on the kitchen table then call for Eric to come upstairs from the basement, there is a 95% statistical probability that he would unceremoniously destroy the card house as he walked by. If there is a stuffed-animal dog lying on the floor, Eric will kick it. If grandpa Pearson has neatly groomed his flower beds, El Destructo will kick dirt out of them into the sidewalk. He sees cleanliness and harmony and looks to add dirt and discord.

Naturally he does all of this in a cute way. He is a sweet kid. He just has far too much viking testosterone in that little body. I am going to share a few stories about Eric.

When Eric was a small toddler he had some problems with constipation. We would regularly include a laxative called "Miralax" to his bottles or juice and sometimes it would do the trick. Other times it wouldn't. In those particularly rough times we were forced to go to the dreaded enema. Now for those that are unfamiliar with an infant enema they have a clear plastic bulb filled with the slippery juice and the tube is protected by an orange plastic cover. It looks like an orange stick with a ball of water on the end of it. After administering this hateful thing to my child Sherri asked me to throw it in the trash. So naturally I left it on the floor. That following morning I was doing some work on the computer while Eric and Talmage were bumping around the house. Eric had his binkie like always. Just sucking away. After about a half hour of him bouncing around sucking on his binkie I looked up at his face. There was the orange butt-stick hanging out of his mouth while he sucked away at the plastic ball that was shaped almost EXACTLY like his binkie. Half of me laughed, part of me was horrified, and the rest of me was grateful that my child was being pacified, regardless of how. Butt-stick? Fine. Just don't cry.

El Destructo's nursery leaders love him. He really is a very fun kid and is HIGHLY entertaining. They shared a story with me last week on Sunday. Some time ago they were delivering a spiritual message about the birth of Christ. They held up a picture of the three wise men and asked, "Eric, do you know who these men are?" "Yes", he replied, "that's He-Man, Skeletor, and Power Ranger." Can you imagine the gifts those three would have brought? A furry loin-cloth from He-Man, red spandex from the Power Ranger, and from Skeletor a maniacal need to rule Eternia...?

El Destructo and Talmage typically play well together. Although anytime the play gets physical, Eric pretty much manhandles his older brother. For instance, yesterday they were playing light sabers. Talmage is huge into Star Wars right now, and if you recall the movies, The Jedi have a power called a "force push." The jedi simply raises his hand, palm facing out, and the enemies are blown back. So Talmage carefully instructed his brother, "ok Eric, when I hold out my hand you need to grab your neck and fall to the ground, ok?" "Ok." They thrust and parry a few times then Talmage brings up his hand. Eric summarily whacks Talmage's outstretched hand with his lightsaber. And I swear there's a little orange fire in his eyes when he does it. Talmage cries, recovers, instructs Eric that he was SUPPOSED to grab his throat and fall. "This time do it Eric, ok?" "Ok." Thrust, parry, thrust-thrust, parry, force push, WHACK! Fingers crushed by the hard plastic of Eric's light saber. And this time he's smirking. And those eyes burn hotter.

I can only imagine what kind of teenager and man Eric will be. If he can manage to route his energy and determination positively then I'm confident he will be an amazing and successful man. If not...lock your doors and tune in to America's Most Wanted.


Talbot Family said...

I can't wait to share this journey of Eric the Red with you. I am just as anxious to see the outcome as you are. I agree super successful or super destructive. Maybe he should go into ultimate cage fighting? I think he might do us proud!

Brian said...

You will greatly increase his chance of successfully becoming a productive member of society by eliminating He-Man from the show list.
By the way, you would make a great teacher.