So we took both the boys to McDonald's for lunch today. It went well, in that we got something that might loosely be described as "food," and the boys played in the gerbil tubes for at least two hours.
Secondborn is fierce and fearless. He has figured out that he can climb around in the tunnels, and he does. The sections that give other, older kids pause - like, say, the bits of heavy netting where you can see the floor below you - don't faze him at all. He isn't at all worried about whether anyone else comes with him, either. He just charges in, goes to the top level, and gets inside the little car. (He has a deep, strong love of anything with a steering wheel.) He'll even come down the slide on his own.
Anyway, at one point Firstborn has gone up there with him. And I have no idea what happened, but I look up to see a diaper-clad bottom flash past one of the plexiglass windows. I immediately suspect that this is my child, and this impression is reinforced by the fact that the mystery flasher is wearing the same red shirt that Secondborn had on.
My suspicions are further reinforced a moment later, when Firstborn flashes past the window. He is evidently in hot pursuit of his younger brother... and he's clutching his brother's pants.
Do I even want to know how this happened? No, not really. But I slip my shoes off, climb up into the tunnels, capture Secondborn, and then get Firstborn to hand me the pants. Offhand, I can't see any good way to get the pants back on the child inside the tunnels, so I slide us both down to the bottom. At last I am able to return my son's pants to their rightful place on his bottom, and once again all is right in the kingdom.
With my quest completed, I retire to my table for a well-deserved rest.