Oscar has been in school now for almost two weeks, and it didn’t take him long to make a name for himself–yet NOT the kind of name that inspires the blush of maternal pride.
Pickup in the afternoon is usually an uncomplicated affair. Parents pull up their cars and greet their children as they dismiss. I typically have Edgar and August in the car, so we generally make fairly quick work of Oscar climbing between his brothers and buckling himself in. We then depart–uneventfully.
Today was different. I had to bring something to the front desk at Oscar’s school, so Edgar–armed with his Goldfish crackers and juice box–and August–quite ready for his bottle–exited the car and accompanied me inside. We then went out to the sidewalk to wait for Oscar.
I’m not saying that Oscar, ast the age of five, is a creature of habit–but let’s just say when he saw us on the sidewalk and not in the car, his world was briefly turned upside down and inside out.
So here is what happened.
As I proceeded to strap August back into his carseat and remove Edgar from a cluster of flowers he was sitting in, Oscar decided to run around on the sidewalk. In his exhausted-from-a-full-day-of-Kindergarten state, he tripped and fell. He then lay prostrate on the ground–attracting the attention of a teacher nearby. He picked himself up and ran over to me. We then proceeded to walk toward the car.
The teacher stopped Oscar, then stopped me. She told me he fell and hoped he wasn’t hurt but she wasn’t sure. I told her that Oscar is the boy who–if he’s hurt, oh, he’ll tell you; and also that he is a fairly reliable narrator and will give me the full report in the car. I thanked her, and we were on our way.
Cut to this scene in the car:
Me: Oscar, first things first, are you hurt?
Oscar: No, I’m fine.
Me: Okay, then . . . Why were you running?
Oscar: I was excited.
Me: Well, what happened? Why did you fall?
Oscar: My new shoes fell off a little, and I tripped.
Me: If you weren’t hurt, then why didn’t you get up? Most people get right up if they’re not hurt. They don’t lie prostrate on the ground.
Oscar: I wanted to “play dead” for a little bit.
Oscar: I thought it would be funny to play dead.
Me: Oscar, most adults do not find a child lying face down on the sidewalk–playing dead or not–funny.
Oscar: Kids think it’s funny.
Me: There are many things that kids find funny that adults do not.
Oscar: (as though a new revelation has suddenly been imparted and his wheels are turning): Really?
Why do I have a feeling this is only the first of many installments in this vein?