My nephew, Noah, came to work with Jeff the other day. His baby-sitter was sick, so he hung around his dad’s office playing with Hot Wheels and generally being a four-year-old. At one point he decided to tiptoe down the hallway, throw open my door, and shout, “BOO!

Being a four-year-old, he wasn’t exactly sneaky. I heard him coming. Still, I did my best to act scared. “Ah!” I said, holding up my arms in fright. Oh, how Noah laughed. He thought this was a riot. He ran to Jeff and died laughing on the floor.

“What are you doing?” Jeff asked.

“I’m doing my job,” Noah said between giggles.

“Your job?”

“That’s my job,” explained Noah, “scaring Uncle J.D.”

When his giggles had subsided, he tiptoed down the hallway, threw open my door, and shouted, “BOO!

Again, I acted scared. I leaped back in my chair, flung my arms in the air, and put on my best show of fear. Again, Noah thought this was great. He ran to tell Jeff: “I scared Uncle J.D. a lot. He went backward in his seat!”

Things were quiet for a few minutes. Maybe Noah was playing with his Hot Wheels. Maybe he was drawing. Whatever the case, eventually he decided enough was enough. He announced to Jeff, “I’m going to go scare Uncle J.D. again.” And so he did. In fact, he continued to scare me for five or ten minutes, by which time I’d long since given up on play-acting every time. (I had work to do!)

I did, however, take time to convince Noah that he could scare all of you

3 Replies to “A Three-Foot Monster”

  1. Amy Jo says:

    I admire how you interact with children. It sounds like you are having as much fun as they are. All kids can benefit from relationships with interesting and caring adults outside of their immediate families, but I don’t think this is common enough. Us childless adults benefit too. I spent a lot of time with my smartypants 3-year old friend Eleanor while in DC, and, I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. We baked together (biscuits and apple crisp–be still my beating heart–she will be cook!), we read lots of books, discussed important things such as whether her cereal is hexagon- or octagon-shaped. Sometimes her constant stream of questions drove me batty, but damn, she got me thinking about things I take for granted.

  2. John says:

    If I ever have kids, I’m gonna ship ’em off to Oregon!

  3. Mom says:

    I’m glad you kept this photo up for a while — I love it!

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