“Have At You!” By Chris Zito

For the last three nights I’ve been engaged in serious sword play with my five-year old son. I haven’t “died a thousand deaths” yet, but I’m getting there.


Turns out Vince is a big pretend patricide fan.

Playing pretend with a five-year old takes real flexibility. The script changes rapidly. Instructions fly from every corner of the room. When Vince and I are sword fighting I don’t know from one minute to the next if we’re pirates or samurai’s or fencers. Well, okay, I’m pretty sure we’re not fencers.


“En Garde, Poopy-head!”

The biggest thing to get used to is always losing. Even if I somehow get Vince’s sword so that I have two and he is suddenly  unarmed, he can easily dive off the arm of a chair and immobilize me with an “X-karate punch” or a “spinning top gyro kick.” Most people believel you can never really know what’s going on in the mind of a child. I know what’s on Vince’s mind. Victory.


God gave little boys imaginations to make up for their powerlessness
over what’s for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner.

All of this delights the boy and gives me some exercise. His absolute favorite are the death scenes. Once he really runs me through I fall to my knees, grab him as though he were suddenly my ally, and ask him repeatedly, “Is that you, Vince? I can’t see! It’s all getting dark!”
He giggles loudly.
“Mama? Mama?” I reach out and feel his face. “Don’t leave me! It’s so cold. Mama!”
“No, Daddy, its me!” by now he’s laughing his little ass off.


“Foam sword too much…can’t seem to…must get…ungh…”

All of this hopefully gives the boys memories of a Dad who took the time to make a fool of himself for a few laughs. And gives his mom a chance to check her email in peace after dinner.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito

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2 Responses

  1. That brings back good memories of times when my children were younger. My living room was a kingdom (or in my case queendom) with a perpetual blanket tent castle. The girls didn’t go much for sword fights… but tea parties and stories were never ending.

    Thanks for the happy thoughts before I have to go out and shovel! LOL

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