My youngest builds and destroys all day long. He constructs block castles, then topples them over. He erects forts in the yard with two-by-fours and plywood, then tears them apart. He lives in leaps and rolls, tumbling through life as a young spymaster with his trigger finger cocked and his conversation peppered with explosions.
Thankfully, the world he lives in isn’t all construction and destruction, but also includes a menagerie of characters playing the role of mother and child. In between the battles and demolition, he will turn to me and suggest that I am a mother duck or a pig (hard on my self-image) or a wolf, and he is the baby, and we’ll quack and snort and howl at each other. The other day I was conscripted into playing Mama Yoda — sandwich you must finish before cookie can you eat — until he was annoyed. And earlier this month he addressed me as “Mama log” after spending the day at Fort Nisqually’s historical celebration of the Hudson Bay Company’s trading post where he helped haul the yule log around the yard, sang carols and ate cookies.
I sighed. It’d already been a long day, and now I must anthropomorphize a piece of wood? I pulled my baby log down the hall to its room, rolled it into pajamas, then sawed on its teeth.
Sing me a song, Mama yule log.
And so I began to sing. Go to sleep, my little Ivan. Go to sleep my beautiful boy.
Log. I’m a log.
Go to sleep, my little yule log. Go to —
Burn, burn, my little yule log.
Burn bright, my beautiful log.
Mama makes the fire.
Because the house is so cold.
Burn bright little yule log,
with your fire so bold.