Wednesday, November 30, 2005

'Tis the Season...of my child misbehaving

Last night was my 7-year-old's school Christmas program. He does
not have a good track record. Let's just dwell on last night, for now.

We kept him with us in the bleachers until the last minute. That way
(we thought) he could not run wild and get up a good head of steam
for the performance. We had a talk about his behavior at these
programs over the last two years. He promised to be good. He
said he would make me proud, not embarrassed. I promised that
I would take away his GameBoy until the weekend if he acted up.
We both agreed to the terms. His dad took him to the staging
area. I saved his seat. I felt like Elaine at the movies, on that
episode of Seinfeld where the four of them keep missing each
other and describe their friends to ticket-taker: "Big wall of hair,
face like a frying pan?" "A short guy with glasses, looked like
Humpty Dumpty with a melon head?" "About 5'11", big head
with flaring nostrils?" "Tall, lanky doofus, with a bird face and
hair like the Bride of Frankenstein?" Something like that.

The start was only 5 minutes late. Grades 2 & 3 marched out of
the band room and into the gym. My first inkling of what was to
come was his position in the 160-member choir. He was in the
center of the first row, carefully packaged between 4 girls on one
side, and two girls on the other side. He walked out like a little
gentleman, hands in the pockets of his dress pants. My Hillbilly
Mama said, "Oh, he's being so good." I wanted to say "Bite your
tongue, Woman! He is freakin' walking across the gym!"

The choir sat on the risers, three rows high. My boy sat down. He
was good for the first song. But wait! There were still 6 songs left,
and in between, 4 acts of the Frosty-the-Snowman play that some
kids got to perform.

He couldn't see the play from where he was sitting. I'm sure he was
just bored. He must be gifted, you know, and have a short attention
span. Yeah, that's the problem. The little girl on his right had on a
long Christmas dress. He put his shoe on the bottom. She gathered
it up and pulled it around her legs. He lifted it up and poked at her
shoes. She gave him the cold shoulder.

He pulled up his pant legs past the knee one by one. He pulled up
his black socks to his knees. He admired them. He put his pant legs
back down. Time for a song. He gave the girl on his right the bunny
ears. He gave the girl on his left the bunny ears. He gave them both
the bunny ears at once. Talented, that boy of mine. His dad was a
giving him the "stop it" sign, like how an umpire spreads out his arms
to say "safe." I frowned and shook my head. Oh, he saw us. The
giveaway was that little grin. A grin that said, "Oh, but the night is
mine, Mother and Father, for you can not come out here and spank
my butt. There is a musical program in progress, you see. And I
am the center of attention."

A fifth-grade teacher was sitting next to HH. She laughed. She
thought it was hilarious. Because she knows she is safe for 3 more
years. The choir sat down again. My boy picked at some dried
Silly String on the plastic liner put down on the gym floor. It was
left from a senior class 3 years ago who did not obey the principal's
command of "No Silly String. It will ruin our brand-new gym floor
liner." The custodians struggled for a week to remove the petrified
string. They tried every cleaner imaginable. Silly custodians! All
they had to do was bring in a crew of 2nd-graders and say, "Now,
don't touch that Silly String! It is dangerous."

My boy began to kick his foot. Because he was wearing his
"churchy shoes," the Wal-mart slip-on loafers. His right shoe
went sailing through the air, and crashed to the floor about 15
feet away. Good thing the teacher was about 20 feet away. He
got up to get it. He karate chopped himself in the genital region.
He opened his mouth really wide and rolled his eyes. On the next
song, he kicked his feet, kind of like a chorus line dancer, only
not as high. "He's just dancing with the music," said HH. "He's
trying to kick off his shoe again!" I told him. Man! Men can be
so clueless!

Song over. Another act of the play. By now, he was running out
of steam. He picked his nose. With both hands. He got the girl
on his right to pick at the Silly String. Mercifully, it ended. He
looked a bit worried. HH went to retrieve him. My boy's teacher
told HH: "He's improving." EEEEeeeeee!

My boy swaggered over and said, "I'll take m'GameBoy now."
"Uh, no, you won't. You can not have it back until the weekend."
That did not go over well. He decided to be a holy terror on the
way home. Everything was: "Well, I would have, but since I can't
have my GameBoy..." He even got his Little Bear taken away.

"Didn't you see us telling you to stop acting up?"

"No. I saw Dad make this sign." He demonstrated it perfectly.

"Then why didn't you stop?"

SIGH. "Uh...the sign for 'stop it' is this." He acted as if he was
explaining it to a 2-year-old. He made a chopping motion with
one hand onto the other. The International Sign Language sign.
Darn those teachers for teaching my kid this stuff!

He apoligized just before bed, so I relented on the bear. But the
GameBoy is mine! Until Friday evening.


Blogger Chickadee said...

LMAO...ohhh you've got your hands full with that boy! But on the bright side, he gives you good blogging material. ;)

8:45 PM  
Blogger Lessa said...

Oh man! There's on at EVERY PROGRAM i've ever gone too. So far I've been lucky that it hasn't been MINE...

...alas - next tuesday marks the Pup's first BIG program on stage....

...I'm scared. Hold me!

8:51 PM  
Blogger Huggies said...

You just gotta love it. If I was a kid waiting for a section of the act to finish I would get bored as well.

The mention of the girls getting Bunny Ears makes me think your son is the next Hugh Hefner.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Hillbilly Mom said...

And I didn't even give him any Mountain Dew before the program! He's an angel at home, 95% of the time. But at school, all the teachers know his name.

Good luck. I've found that pretending he's not my kid gives me a little bit of comfort. Of course, one of the other teachers always tells the people around them, "Oh, that's Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's boy."

There WAS the embarrassing Kindergarten "exposing himself" incident... His teacher just told him to put it away. I swear, I don't know where he gets these ideas.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Lord, that is too funny.

We didn't have those kind of problems with Lullah-she was petrified someone would see her on stage. She was extremely shy. (she's gotten over that!) She was prone to dancing and singing in stores.

3:14 AM  
Blogger MrsCoach2U said...

At least your 7 yr old will go out there. Ours always ends up in the bathroom w/ his father getting a spanking because he'll throw up or scream and yell to not go on stage. Except last year, I broke my ankle going into the school and he was too freaked out by it, he just got up there and went through the motions while I sat in the stands, bleeding, swelling and crying. The 5 year old had her dress over her head, sang lustily and had a good time. Maybe next year you should break something and traumatize him first. The 16th is the school play, I'm thinking of a pink cast this year!

9:38 AM  
Blogger Hillbilly Mom said...

My boys are prone to whining and fighting in stores. One likes to hide inside the clothes racks. He reminds me of Ralph Wiggums on the Simpsons.

Hmm...he DOES feel sorry for me if I'm hurt. But then again, I could hold up his Little Bear with a lighter under it, so he could see it while he was performing. "One wrong move, and the Bear goes up in smoke, kid!"

7:17 PM  
Blogger Redneck Diva said...

We've never had to worry about Abby in programs because she's mortified to even be out ON stage, so she stands there, eyes fixed on the floor, not daring to make eye contact with anyone, lips barely barely moving and I guarantee you no sound comes out while she's "singing".

Sam whacked a kid on the head with his jingle bell necklace at last year's Christmas program and at his graduation he and another boy got into a duel with their mortarboards . . . oh gosh, the program's this Thursday . . . why can't he be shy like Abby!?!?

When Kady gets into school I'm sure we'll have to pry her fingers from the microphone stand where she'll be attempting her very first pole dance or pulling her from the piano where she'll be lying there with a cigarette, singing "Santa Baby". Oy.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Hillbilly Mom said...

Our music teacher knows better than to give them "props" like a jingle bell necklace. I hope Kady doesn't have an embarrassing performance faux pas by falling off the pole or the piano and cracking her head open.

8:37 PM  

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