Friday, December 14, 2007

David's Bad Day

Ballroom DancingI pulled up to the curb at the school and my four kids piled in. It's David's month to sit in the front seat (don't ask me how they arrived at this system of rotation all I know is that they did it themselves and it's saved me hours of parental agony) and he shut the door behind him, dropping his backpack onto the floor mat.

"How was your day?" I asked, knowing what kind of answer to expect but determined to be cheerful nonetheless--kind of an emotional tactical manoeuvre if you will, adopted after years of guerrilla parenting.

"Bad," he said, his already droopy cheeks drooping even closer to the ground.

"So what happened?" I asked, "Was it bad in an bad-things-happened kind of way or was it more of a why-didn't-anything-good-happen way?"

"Bad stuff, really bad stuff."

"For example?"

"Well in gym we had to play basketball and I had to play Horse with this girl. I was ahead when we stopped yesterday and I thought I was going to win but we finished the game today and I lost."

Still painfully cheerful I said, "Gosh, that's too bad, but girls can be really good at basketball. That didn't ruin your day did it?"

"Not yet, then at recess I was sledding on the sledding hill and the Noon Duty didn't like it that I was on this icy part so she told me I couldn't sled anymore."

"For the rest of recess?"

"Yea."

"So you got beat by a girl in basketball and got banished from the sledding hill? I'm sorry but least it will be better tomorrow."

"But that's not the worst thing of all. Since we've finished with basketball in gym we're starting a new thing--dancing. Bald room dancing!"

"Bald room dancing? Well that's not too bad, you like to dance don't you?"

"Yes, but not like that! I like dancing at home but in gym I have to dance--" and here he paused to let the full barbarity of his words sink in-- "with girls! The teacher makes you get all smushed up next to them!"

Horrors. Evidently you can't play Horse with them and you can't bald room dance with them.

It was hard not to laugh. It's hard for me to remember back to days when losing a basketball game, getting in trouble at recess and ballroom dancing destroyed my day but I thought I knew what to do. I talked him down off his little ledge and took him home for waffles. Life may be unduly tragic when you're 8 but at least it's easily fixed--a super treat for an after school snack can make all the difference.

Then there's Spencer. It seems David's not our only son who's getting a crash course in girls. This morning I was making my usual gross of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunches while Andrew threw our daily dose of religion at the kids. We try to read scripture together in the mornings at breakfast and right now we're deep in the Bible and just hit the Ten Commandments. I was smearing peanut butter and bagging sandwiches and Andrew asked the kids if they could name some of the commandments we'd read about yesterday.

"Don't steal."

"That's good Lily, any others?"

"Don't kill."

"Also a good one--anyone else?"

At which point Spencer spoke up and said with more than his usual dose of conviction, "Thou shalt not cuddle with thy neighbor's wife!"

What?? "Um. . . yes, do you mean don't commit adultery?"

"Yea, that's it--no cuddling."

It's a good thing I was turned away from him while working over my sandwiches because it wouldn't be good for him to see me laughing over the seventh commandment. Or eighth. Or ninth. Or whatever it is. He must have overheard my explanation of "adultery" given to Lillian (age 5) the day before that adultery was "being married to one person but kissing and hugging someone else." I was a little vague on the details.

He could use a few more specifics--you know, a ballroom dance class or two--and the whole things sounds like a job for Super Dad to me.

Technorati tags:

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

I sure miss Alaska. Loved your blog! I will be a regular. I write a lot on babies, toddlers, and teens so I may be linking to your blogs a bit.

:O)

Kelli said...

Too, too funny :)

jeanie said...

That is gorgeous - I remember doing "bald room dancing" and my partner was always Graham Randall and he always wiped his nose with the back of his hand and then took mine - tell your son it is even worse if you are the girl!

cheeky said...

God Bless them.
I love the waffle remedy. Food works.
I think it's quite right actually to know that it does encompass kissing and cuddling but as you said sounds like it's a job for S Dad as far as any other details that need to be shared.

Kacie said...

Lol! What cute kids.

Do you think your son meant "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife"?

Robin said...

Poor David, what a day LOL. Someday he's going to wow some girl (once they're no longer icky) and be awfully glad he had those bald room dancing lessons...

jennwa said...

That is a very sweet story. Boy, I can not imagine my 8 year old ball room dancing. That must be great for that teacher to watch.

G's Cottage said...

Ha, Ha! *wipes tears streaming down face with back of hand*

Maybe a crash viewing of "Mad, Hot Ballroom" about the NY city schools annual competition for fifth graders would help; or not.

frog ponds rock... said...

oh that was so lovely.. My David is 13 and he is so so so so Sensitive...
*sigh*
yep bald room dancing sucks...

thankyou I am smiling so much now.. hehehehhe

cheers kim

Janet said...

In 4th grade we had square dancing, which was OK. You had to hold hands but you didn't have to get that close to anyone. Around here they don't have anything. Which is why I pay extra for Mary Margaret (and next year William) to take dance classes and gymnastics. Hope the days go better for the boys. Sometimes it's rough being a kid.

Summer said...

Both stories are so cute!

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

That is very funny, Kellen(9) is going through the same things. I laugh right at them, but that usually lead s to divulging more information...

Lara said...

Thanks for the chuckle today! Love it!

Fresh Girl said...

Oh, to still be as innocent as Spencer! ;)

Melissa Markham said...

I am so proud of you...I would have been laughing up a storm! It is so hard to not even crack a smile during moments like this! You did great!

Amber said...

LOVE it. David needs one of my "Rate the Day" magnets!

Patty said...

Ahh... it's so hard to grow up...the things kids have to go through ! (and the parents as well!)

We had square dancing when I was in elementary school and I was always,always paired up with a kid named Ray...who looked and acted like a cross between Frankenstein and Lerch !

Lisa Milton said...

I'm glad there were waffles, to soften the blow.

And I love the cuddling explanation. It's hard, explaining these things to kids. I figure we can expand upon the definitions later...

Morning Glory said...

Thanks for the great laugh this morning!! I'm glad they couldn't hear me.

Loralee Choate said...

I remember the days when everything was the end of the world from a kids point of view.

My son was telling me how tough it is to be a kid and I told him that I understood and that it can be tough to be an adult, too.

"Yah, but YOU can go to the store and get cookies to make you feel better and you usually tell me that you don't want me eating that much sugar."

True, enough. True, enough.

Irene said...

I can't imagine many boys at that age group - or any age group actually - being interested in ball (bald) room dancing. What tortune! Poor things!

Melain said...

Oh my goodness, kids are so darn cute. If we kept track, parents could write a chapter a day on all the silly things they do and say.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Ha ha ha. These are the precious joys of motherhood. It is always worth a good laugh when my kids retell the little facts-of-life I've given them so far.

I totally feel for David. I have only nightmarish memories of the month that we were forced to learn square dancing and had to dance with boys. UG! The worst was that, even when it was over, you were teased about liking whomever it was you were forced to dance with. Now I need some waffles.

Heffalump said...

We never got to do ballroom, only square dancing in PE, and I always thought it was fun, but then...I am sure the boys didn't think it was fun.

Coralie said...

You know, it's not a bad life policy not to cuddle your neighbor's wife, period. Even if it's not actually said in the ten commandments. :-)

melissagarrett said...

HAHAHAHA! You had me laughing out loud on this one, Michelle! And I really needed a laugh. Thanks!

Coach J said...

I needed this today--a good laugh!! I remember learning to square dance during PE in elementary school.
And no cuddling with your neighbor? A great point. I liked it very much :)

Julie Pippert said...

I am so, so sorry but I am LOL. Poor guy. I remember the horror. Maybe if he knows the girls feel it too, a little.

Julie
Using My Words

Mrs Mecomber said...

I just wanted to say that I don't like having an orange B next to my name.

MommyTime said...

This is hilarious. It's nice to know that the fun of kidspeak doesn't end when they get passed the toddler stage (I'm still trying to convince my 1.5 and 3.5 year olds that Santa says "ho ho ho" and not "YO ho ho, Merry Christmas!" They've been watching a lot of reruns of the pirate episode of Backyardigans...)

John & Laura said...

Oh man, that's funny! You really have some funny stories!

Laura

Tiff said...

I wish my bad days were like that!!!

Geo said...

Hey, I see no need to mess with it—Spencer certainly has the spirit that law down pat!

MommyTime said...

ps Maybe you need to get out the book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" to put things in perspective for him?

Babystepper said...

Definitely a job for Daddy.

Oh, and I remember the grade school angst. At that age it takes so little to thrill your heart, and so little to break it.

jubilee said...

That is soooooo a conversation for SuperDad to lead! I, too, have learned that sometimes the fewer the details, the better!

Poppy Fields said...

LOL!

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

Love the "baldroom dancing," the "don't kill," and "don't cuddle." Thanks for making me laugh today, Kathleen

Amy said...

That is such a cute story! Here they do square dancing, which is about equal in the "icky" factor to my boys...

Laura said...

That was so cute! I love hearing about life through a child's eyes.

THE BLUEST BUTTERFLY said...

You have inspired me. I need to start reading the Bible at breakfast. :-)

dcrmom said...

LOL!! That's all hilarious. Poor little David. And the cuddling, LMAO!!

luckyzmom said...

Too funny! When my son was young he thought my husband and I were having sex when I would straddle my him (fully clothed) in his huge Lazyboy for an affectionate cuddle. He did'nt tell us this until he was an adult.