Saturday, September 15, 2012

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho

Heigh ho, Heigh ho,
It's off to school we go...

Trust me, I frisked the young punk for hand grenades and razor blades before letting him graduate to first grade. Before allowing David to walk through the metal detectors and into the halls of bullyhood, I was busy photographing very unhappy children.

It started out with what I considered a good idea (I know, I'll force-feed Tommy a sugary ice-pop so that he doesn't fall asleep again during the church ceremony), followed by the first round of tears (But, Papa! My fingers are cold!), followed by what I also considered a good idea (I know, I'll just thermalize cry-baby's fingers with gloves!), followed by ice-boy's second meltdown (But Papa! I can't feel my fingers to do the ice-pop up!), followed by what I considered was a funny idea (I know, I'll grab the camera!), followed by Angie coming in and screaming at Tommy to stop screaming.

'You do realize how hypocritical you sounded just now, right?'

'Shut up, Steve. Let's go - we're going to be late to church.'

'Well, certainly the church tolerates tradition.'

Angie stepped briefly out of character and actually ignored me. I was torn, to be honest. On one hand, I was glad to be spared of whatever quippy bark she would have normally unleashed on me. But still, if you go through the bother of coming up with a witty response only to be ignored, it can be rather demotivating. I even ventured off to warn Angie that ignoring me could put future witty responses at risk, but she had already left with the boys.

I caught up with everyone on the way to the church. David and Tom were wilder than usual and shortly before going in, Angie cast me a familiar look. I immediately took David off to the side and she grabbed Tommy. Independently, we whispered the same warning. Only I'm pretty sure that her version didn't rhyme.

There... will... be....NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.....

burping, no yelling, no screaming, no hitting,
no farting, no punching, no blinking, no spitting,

no tickling, no drinking, no crapping, no joking
no touching, no belching, no kicking, no poking

no grabbing, no sneezing, no eating, no prancing  
no giggling, no laughing, no picking, no dancing

no peeing, no goofing, no tapping, no licking
no munching, no swearing, no whacking, no flicking 

no playing, no smirking, no twirling, no bashing
no crying, no gaming, no flipping, no smashing

My catchy poetry was religiously interrupted by church bells and a personal invitation from Angie to join everyone else inside. The fact that I wasn't close to being done with my prep talk had little effect on the holy bouncer.

'Get in. Watch Tommy.'

I was actually glad to get 'Tommy duty'. He's fairly easy, provided you have an iPhone.

iPhones are the electronic babysitters for my generation of offspring. They're more addictive than Pringles. Plus, they teach kids how to learn tricks that some mothers will never grasp. Like 'on'. Or jump forward to chapter two, where the concept of 'off' is covered.

[Editorial comment: Please note that I have not named any specific mothers. Any assumptions that you might or might not make might or might not end up with me on the sofa, so please don't communicate them to any naggy female-types that you might or might not know.]

I don't want to make any editorial comments on the fun factor of church, but I think Tommy was praying for it to be over.

After the ceremony, Angie wandered over to collect us.

'Aahhh, poor guy. Did that sermon tucker you out?'

'Sure did. Tommy looks tired, too. Someone should wake him up - it looks like we need to go to the school now.'

David was behaving shockingly well considering that he is David. So were Angie, Barbara, Grams and Opa, but I was trying to focus on small folk inclined to act asinine.

Throughout the entire day, David did not act asinine at all. Even at the school assembly, he quietly watched the show that the older kids had organized for the newbies. After the show, he also quietly watched as they called all of the kids up to the stage and sent them out one by one to be welcomed. He was also quiet when all of the kids' names had been called out and he was the only one sitting squat-legged in the middle of the gym.

Luckily, Angie realized that they had forgotten to call his name and rescued him before his whole new class went into the school. After that, we were on our own for forty-five minutes as the new kids had their first 'class'.

To help pass the time, we played hide-and-seek with a local tree hugger.

'Uh, Tommy - we see you.'

'No you don't - I'm not here.'

This fun little game used up most of the time. The rest of the time was spent taking bets on how quickly David would earn an hour of detention. To my wallet's pleasant surprise, David came out looking proud and devilishly angelical. I was proud, too.

David wanted to leave immediately. I know this feeling from when I was forced to go to school, but it was his first day. It became clear to me why when he grabbed his School Cone and took off racing for home.

The School Cone is a German tradition to bribe kids into liking school. It's full of candy, toys, chocolates and school supplies. We lost David after 'candy', though. He was too busy racing Peter back to the house to check out his loot.

I found it interesting that Peter took such an interest in being all big-brother like.

'Hey, buddy. Whatcha got in the bag?'
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: That David was by my school today.
David: That I went to school with the big kids.
Tom: When I play with Lauri fast the whole time.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When you didn't let me play on the iPhone by the church.
David: When they forgot to call me name by the school.
Tom: That I cry why I not Sarah a kiss.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want to go in the pool.
David: Play silly David.
Tom: I want to go to Grams & Opa.

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