Thursday, November 8, 2012

We've Got Worms

This post is full of worms.

Don't worry though. Nothing horrifying. Well - relatively anyway. First up we just rescued Waggle from the sunflower garden outside. I'd forgotten he was out there and he was sporting a lovely pairt of frost underpants.I realized right away that I had at least one other worm story to say so I took a photo. I tried my best to look as simple as Waggle and think I may have over-achieved somewhat.

Secondly, the parents amongst you may have a worm of your own that you harass children with. Your own, hopefully. I am of course talking about this.

My son and I spend mind-numbingly, painful hours playing a game where we hide under a blanket and he squeals like an ultra-sonic, baby tapir (That squeal hurts my ears. but not as much as the first suggested link on the right hurts my eyes...) at the prospect of the imaginary worms outside trying to get in and eat him. Which is just my finger. My job is to curl my arm outside the blanket somehow and wiggle the offending digit into our inner sanctum right near his head. Then his job is to squeal "A WORM!!!!" and then hide. He appears to be trying to collect some sort of badge for appearances at the moment. I don't what system he's using but basically he appears to be going for a record for Longest Length Of Time Spent Playing Worm whilst simultaneously trying to win a geographic record for Most Places In The House I've Played Worm In. It's a bit of a laugh at 8.30 in the morning. But by 11am when we've been battering that game idea like a dead donkey over and over it actually troubles my sanity. But him - his energy level stays up and he screams with absolute gusto every time.

Which is where the weird thing came in yesterday at school. We were waiting in the hallway to pick up his sister. I was the third or fourth parent in and stood quietly and politely with my son. About fifteen feet down the hallway a girl of about 10 or 11 (I'm guessing) was drawing fruit on a whiteboard while her mother angrily waited behind her. The parent was angry because the child was still in school during school hours. Sounds obvious but a whole slew of parents insist on picking their kids up early from school on numerous days of the week for dance classes, swimming lessons and that sort of thing. And I mean at least 8 or 9 parents I see daily moaning at their kids to get a move on because an after-school activity (a misnomer, obviously) is beginning very shortly. Quite who thinks that checking out a kid at least once a week 15-30 minutes early is a good idea I don't know. I'm not an expert of any kind but if this behavior is common place all over (and from parents I've checked with - it is) it may go some way to explaining the weirdly low educational quality level in the US compared to most of the Western world. 30 minutes a week, abut 42 weeks a year, for years. You could lose months. A more head-scratching sight for me is seeing a parent pick up multiple kids as one of them has a weekly thing causing a weird collateral damage that checks their siblings out of school early every week despite them not even having something to check out for. Which is pure madness.

Anyway I digress. My son had wandered down the hallway to look at the girl drawing fruit on the whiteboard. The mother of the girl drawing was telling her to hurry up because her sister had a class. The girl was reminding her mother that she had volunteered for this job so grumbling about it isn't helping anyone. The mother relaxed a little as she saw my son's cheeky little face as he was creeping up to take a peek. He was still a good six feet away. She then leaned into the whiteboard and pointed at the big, green apple her daughter had drawn and started to ask my son if he liked the drawing. At which point he looked in horror at her pointed finger my son screamed, "A WOOOOORRRMMMM!!" before sprinting down the hallway.

The last worm-based shenanigans are based around a a newer game called The Icky Worm (don't panic - it's okay). Actually I might modify the name of that game to that - The Icky Worm: Don't Panic It's Okay. Anyhoo - this also started at school when my son started playing that silly game where I poke my cheek out with my tongue and he pokes it back in Whack-a-Mole style. I obviously shove the lump back over to the other cheek and wait for him to shove it back in. At some point he's sure to realize that he can squash both cheeks and does so - causing me to stick my tongue out at him. Which he thinks is hysterical. As do some of the other parents. Although I can tell that there's probably an equal number of parents who think it's weird and wrong. At some point though he started trying to cram my tongue back in with his hands. But I won't be defeated. So I started squirming my tongue between his fingers and making that weird, fake-angry growling Predator noise (this strangely, specific Youtube video can help you learn how to do it too) causing him to start squealing, "The Icky Worm!!!"

Which pretty much every other parent in the hallway thinks is all kinds of wrong.

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