Battling a 4-year-old Dragon Slayer

Another tale about The Peeshwank’s antics from long ago…

When The Peeshwank was a toddler, I discovered that he grew bored with normal toddler-friendly television programming. At our house, we didn’t have cable, so it wasn’t a problem. At his dad’s house… well, that was a different story. He figured out very quickly how to work the remote while his father napped. The Peeshwank is the master at faking sleep in order to be left to his own devices when grown-ups turn their backs. His father worked evenings, so he often napped thinking his precious baby boy was napping alongside him.

One day, on our way home from his dad’s house, he told me a lively story about “this awesome movie about dwagons!” I asked him to tell me more about it and realized he was describing “Reign of Fire”. If you haven’t seen it, “Reign of Fire” is a little more intense than, oh say, “Pete’s Dragon.” The Peeshwank insisted that it wasn’t scary to him. He slept in my room that night though. And the night after… and the night after…

I decided to try to explain to the young squire that the movie he saw wasn’t real. Explaining special effects to an almost four-year-old is challenging at the very least. But I did because I always swore I’d never lie to my child. Honesty all the way. Yep, I wasn’t going to be one of those moms that shields her child from the truth.

“Sweetie, there aren’t any dragons. They don’t exist.”

“Not any in Arkansas?”

“No, honey, none in Arkansas.”

He thinks a minute.

“What about Oklahoma?”

“No, none in Oklahoma either.”

“Missouwi?”

“No. None in Missouri either. There aren’t any dragons.” (Although I must admit, I was impressed with his knowledge of our local geography.)

“Yes there are, Mommy. I saw that movie and they were real.”

Exasperated, I finally just said, “Don’t worry about the dragons. I won’t let them get you.”

A couple of nights later after much bargaining and pleading, he agreed to sleep in his own room. The next morning I went to wake Sir Galahad and there was a puddle in the hallway outside his door. My first reaction was to, of course, assume he had an accident and didn’t make it to his bathroom. I woke him and asked him about it.

“Did you have an accident?”  I pointed to the puddle at the door.

“Oh no, that’s just water,” he explained quite matter-of factly.

“Why, pray tell, is there water in your doorway?”

“That’s my dwagon twap.” He was positively beaming with pride.

“Excuse me?”

“My DWAGON TWAP!”

I’ll admit I was hesitant to ask, but I just had to know.

“Can you explain how the dragon trap works?”

“Well, you see dwagons don’t like cold. They only like hot because they breathe fire, you know? So I thought if I put cold water at my door, the dwagons would step in it and get all cold [at this point he made shivering motions] and run away!”

Sir Gawain had built a moat.

“Can you please not do that anymore? Please?”

No response.

The next morning, I opened the refrigerator to get a glass of water. My gallon of drinking water had disappeared in the night. With little searching I found the jug. It was lying beside his bedroom door… empty. The puddle was much larger than the previous one. The moat had grown.

“I told you, no more dragon traps.”

“But Mommy, I’ve gotta keep the dwagons out.”

“But THERE AREN’T ANY DRAGONS TO KEEP OUT.”

“That’s because I set my dwagon twap.”

He waved his hand triumphantly around his room.

“See, it’s working! No dwagons!”

It’s really hard to argue with that sort of logic.

He spent several nights at his dad’s and I thought for sure he would have moved on to a new obsession when he returned. But when Sir Lancelot made his return to our humble kingdom, I found the opposite to be true. I sat on the couch that night to unwind after a long day at my office and listened to him happily splash in his bath. My quiet reverie was disrupted when I went to check on him and found that he was using his Super Soaker 5000 to completely drench the hallway between his bathroom and his bedroom.

“OH MY GOD! WHAT IS THIS?”

He brushes past me, his Super Soaker locked and loaded, shaking his head.

“Pesky dwagons.”

I sighed and realized I had no other choice. I took him to the store to purchase his first plastic sword. As we perused the wares in the toy aisle at Wal-Mart, he and I became less and less impressed with their meager weapon offerings.

Then we turned the corner and there it was. The Excalibur of all ancient-beast-annihilating weapons. I quickly purchased The Peeshwank his first light saber.

“When the dragons come, use this. It’s the best weapon against them. I promise.”

The moat went away for good, along with my idea that honesty is always the best policy when it comes to toddlers. As for The Peeshwank, he spent the next year wearing a Darth Vader costume every day.

Honestly, I was just thankful he wasn’t flooding the house anymore.

Worn out after a long day of battling dragons.

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