Yes, my son, Bob (aka Jeremy Edward) is banned from all Indian reservations in Oklahoma. I know, it’s kind of unbelievable that a five-year-old can achieve that kind of notoriety but he’s had the distinction since he was twenty two months old. Yep, I raise them right.
Near where we live, the state park offers a program every year called the Living Archeology Weekend. I’ve taken my kids for years to this event without mishap, until Bob. The event has exhibitors and demonstrators from all over the country, specifically to teach children and adults how people lived before all the modern conveniences we take for granted. One of the regular exhibitors is a Native American tribe from Oklahoma. They tend to bring different items from year to year. This fateful year, they had musical instruments made by the tribe. While riding in his dad’s arms, a rattle made of a tortoise shell caught Bob’s eye. His chubby little hand reached out to touch this amazing invention. I grabbed his inquisitive fingers in a not so loving gesture. “No, Bob.” I reprimanded. “Oh, he’s fine.” One of the ladies behind the table informed me. NOT. “We let all the children touch the instruments.” Oh, but she didn’t know Bob. Reluctantly I let his hand go. Before my husband or I could react, Bob had snatched up that rattle and bashed it on the table, busting open the shell and sending bits and pieces flying everywhere.
“NO BOB!!!” My husband and I screeched at the same time. I began gathering pieces and profusely apologizing as my husband inched away, carrying the offender. I could tell that the lady behind the table hadn’t had this particular event happen before. Her instruments might have been kid-proof but I doubt anything is Bob-proof. I made a hasty retreat from said exhibit. The rest of the afternoon passed in an accident-free manner, well as accident-free as you can get with five small children. After leaving the festival, the family hiked for a while. About three hours after the “incident”, we decided to call it a day. Before heading home, we stopped at one of the local shops for some fudge (gotta replace all those calories we spent walking, you know). My husband went in to procure said items while I guarded the car to make sure none of the little darlings escaped. While in the store, he noticed the same lady that had manned the booth at the festival staring him. Suddenly, she raised her hand, points at him and states in a very loud voice. “That’s the man with Bob!” All eyes in the store turn to my husband. Being the laid-back individual that he is and being totally able to ignore anything, he continued on with his mission. But before he could grab the fudge and make his getaway, the crowd made it to the porch. With her arm outstretched, finger pointing right into my car, the lady yells “There’s Bob!” I dropped my head, hoping that ignoring the seemingly angry mob coming down the steps would keep violence from ensuing. Nope, didn’t happen. My car was surrounded. The other children thought we were having a lovely time and I was praying that windows wouldn’t get broken. Those things are expensive to replace. But as I raised my head and peeked through the hands covering my eyes, I noticed smiling faces. Maybe we wouldn’t be bashed to death after all. Bob, the little bugger, was in his element enjoying all the attention. Everyone was waving to him, calling “Hey Bob” and he was grinning insanely and waving right back. I rolled down a couple of windows (better than breaking them out) and apologized once more for my destructive little munchkin. My apologies were waved off and everyone commenced to talking to Bob. I was relieved. At least we hadn’t started another uprising.
So fast forward to the next year, we’re off to the festival once again. Bob walking this year. As he runs down the hill toward the exhibits, with the rest of the family trailing behind him, I see he is heading right for the booth where he’d had all the problems the year before. Man, my boy sure does love trouble. But as he nears the booth, a lady stands up and points at him. “There’s Bob!” She yells. I cringe, not sure if she’s thinking this is a good thing or a bad thing. But evidently, they’ve taken him on as a mascot. The other members of the tribe come out and surround him, he’s in seventh heaven, giving high-fives and blowing kisses. During the entire trip, Bob continually returns to “his” booth, chatting with his newest friends. Now, every year, Bob has a spot at his booth with his tribe. Maybe he’s not banned after all. Cause how can anyone resist such a sweet little Bob.