rooted, but still growing

Smooth criminal

Posted on: September 15, 2009

I have three stepsons and two nephews. And while I love all five of those boys somethin’ fierce, I’ve always had a sort of special bond with the youngest, our nephew Garrett. I think it’s because we both entered the family at roughly the same time (he was born a month before I met Steve) and together have learned the ins and outs and dynamics of these people we love but are sometimes unwilling to claim.

Garrett is four and just started preschool for the first time last week. To say that he is mischevious is like calling the Grand Canyon a ditch. This apple is rotten to the core, and having him around pretty much means that you’re either going to be crying tears of laughter or trying to find the nearest safe haven hospital.

This is the child whose father had to hold him by the neck and ankles over a patch of grass along the road because he couldn’t wait to get to a rest area or gas station to poop. Who calmly dropped his pull-up and pants in the middle of his living room, climbed onto a plastic picnic table, did a little dance and sang “shaking my pee-pee at mommy” until his mortified mother could make him stop. Who, after his sleeping brother refused to acknowledge the buzzing alarm clock in their room, crawled into his bed and shrieked “cock-a-doodle-do” until said brother got up.

I think he’s my soulmate.

His latest antic involved some quick-handedness and fibbery. Steve’s brother had planned an afternoon in the woods for Garrett and his six-year-old brother, Jacob, on a recent afternoon and stopped to fill up his gas tank. With only $6 left in his pocket, he told the boys they could each pick out something to drink, but nothing more. Inside the store, Garrett chose a bottle of juice, as well as a package of candy. Shawn (Steve’s brother) reminded him they were only getting drinks and told Garrett to put the candy back on the shelf. “Fine,” he shouted, throwing the candy down the aisle.

When they got back in the truck and were a few miles down the road, Shawn heard “Daddy, open this please,” coming from a small voice in the backseat.

Shawn: “Where did you get that candy, Garrett?”

Garrett: “Mommy bought it for me.”

Thinking it was something his wife had purchased and had lain in the carseat, Shawn didn’t think much of it and they went on their way. Later that afternoon when they got home, he asked his wife where she had gotten the candy. She hadn’t bought it, either.

Shawn: “Tell me the truth, Garrett. When did you get that candy?”

Garrett: “Today.”

Shawn: “Where?”

Garrett: “Speedway.”

Shawn: “I told you no candy! Did I pay for that?”

Garrett: “I don’t know. Did you?”


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