Maxfield and I went to the playground the other night. As we walked up to the sand box I noticed a little girl about Max’s age eating a picnic dinner with her parents. I nodded a silent “hello” in their direction and Max and I continued on to the swings.
We played for while and after the little girl was done eating she came over to play with Max. The two of them did the whole “monkey see monkey do” thing that toddlers often do at a playground. Max would go down the slide, so would the little girl. The little girl would run over to the merry-go-round and so would Max. They were both keeping a safe distance from each other but at the same time playing together. Meanwhile I was making small talk with the girls parents.
Max eventually got bored of the little girl and went off to the corner of the sandbox to play in the sand. I walked over and sat down with Max and we started drawing in the sand. I would write a letter or a number in sand and Max would tell me what it was. I would smooth the sand over and start again. We were doing this for a few minutes when the girl and her parents came over and sat with us.
“Look Ryan.” The mother said to the little girl. “They are doing their letters. You know your letters.”
Now that Max had an audience he wanted to show off a bit. He wanted to draw the letters himself. I would tell him the letter to write and then I would hold his hand, with his pointer finger out, and help him write it in the sand.
I then asked Max what letters he wanted to write.
“Eff.” He said. So we wrote an F. I smoothed the sand and asked him for another.
“Ew.” He said indicating the letter U. I erased the U after we wrote it, the little girl and her parents watching us.
“What next Max?” I asked.
“See.” He said.
As I started to write the letter C it occurred to me that even with the total randomness of his letter requests there was a possibility of him spelling the word Fuck. I started to have a discussion with myself.
“What are these people going to think of us if he does? Yeah but what are the chances that he actually does? He has a 1 in 26 chance of the next letter being K. But what if he does say K? Will they notice? Will they pick up their kid and go home? No, they won’t notice if it is the letter K. And if they do notice they will understand that it is totally random. But what if they don’t realize it is random. But if I stop asking him what letters he wants to draw surely they will pick up on that fact that I am stopping the game. Plus I am kind of interested to see if he does say K because really what are the chances of that? And how funny would that be?”
I took a deep breath. “Max, What next?” I braced myself. I looked over at the other parents to see if there were interested. The look on the mother’s eyes said to me that she WAS paying attention. I waited for Max to respond.
“Doubba Eww.” He said.
I breathed a slight sigh as we drew a W.