Child play

Published 4:20 am Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I agree,” she said, turning to Tanya. “They can be so self-centered.”

The two met weekly at the small playground, two young mothers conversing while observing the antics of their offspring.

“Billy, be careful!” Kathleen uttered as her 3-year-old climbed the yellow sliding board. “Sometimes the only thing that satisfies them is food.”

“And a new toy,” replied Tanya, as they both chuckled.

“Be nice,” encouraged Tanya as her 4-year-old Benjamin came over to inspect what Billy had discovered.

The two small children marveled at the grasshopper entangled in the grass as their mothers observed with watchful eyes.

“Don’t forget sleep,” said Kathleen. “They would be unbearable without their naps. Mine took a two-hour nap during the day last Saturday and still awoke grumpy.”

“Billy, come over here, now!”

Billy stopped and looked back at his mom, trying to decide if her tone reflected business. Not willing to take the risk, at least this time, he turned and ambled in his mother’s direction.

“I seem to hardly get his attention, yet he can stare at the television for hours. Go figure.”

Tanya nodded in agreement as if there were some unspoken language they both understood.

“I guess that’s where training comes in,” continued Kathleen. “But, my goodness, it seems to take forever! Do you think they’ll ever learn? Will they ever mature? Will they ever grow up?”

Tanya pondered her friend’s questions.

“Benjamin, let’s go!”

As the two women stood up, the young boys ran to their mothers’ sides.

“Good to see you again, Kathleen. Til next week?”

“I’d love to,” replied Kathleen. “Perhaps next week we’ll discuss a topic other than our husbands.”

Rex Alphin is a farmer, businessman and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is