A conversation about killing


The scene: Tyler is at an age where he sometimes wants to play alone. This transition is strange for Sarah and myself. We sometimes just sit on the floor, wondering what to do. On this particular day, I decide to clean up my email inbox while Tyler plays with his Iron Man and Silver Spiderman toys. Moments later, he’s bouncing on Delilah’s back, trying to ride her like a horsey. Just as quickly, he switches gears again, jumps in my lap and gives me the world’s best hug and kiss.

Tyler: “I love you, daddy.”

Me: “I love you too, buddy.”

Tyler: “You da best daddy, ever.”

Me: “Thank you Tyler. You’re the best Tyler ever.”

Tyler bounds away with his superhero toys and begins playing by the big window in the living room. I return to my inbox. A minute or two later, he stops playing.

Tyler: “Open it.”

I wasn’t aware he was speaking to me, so I continue my activity.

Tyler: “Daddy, I have idea.”

Me: Oh yeah? What’s your idea?”

Tyler: “Open a window up.”

Me: “Oh, Tyler, it’s too cold and windy. We need to leave the windows closed.”

Tyler: “Is a bug on a window. Open it up. I wanna kill it.”

I glance over to see a boxelder bug on the outside of the window.

Me: “You want to kill that bug?”

Tyler: “Yeah. SMASH it!”

Let’s hope he never looks to Lizzie Borden as a role model. I’m slightly frightened.

I don’t think they serve that flavor

This is the conclusion of our trip to a Pumpkin Fantasyland. If you haven’t already read parts one and two, I’d kindly suggest you click this link first, this link second, then come back and read this entry. It’s not exactly required reading to understand this entry, but I rather like it when people read my posts.


In the car, I asked Tyler was kind of ice cream he wanted. I gave him the option of vanilla, chocolate, or chocolate and vanilla mixed.

“Umm, I just have nilla.”

“Do you want sprinkles on it?”

“Ohhh sure,” he replied.


During the drive, Tyler and I rehearsed what he would tell the person at Dairy Queen. He tends to be on the shy side lately, and we’ve been trying to get him to open up a bit and talk to people.

“Tyler, you have to tell them you want a kiddie cone, vanilla.”

Each time I quizzed him, he answered correctly.

Twenty minutes later, we pulled into the parking lot of Dairy Queen. He held my hand as we walked into the building.


“Hi. How can I help you?”

“Hi. Can I have a small M&M Blizzard?”, I asked. “Tyler, tell this guy what you would like.”

Tyler ran up to the counter, looked at the guy running register, and spoke.

“I have nilla kitty cat cone.”

Through my laughter, I translated to the guy at the counter.



Pumpkin Fantasyland 2

This is a continuation of our trip to a Pumpkin Fantasyland. If you haven’t already read part one, I’d kindly suggest you click this link first, then come back and read this entry.

“I watch it again.”

“No, Tyler. The helicopter is gone now. Let’s go look at another firetruck.”


As we played and admired the bright red firetruck, we saw another pull around to where the helicopter had previously been resting. Firemen pulled some heavy tools from the truck and staged them on the ground. Nearby, rested a heavily damaged car. I remembered reading that there would be a “jaws of life” demonstration. I told Tyler to run to where we were earlier so we could watch. For the second time in less than thirty minutes, I watched as Tyler sat, slack-jawed in awe of the goings-on.





At the conclusion of the demonstration, I asked Tyler if he wanted to go into a hay maze.

“What a maze is?” he asked, looking into my eyes.

“Well,” I said, thinking, “a maze is like a game. We go inside and have to try and find our way back out.”

“Ohh. I do it wif you?”

On the way to the maze, we stopped to play in a police car for a bit. Tyler was very excited and even asked the policeman sitting in the driver’s seat if it was his car.


Then, we made our way to the maze.

I was utterly amazed (heh) at the amount of fun Tyler had in there. Every time we ran into a dead end, Tyler would stop and say “uh-oh… dead end,” before turning and running past me in the other direction. Each time he reached the exit, Tyler would keep running, to do the maze over and over again. Soon, he decided it’d be fun to run directly into boys two to three times his own size and shout “SMASH” while doing so. The boys he crashed into looked at him, confused, as I roared in laughter. Tyler would then just bounce off them and keep running.





“The exit is that way,” a boy, who had just ran up to Tyler, said. He pointed to the left.

“No. It dis way,” Tyler said, pointing in the opposite direction. They were both right, but I didn’t say anything. I just watched.

“My name is Joseph Edward Wiggons (changed, to protect the innocent). I’m three years old.”

“I Tyler James Gearhart. I two.” When Tyler says his own name, it sounds more like Tywer Dame Gearhowt. He held up two fingers.

They both smiled at each other and ran in opposing directions.

When he finally tired of running nonstop through the same maze over and over again, we walked out and sat in the shade for a bit. We both drank some water, and Tyler had a snack, while we waited for the tractor to come back. Tyler desperately wanted to go for a hay ride, and I desperately wanted a break from running in the heat, so it worked out.



The tractor seemed to have been gone for an inordinate amount of time, and I began to wonder if the hayrides were through for the day. I asked Tyler, “Where do you think the tractor is, buddy?”

He held up his hand, like a policeman halting traffic and said, “Be patient, daddy. It comin.”

The tractor did, indeed, come back around. The breeze felt nice, and my feet sighed their relief at this chance for rest. To be brutally honest, the hayride was rather boring, but Tyler enjoyed it. At the end of the hayride, I asked Tyler if he’d like to go get some ice cream. He, of course, answered in the affirmative, so we made our way back to the car. Next to a nearby barn, a cat was resting in the shade.

“Hi cat,” Tyler said. “How you doing today? We going a get ice cream.”

To be concluded…

Pumpkin Fantasyland 1


On Saturday, Tyler and I went to a “pumpkin fantasyland” nearby. It was at a farm roughly an hour from our house. I told Tyler that he should close his eyes and take a nap while we drove there. Surprisingly, he obliged. Tyler almost immediately fell asleep, while I navigated down rural country roads, guided by the GPS built into my phone. I didn’t think he’d fall asleep, because just a few moments earlier, when I asked “who wants to go to the pumpkin patch?”, Tyler enthusiastically yelled “MEEEEEEEE. I DO!!”

Tyler’s eyes fluttered open just as I pulled into a parking space on the lawn of the farm property. I glanced in the mirror to see a line of drool trailing down his face. On his shirt was a silver dollar-sized wet spot.

“We’re here?” he asked.

“Yes buddy. We’re here. Are you ready?”

“We at the pumpkin patch!” he exclaimed.


In addition to the typical attractions one would expect to see at a pumpkin fantasyland, the police and fire departments were also on hand. The emergency personnel would only be there for a few more hours, so we headed to the far end of the farm first, where they were located. The tractor rides and corn mazes would be open until much later, so there was no rush to see all that first. Tyler spotted a fire truck and broke into a run. The doors were all open, and children were crawling all over it, inside and out. Tyler stopped at the door and turned to me.


“I go in it?”

The fact that he has the respect/courtesy/manners to ask such a question, especially when he is dripping with excitement, made my heart swell.

“Sure. Climb up and be careful, okay?”

“Okay,” he agreed.


After playing inside for a few minutes, I heard an unfamiliar noise. Tyler was busy pressing buttons and playing with helmets while I tried to identify the noise. In a moment, I heard a mother tell her son, “Come on, the helicopter’s starting!” I told Tyler to hurry so we could watch too. We ran to the back of the firetruck, jumped out, and ran towards the crowd. As we ran, I told Tyler that a helicopter was going to fly away and that it would be very loud.

“I watch it,” he shouted back, still running.

We sat down in the lawn as the rotors spun ever faster. Shortly, lift was acheived, and we watched (one of us in complete awe) as the heli flew off into the distance.





To be continued…