One afternoon about two years ago, Seth came walking in our front door with a large portable cooler hanging over his shoulder. My wife asked what he was doing and where he got the cooler. As he began pulling a giant Costco box of Uncrustables (pre-packaged peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the crusts cut off) out of the cooler, he explained to her that he and his friend had been playing the game “Bigger or Better.”
Apparently the game works by asking a neighbor for something — anything. Once the item is acquired, you take the item to another home and say, “I was given x, do you have something to trade for
it that is bigger or better?” The idea is to keep going from house to house until the item is so large or cool that people can’t beat it. Seth had decided, on a whim, to play the game, and he had gone to several homes. According to Seth and his friend, they had scored big.
My wife was embarrassed Seth had gone door to door asking for items. She made him take the cooler back, but our nice neighbor insisted he keep the sandwiches. He was told not to play the game again.
A few weeks ago, Seth decided that enough time had passed. He came marching into the house one afternoon with two friends and a nice, new five-gallon water jug with a cup dispenser (which he was particularly excited about). My wife was once again mortified, but could not stop laughing over the fact that someone had handed such a thing over to him. Seth’s enthusiasm can charm anyone. Of course, he had to give it back.
Two weeks ago, we received two live lobsters in the mail as a Christmas gift. Seth was thrilled to see them. He quickly named them Clang and Cupcake.
The instructions said to get them out of the package and into the fridge as fast as possible.
We opened the package to transfer them and Seth declared himself their caretaker. He reminded us that their antennas would raise up as soon as we touched them. They did just that and started wiggling as he held them. It startled Seth a bit when they began moving and it was fun to see how excited he was.
Seth cleared out one of our vegetable trays in the fridge and made them a bed of damp newspaper as the instructions suggested. He placed them in the tray and then decided they were hungry and put bits of hot dogs in with them. Seth has caught crawdads before using hot dogs so he was sure they would eat them.
We put off eating them because my wife was nervous to cook live lobsters, and I have no idea how to cook anything. So for the next two days Seth babysat Clang and Cupcake and they actually did eat some of the hot dogs.
It came time to either give them away or eat them and to Seth’s dismay, we decided to cook them. My wife did the preparations, but she could not bring herself to drop them in the water. So I can now say that I have cooked live lobsters on my own. No one else would eat them, so only my daughter and I enjoyed a meal of fresh lobster dipped in melted butter.
Clang and Cupcake were delicious!
Seth does not particularly like school. He finds it boring at times and can’t quite sit still. However, 4th grade was an interesting school year for him. He had a teacher, Mr. Morrison, whom he nicknamed “Mo Betta” (as in more better). Mr. Mo, as the other kids called him, did not mind Seth’s nickname for him at all. He was a free spirited teacher and fortunately seemed to understand Seth’s personality. During that school year Seth frequently came home with amusing stories about his day. There are two experiences he had that year that stand out from the rest.
He came in the door one afternoon after school yelling that he had won a contest at school. When his mom asked him what the contest was, he replied, “A worm eating contest that we had at recess.” Disgusted, she asked him how many worms he ate, and he said just one. No one else would eat any.
We heard about the second experience from another source (how we learn of many Seth stories). A classmate of his started talking about the bat on the playground that Seth had picked up. His mom overheard their conversation about it and asked Seth what had happened, assuming the bat was a baseball bat. Apparently, there was a live bat lying on the playground at school. No one would touch it, except Seth. He picked it up and was carrying it around until he showed the recess aide and she told him to put it back and leave it alone. When his mom heard the story, she panicked a bit. She asked him if it had bit him or he had washed his hands after. He just replied, “I can’t remember.”
Fourth grade turned out to be a pretty good year for him. At the end of the school year when we asked him what he wanted to give Mr. Mo for a gift he replied, “We need to get him the Wii game that his wife won’t let him buy.” So that’s what we did. It seemed like an appropriate teacher’s gift from Seth.