Monday, September 29, 2008

You'll Find a God in Every Golden Cloister

Over Moonchild's heretofore brief life (he entered the world shortly before KAR did), I've extensively chronicled here the variety of things he does to amuse himself. From baseball, to bothering his sister to pooping to surfing down stairs on his belly to feats of almost psychotic peril, the boy has exhibited a panache for adventurous or deeply vulgar pursuits. Like most four year olds, he bores easily and has the attention span of a gnat. Unlike most four year olds, his ideal approach to same would most likely involve setting something on fire and then pummeling it with a blunt object. Preferably poop.

As is my routine, I went to the gym on Saturday for my daily thrice weekly weekly semi-monthly workout. I dropped Moonchild off at the child center - NAY - the Child Activity Palace, as Moonchild in any proximity to weights is liable to end in tragedy. In the Child Activity Palace, there are a myriad of things to do. There's an elaborate jungle gym, a huge flat screen for watching DVDs, tons of toys, a mini basketball court with 7 foot rims and all the equipment for dodgeball or floor hockey, and a small infant area where babies can be safely sequestered away from the ambulatory kids. Oh, and there's also a computer area outfitted with a dozen newer Macs with flat screens, all set up with a variety of games or educational programs. The games run the gamut from classics like Pac Man and Donkey Kong to more recent ones that involve all manner of blinking and bleeping mayhem. If Moonchild is in one of his sedentary moods, I usually tell one of the Child Activity Palace monitors to not allow him to play on the computers. But since we were there early on Saturday, the jungle gym and the basketball court were not yet available. So I let him play on the computers.

Forty-five sweaty profanity-filled minutes later, I returned to the locker room, dressed and went to retrieve Moonchild from the child Activity Palace. Normally, this is a Sisyphean task because either Moonchild is having so much fun he refuses to leave or he's so amped up from all the running around that it's like herding squirrels trying to get him to move towards the door. When I found him on Saturday, he was, as expected, at a computer deeply absorbed in a game. I approached from behind him and as I was about to tap him on his shoulder I noticed what game he was playing.



No, not Battle Chess or some other cool-looking variant, where when a piece is taken some sweet looking animation depicting a disembowelment happens. It was just an ordinary unadorned stripped down chess game with black and white squares and red and blue two-dimensional pieces. He was so engrossed in the game, he didn't notice my presence until I exclaimed, out of surprise rather than disapproval: "WTF???? YOU'RE PLAYING CHESS?????????"

"Yeah. I like chess. Poopy poop poop farts." And then he punched me in the balls playfully and turned back to the game.

When we returned home, I mentioned his affinity for chess to his mother. She indicated that he had been playing it for some time at the Child Activity Palace. Which is nice to know now, since he likes to use me as his own personal jungle gym every night when I get home from work. We have a chess game on our laptop. Maybe I can refocus his violent tendencies at an electronic opponent's rook instead.

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