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February 8, 2002 - Friday
No baby-sitter for Jeremy today and mother off at work meant two boys for daddy the entire day. In the morning I took them across town to some conservation land and it started out just great. I carried Jeremy and Harry mostly kept up walking along behind me and even sometimes went in front happily playing with sticks. There were some dogs in a kennel nearby the parking lot that came to visit Harry and that gave the boys a thrill, then we walked down a trail by a pond. We saw trees that had been eaten by beaver and I showed Harry the teeth marks. I guess I didn't do a great job on the explanation because every time Harry saw a fallen tree after that he attested that a beaver had eaten it. We went inland from the pond into a large grove on tall pines and Harry asked where the pine needles on the ground had come from. I showed him the pine needles still in the trees and he looked up and seemed to understand.

Unfortunately, the day took a turn for the worse as we were headed back toward the car. Going out of the trees and into the wind seemed to make Jeremy a little anxious, although it's just as possible that he was simply getting bored. Either way, I figured I ought to move ahead and get him in the car. I called to Harry to come along, but sight of the car and the impending end to our jaunt in the woods made him dally. He's started to do that more and more lately, flexing his two-year old independence and making his mother and I frustrated. On this occasion it cost him...not directly, but I kind of positioned it that way.

As he was fooling around slowing his progress toward the car, he picked up a very large piece of ice, bigger than his entire chest. I didn't figure it'd be too much trouble, just a boyhood fascination. Still figured I was going to have to go retrieve him from these wonders of nature and turned to put Jeremy in his car seat. As I turned back to Harry, I caught the second part of him falling forwards straight into a puddle of cold muddy water. I didn't see the big block of ice at that point and can only assume that it made it to the puddle first. Either way, I saw Harry make a splash from a good hundred feet away and figured I'd better run. He wasn't hurt, of course, just wet and cold and a bit surprised and I made the decision to blame his misfortune on the fact that he didn't come when I called him. It's true, really, and it seemed like a good, unpleasant, but not hurtful situation when Harry might actually get some glimmer that there will be times when he just has to do what we say.

We drove home and the rest of the day - especially the stretch right after we got home when I needed to change and wash Harry, change Jeremy, feed them both, and put the each to bed - seemed a lot like a treadmill, although I remarkably got about a 20 minute nap in when both boys were sleeping. All in all, it was a pretty good day.

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