Henry has this new thing now.
It’s a train thing.
It’s like part parade and part race with a little bit of chase thrown in for good measure. Of course, I get all mixed up when we’re doing it together and the whole parade thing messes with my head and I start marching like some 9th grade tuba player in the local Fourth of July shindig. (Think I’m kidding? Watch the attached video and listen to the thunk-thunking of my big fat Timberlands as I parade around the kitchen island like an idiot.)
Anyway, the important thing here is that Henry really digs this game a lot.
So, this morning after his mom took his sister to daycare and it was just me and the Tank hanging around, I could tell he was little bored. I walked into his playroom and got the old plastic train that some old friends bought him when they visited six months ago. I put the the thing down on the kitchen floor while the kid was off eating a few handfuls of Max and Milo’s Purina.
I could hear him crunching in the other room.
“Hen-Ree!.” I hollered out to him.
The crunching paused.
It started back up.
“Whaddya doing out there, Henry?” I said in my best I-Know-What-The-Hell-You’re-Doing-But-I’m-Just-AskingYou-To-Let-You-Know-That-I-Know voice.
The crunching stopped.
The sound of pellets plopping into the steel water dish started up. It sounds like tin roof rain.
“Hen-Ree!” I threw it at him again.
I heard the patter of his feet. His small voice grunted. He was coming. Pap-pap-pap-pap-pap-pap-pap-pap. He came around the corner into the kitchen grinning something fierce.
I saw his hand in a fist.
He dropped about six or eight kibble kernals on the floorboards.
I grinned back at him. He was barreling toward me now, pap-pap-pap-pap-pap-pap-pap-pap-pap, making his way across the hardwood floor forest towards the mobile base camp he keeps set up at the foot of Mount Big Papa. But, I knew he would see it sitting there. I knew he’d never make it all the way over to me.
Four adult steps/ten goober steps away from where I was standing, he spotted his train on the ground, just sitting there, all lonesome and conductor-less. My plan was flawless.
It was on.
Parade time. Train time.
Time to move/ towering over a little man/but completely behind him/following his lead/feeding on his steps/on his smile when peeks back at me to make sure I’m still there/I’m still here man!/Chooooooo-Choooooo!/I’m still here!/I’m your kaboose, partner!
I’m still here and I’m still your kaboose and just you always remember that, kiddo.
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