My son asked me for some one on one time. I took a pass on some work I had to do and decided to make the most of this opportunity. For all the things we are scheduled to do, it felt good to have some unstructured time together with him. My wife suggested a movie, but G rated movies are hard to find. So I stumbled on to a link that led me to ComedySportz4kids. I love improvisational theater and want to expose my kids to it, so I went for it.
I kept it a surprise. We took the train into the city for the 2:00p.m. show. It was $8.00 to get in. It was satisfying watching his nearly seven year old mind trying to figure out where we were. As we sat outside the main entrance, a group of thirteen boys came in for a birthday party. I momentarily feared it would be us and a group of kids all together. But then other kids came with their parents.
They led us into the intimate theater. We sat in the front row, though there didn’t appear to be any bad seats. . Two of the three performers came around in a red shirt and a blue shirt to get ideas from the kids for the show. They seemed quite comfortable being around kids and engaging kids. The kids ranged in age from as young as about 4-10.
The whole show involved the the red and blue guy and a man who played the coach. They found a way to include the kids ideas and more importantly the kids into the experience. My son was a part of a farm animal orchestra. Also he had a song improvised about his name. The performers made a whole scene with songs about a girl in attendance based on limited information she provided about herself. The performers succeeded at giving the kids room to be silly, loud, and very active.
It was a very fun time. We talked and laughed about it the whole way home.
As a parent, I’ve learned that I am constantly afforded the opportunity to teach my sons. Some refer to this as “teachable moments.” Recently Ry paged through a Halloween costume magazine and declared, “I want to buy Bloody Bones!!”
Bloody Bones is a costume that is equipped with a device that lets you squirt blood for $29.99 and for $6.00 more, you can purchase the cycle. Without a doubt, I was reluctant to consider this. He then boasted with his nearly 7 year old understanding of math, ” I have enough money to buy it.” At this point, the light went off.
I encouraged him to consider all of the costumes and let me know in a day or two whether he was sure about this item. He then acknowledged some interest in Yosemite Sam, Wiley Coyote, or Foghorn Leghorn. I suggested he research these options. He did this and concluded he still wanted to be Bloody Bones. I told him he had to consider not only the cost of the costume and cycle, but tax, and delivery. I agreed to pay for half of the costumre and taxes, if he came up with the balance. He quickly counted his cash and handed it over. We then looked at the cost of shipping. We deliberated over the cost of 3 day shipping ($14.00) over 7 day general delivery, ($7.95).
He was willing to pay for 3 day shipping and he did. Before ordering the costume, I had him sign a note that indicated he freely made the selection for this costume and delivery date. And it concluded with a statement of understanding that whether the costume is exactly what he thought it was or not, the money will not be returned and it is his forever. I struggled between feeling guilty for taking his money and proud for having him make the decision and learn from the experience.
And then the financial bailout issue emerged followed by the 700+ drop on Wall Street. That only confirmed for me that I’d like him to learn to be responsible about his financial choices and the possible consequences of those choices. I anticipate the next lesson will be teaching him how to sell “Bloody Bones” on EBay once he is bored with it.
It finally happened, my kid lost his first tooth. God, was he excited. I think he had felt like a leper for not losing any teeth in kindergarten. I sensed him feeling the Olympic tension in the room as each child would come in, annouce to the world that they lost a tooth, and then go up to the teacher and receive their plastic tooth case for the tooth. It killed him to not receive one. As I mentioned in earlier posts, his teacher reassured him, he could return in first grade to collect his case. And as it turns out, he will return today to meet his new teacher and collect on his tooth.
I for one am still somewhat unclear about the origins of the tradition. It seems like an odd way to celebrate the loss of a tooth. It sounds like a bad government program. Actually, it is more like a special deal the local pawn shop, currency exchange, or loan shop might offer. In addition, I could envision the mafia using a tooth for cash program as an incentive for its younger members. But for the rest of us, it seems rather strange.
As my wife and I were pondering the pressure on a kid to lose that first tooth, it led me to wondering about the going rate for a lost tooth. She indicated that the tooth fairy dropped a $5.00 bill on a couple of his friends. I was shocked! How does the tooth fairy afford this? Should all teeth be worth the same? I can see the top two collecting a 5 spot, but the lower teeth can’t be worth more than a buck a piece. And does the tooth fairy take the tooth or leave it.
My kid wanted the tooth fairy to leave the tooth, so we put in a request that he not take the tooth, but leave some money. So he could bring the tooth to school and cash in there. I’m starting to wonder what it would be worth on ebay. Didn’t I read about a guy who started out with a paperclip and ended up with a house in Canada?