Boys will be boys: Tales of an overnight adventure with three fourth graders

By Melanie Yingst

February 6, 2014

Seemingly overnight, I am no longer a parent of a small child.

Poof! Evan turned 10 years old the other day.

His first present was packaged up as a sweet snow day due to the extreme cold and ice.

Evan woke up and celebrated his birthday in a fairly calm, boring manner. Luckily I had bought a few presents during the after-Christmas clearance so I had something waiting for him to open up on his special day.

The hardest part was not giving them to him during the days of school closings when life got a little boring around the farm.

As part of his celebration in lieu of pricey birthday gifts, I offered to host his two closest friends for an overnight evening as well as treating them to a few hours at the huge entertainment complex called Scene 75 in Dayton.

In the interest of full disclosure, I really was the one that wanted to check out the place since the kids had already been to the mega entertainment center.

We took the kids out to eat at Bob Evans and it was there I knew I was going to be out-numbered (but not out witted).

It was during this weekend excursion that I got a glimpse of what teenage life is going to be like.

I watched in awe as the boys inhaled their dinner in less than 3 minutes. If I were you, I’d invest in all of Miami County’s grocery store chains because these kids can really shovel it down.

I overheard their topics of conversation on the way down to Dayton.

These fourth grade boys mostly talked about the following: video games, girls, sports and bodily functions.

I felt like I was in my office here at the Troy Daily News.

The boys argued which NFL team was going to win the Super Bowl the following day, which girl they liked in school and throw in a few bathroom humor jokes and that was my night.

And it was then I knew there was no turning back the hands of time.

after feeding the crew, we headed to Scene 75 which was lit up like Vegas — minus the slot machines.

I lined up to put money on a swipe card after numerous parents warned me that $100 goes pretty fast at this place.

I jokingly posted how I believed the place got its name because parents have never “scene $75 go so fast.”

The boys quickly signed up to do Laser-Tag and then we wandered around to see what other games the place had to offer.

The boys decided they wanted to check out the bumper car area. To me, it looked like floating zero-turn lawn mowers on hovercrafts.

Poof! $20 gone in 10 minutes.

They loved it because what 10 year-old boys doesn’t like crashing in to each other at full speed?

Each kid took a turn of picking one major thing that they each wanted to do and and luckily one of the kids chose to do the bounce area which was the best return of investment.

Running out of time and out of money, I rounded up the kids for one more time of Laser Tag and a few games. I managed to out of there with my bank account in tact.

We stopped for ice cream and grabbed the boys another cheeseburger before heading back to the farm. Once again, these kids sure can eat.

The boys spent the rest of the night being boys. They played video games until 2 a.m. until I finally shut down the Wii and made them fall asleep, more for my sanity than on principle.

In the morning, I found all three boys fast asleep in a fort.

Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, they managed to move all my kitchen chairs and grabbed all the available blankets for their cave built in front of the television.

While they may be growing up fast — talking about girls in between video games and sports — it was a nice reminder that they are still little kids.

One day they’ll be too big and grown up to build forts out of blankets. Some day soon they’ll be too cool to hang out with their mom at an arcade.

Soon enough, they’ll be too cool to give me a hug good-bye as a gesture of thanks for a fun evening out on the town.

In the not so distant future, they’ll be begging me to take them to the mall or to pick-up their girlfriends to catch a movie.

But at least for one weekend, they’ll be best buds just hanging out in a blanket fort and playing video games until the wee hours of the morning.

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears on Fridays in the Troy Daily News. She believes that fourth-grade boys have the same sense of humor as the male members of the editorial department.