Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What Your Name?

Last weekend, Steve invited me and Elijah to watch his son Finn sing in a pre-school recital. I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t want to watch a sea of pre schoolers awkwardly pick their noses while shyly whispering every other word of old folk songs? Aside from giving Finn some much needed support, I thought it was an opportunity for Elijah to learn the art of spectatoring.

As we drove the ten blocks to Finn’s school, I set the ground rules. No yelling. No running around. No hitting. No jumping. No discussions about Curious George. No shooting other people with imaginary Star Wars weapons. No poking me or anyone else in the eye. No tantrums. No removal of one’s pants. Definitely no removal of one’s pants.

I looked in the rearview mirror and saw his expression. Resigned acceptance. Welcome to family recitals, buddy. Sit there and take it.

We took our seats next to the Family Steve. Surprisingly, Eli sat still and remained relatively quiet. He did shout, “There’s Finn!” when Finn took the stage. But compared to the din of parents trying to get their kid’s attention for photographs (“Ethan! Ethan! Look at daddy! ETHAN!”) you could hardly hear him.

After the third or fourth song (very loud teacher singing, very quiet children, very many noses picked), Eli noticed there was a little 4-ish girl staring at him from the seat directly in front of him. Once she caught his eye she said, “What your name?”

“I Eli. I’m three.”

She leaned over her chair and responded, “What your name?”

“I Eli. I’m three.”

“What your name?”


She kept asking and he kept answering.

Eli got a little confused and a little exasperated. She again asked his name. Not knowing what else to do, Eli kissed her. That ought to shut her up.

I completely forgot “No kissing strange little girls” in my list of recital rules. The little girl reared back, flushed. It was clearly her first trip to first base. Here eyes bulged and she sank down low in her seat.

She then looked in between the seats and whispered, “What your name?”

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