Jurassic Love Triangle

01/10/2009 By Shawn Burns

The Dinosaur Boy loves dinosaurs. During playtime outside he will carry at least two plastic dinosaurs with him at all times. On Wednesday it was a stegosaurus and a hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur), one in each hand.

Erin took a little interest in the dinosaurs, and when Dinosaur Boy put the hadrosaur down for a moment to play with a shovel Erin picked it up. When Dinosaur Boy noticed someone else playing with one of the toys he forgot all about the neat shovel he had discovered and went off in pursuit. Erin had no desire to surrender her trophy, and she eluded him by hiding behind my legs while screeching at the top of her lungs. Dinosaur Boy also screeched, brandishing his stegosaurus and pointing at his betrayer. As he pursued her around my legs she evaded by dashing behind the wooden fence separating the lawn from the ramp up to the door to the daycare room.

Dinosaur Boy charged up to the fence, having noted her location on the opposite side, determined to retrieve his reptile, arms outstretched. But he was unprepared for Erin’s defensive acumen, and she fought him off easily and simply.

“Hi!” she unleashed, as she poked her face through the fence. “Hi. Hi. Hi,” she repeated, and with a big smile at him he was undone. A trade was proposed, and he gave up the stegosaurus for the much smaller hadrosaur and the hope of more shared glances. As he looked down at his diminished bounty a smile lit up his face, and he sought out her grin again. But she was already gone.

She ran up behind one of the boys whose names she had been reciting at home for two weeks and she enveloped him in a big hug from behind. He resisted a little, but eventually turned around and returned her innocent embrace. But I still felt like I had to interject, and probably not for the last time, “No tongue.”

Dinosaur Boy laughed when he saw this happening, and ran off in pursuit, hoping to participate in the hugging and kissing. But Erin and her crush were oblivious to everyone else. Eventually the moment ended and Erin wandered back toward me, a happy grin on her face. As she came down a low rise from the scene, Dinosaur Boy stopped in his following tracks and stared at her departing back, still holding the hadrosaur he had traded for his heart.

“Erin,” I said, “I think Dinosaur Boy wants a hug too.”

And that daughter of mine spun around and ran up the hill to deliver a bone-crushing hug and to plant a kiss on his face. Then she dropped the stegosaurus she was carrying and ran back over to me.

My doom hid behind my legs again, and I surveyed the carnage.