The other day, I was playing with my son in his small, round, turtle-shaped sandbox. The routine usually goes a-something like this: I take the lid off the sandbox, and he plops down in with all of his diggers and scoops and plays for awhile, sometimes taking loads of dirt all over the patio in one of his wagons, sometimes burying this digger or that one, and during this portion of playtime I'm reclining in a lawn chair I bought for Kim a few years ago, reading my latest library book. After a while, he always asks if I want to dig with him, so I put down my book and cram myself down into this tiny sandbox with Robbie and every one of his diggers.
Now, last time we were digging together, Robbie handed me his front-end loader (he had a plastic shovel in his hand) and pointed to a spot in the sandbox. "Here Daddy," he said, "you dump it out riiiight here." So I filled the bucket on the loader full of sand and dropped it on the very spot. Robbie's face became somewhat pained. "Noooo!" he said. "What?" I asked him. "I did exactly what you said. I put the dirt right where you wanted me to put it."
"But," he said, looking me straight in the eye. There was a very adult-looking concern creeping across his face, "but...but that" he pointed now to the loader in my hands, "that is not an airplane."
Ah. Of course. After I scooped up the dirt into the loader's bucket, I picked the machine up, carried it through the empty space above the sandbox, and then deposited it in the correct spot with the loader's wheels never once touching the ground. In my folly, I didn't stop to consider that a real front-end loader cannot fly. I should have made my machine drive on the ground like a real loader. I immediately apologized and then did it the RIGHT way.
His sandbox, his rules. And really, he did have a remarkably valid point.
When this whole "big brother" thing happens sometime in February or March, he will most definitely be ready to go.