He had on his pirate cape, his pirate hat…and a pink purse slung over his right shoulder. He was ready for action.
Until the ants attacked.
Little girls keep tissue, lip gloss and hair barrettes in their purses. Little pirates keep Goldfish crackers and apples. Ants like Goldfish crackers and apples.
Ever hear a pirate scream? It's a bloodcurdling cry that sends shivers up a mom's spine. I came running. "What's the matter?"
"Ants! Ants!" he screamed and danced in place. Pirates don't like ants. Rolie-polies are okay. And butterflies. But not ants.
We shook out his purse, but the ants kept coming. So we had to hang it from the swing until the ants had their fill and left.
The next day my little pirate was dressed and ready for action again. This time he had his hook and a sword.
"Where's your purse?"
"Oh." That's my youngest son's way of omitting information he doesn't want to give. He didn't want the purse anymore. He'd surrendered it to the plundering and pillaging ants. But now he had my pink sequined flip-flops. A pirate is never fully dressed without some sort of pink accessory, don't you know.
But he needed something in which to carry his Goldfish crackers. This time he made do with a sandwich bag. I gave him two treats for the dog as well and off went Pirate Boy and his loyal companion.
Later he tells me that Pirate Dog loves Goldfish crackers and that dog treats taste great.
"Dog treats? Those are for the dog!"
"What else have you and Pirate Dog been up to?"
"Nooooooooooooothing." This is the second stage of pirate denial. A quick scan of the back porch step revealed some clues.
"I thought I told you to leave the dog's water dish alone."
"It is now. What's the dog going to drink?"
"And I suppose he wants a sippy cup, too."
So I arranged some refreshments for Pirate Boy and Pirate Dog and they left to scour the backyard for treasure. Soon, my kitchen counter was lined with interesting pirate treasure for me: odd shaped rocks, a dried weed flower and something unidentifiable that only Pirate Boys can name but I was too prudent to ask.
"Can I have my shoes back?"
He relented, embarked on another pirate adventure and soon returned jubilant. "I found my cowboy hat!" he crowed, with it perched on his head, dusty and sprinkled with cobwebs. And off he went to seek treasure and hidden dog treats at great peril.
But I didn't worry. He'll not be bested or vanquished. That's because all pirates know the power of accessorizing.