Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Elementary School Fascism

Reviving Bicycles AND Pre-Columbian Culture
We're fortunate to now live near a park.  And I'm talking about a really good park.  With actual trees.  A park that didn't run out of upkeep money in 1974.  There's a kiddie pool and various sizes and configurations of newfangled play equipment, cool-looking stuff that, in my day, we would have violently pulled down like an endzone goalpost.

Trails run all through the place, headed to a zillion unknown suburban destinations.  There's a no-nonsense soccer field.  Standing on it, surrounded by trees, gives you a real Field of Dreams tinge, as if soccer players will just walk right out of the thicket and play. There are huge mounds of dirt (?) for the kids (ahem, of all ages) to run and play on like crazed little prehistoric Mound Builders.

It's a great park, even though the absence of gangbangers and junkies is painfully conspicuous and sadly, the norm here.  It took us a long time to identify the strange people that did frequent the park.  Upon closer inspection, we found that they were...  yes, normal people.  Didn't even have weapons on them.  I know, I know.  Who comes to a park without packing iron?

Anyhoo, Majesty sends me over there yesterday with Jack to burn an hour or so.  (This park visit brought to you by the world's most munificent and awesome boss, ever.)  We roll over there, and sit on a park bench, eating our too-ripe bananas in the dappled [SHUNNY!] sunlight.  You can't buy 10 minutes like that, people.  We went off to play on the neo-jungle gym.

Near one of the dirt mounds, there's a catastrophically wrecked mountain bike.  This thing looks like it was involved in a nuclear weapons test.    Jack hops on and claims it to be JACK BICEEDLE [bicycle]!  He demands that DADEE HEP [Daddy help].  Help with what, dude?  I explained to little effect that there wasn't much to be done short of reading a burial rite.  He declares the frame of the BICEEDLE is a DEETAUR [guitar] Whatever.

I'll Bet She Had a Square Mustache
We end up over by the soccer fields at one point, because Jack ditched the swings when he heard kids.  Lots of kids.  We wander the field, and he plays in the nets a moment, and then he bolts to the trail.  I run after him, and hear a girl's voice say, "HEY!  IT'S JACK!"

A fence abuts the park, and it happens to be the fence of the local elementary school's playground.  Four little girls are yelling for Jack, by name, to come over to them, which he does.  "We see him almost every day!" one says to me.  "Who's your pediatrician?"  I answer.  "Wow!  Mine, too!"  "I'm in fourth grade, she is too, and she's in second."  "I'm in third!"  "Where do you live?  I live in Fairy Creek Bend Bramble Branch Rock Pines."  "I live in Valley Grove Bayou Hills Heath Meadows."  "Do you know where that is?"  "Who's your dentist?  Oooh, go to Doctor BROWN!"  "How old is Jack?"  "We talk to his mom."  (I talk to his mom, too.)  "Will he give us a high five?  No, Jack ALL of us!  Give ALL of us high fives!  Jack!"  Yakubu begins to wander off, now bored with his girl posse.  They plead:

"Don't leave us, Jack!  We're your FANS!"

Wow.  God sure knew what he was doing when he signed me up for a boy.

In retrospect, I know what Ms. Fascist Elementary School Teacher saw.  The little girls in a row against the fence, and Creepy Dude That Hangs Around Grade Schools (yeppers, yours truly) menacingly looming over them.  Between us, Jack would have been invisible.  About then I hear, and everyone cringes, at:


As they slink away, Second Grader offers, "Yeah, they don't like people being on the campus."  I feebly retorted, "Uh, I'm not, we're not, y'know, on the campus...  actually."  Jack heard the old hag with the voice of Satan teacher, too, and knew the jig was up.

I still hate elementary school.

The Rhyme Bible (a.k.a. The Rhyming Bible in these parts), is 256 pages long, with something like 4-6 lines per page.  I paused on page 184 a few nights back, and Jack recited it.  He does the same with page 218.  And others.  After finishing, he flips on his own to page 92, and recites that, too, just for good measure.  I can pause on any word, any sentence, on any page... in any book and he'll fill it in for me.  Two questions:  
  • Who says parenting isn't fun?
  • Where HAVE my brain cells gotten off to since I was 2?


Anonymous said...

Fun expedition!

Jennifer said...

Sorry to hear you are now the "creepy guy" at the park.

El Comodoro said...

Somebody's got to do it.

BB Tucker said...

Who knew there were "clean" kiddie parks nowadays? Awesome! Am not at all shocked that Jack is "the man" with these older women.
I have always said that one of the best parts of being a parent is getting to do kiddie things again...mostly without folks thinking you're a criminal.
Jack is soooo handsome, those pink cheeks remind me a lot of Blake as a tot. Too handsome for words!