The Five Year Old

Our oldest’s plunge into the world of ‘big school’ has prompted a host of new conversations at home.

His ever expanding logical and emotional vocabulary have made for some interesting discussion.

Like when he left for errands with his dad a few weeks ago. He stood at the door and called to me: ‘Bye Nics!’. And, for better or worse, I burst out laughing. Because you just don’t expect a five year old to call you ‘Nics’. Especially when only his father does.

By way of explanation he offered: ‘I call Mommy two names…sometimes I call her Nics. And sometimes I call her Nicola. I just call you Jason,’ he reasoned to his dad. Okay. And, with nothing more to say, they left.

There was also the week where he ordered all of us at one point or another ‘to leave the family’ when we made him mad. Most notably, he said about his brother: ‘I want Henners to leave our family.’ Jason felt compelled to defend the little person, countering with: ‘but if he leaves we’d have to go with him because we’re fond of him.’

Momentarily perplexed, the Gort gave the matter some thought and concluded: ‘I want you to stay….so you can cook me dinner’

Luckily he dropped the matter, and the Hen was allowed to stay.

We were talking about our dreams the other day and my oldest felt compelled to tell me about the dream he’d had the night before.

‘I dreamed Henners and I were in the car and he was driving and he didn’t crash into anything.’ Alarmed, I had to ask: ‘was he bigger than he is now?’ Aka…of the age to drive a car.

‘It was just a dream,’ he replied, irritated by my interruption. ‘We were driving to get a cheeseburger and two hot chocolate cups.’

A stickler for details, I had to ask: ‘where were you going to get a cheeseburger and two hot chocolate cups?”

‘Starbucks.’ He replied. Duh.

‘Does Starbucks have cheeseburgers?’

‘It was just a dream,’ he concluded. Deflated by my lack of imagination, I suppose.

Privately, the professor and I have had snippets of conversation  about where the kid’s abilities lie, what he might be good at, what he should be involved in. That sort of thing. Prompted, I suppose, by our feelings of guilt over the fact that most of his friends are ‘involved’ in something or other.

Maybe we’re delinquent parents, but we just didn’t think too terribly much about this in the pre-Kindergarten years.

We tried soccer when he was 3 and it was something of a disaster. Possibly because his dad was the coach, or he’d just been displaced by a baby brother, or because he was 3 and more interested in the post-game snack than anything else. And that was it.

This year we signed him up for Sportball, which is a one hour weekly introduction to several ball sports.

We thought this might be a good way to gauge his natural interest in any particular sport. Four weeks in we’re no wiser than when we began. But of course, we have our own set of biases and preferences.

‘None of our boys can play football,’ the professor announced this week. Given the Gort’s lanky build, I hadn’t really envisioned him as a football player, anyway. But I was intrigued by my better half’s logic. ‘Why not?’ ‘Because some study has concluded that all the ‘hits’ the players receive can contribute to dementia.’

Okay. ‘Well, I really thought they’d play tennis, anyway.’

‘No,’ he decided,’ you can get stabbed playing tennis.’ (Ah, Monica Seles and the crazy stalker guy.)

So I’m not sure what remains for these boys. Wrestling is a definite no: the singlet, the cauliflower ear business, the ‘moves’. Ice skating: bright sequined jumpsuits.  I’d thought about swimming, but the professor put the kabosh on that as well: asthma from the chlorine, apparently. (Not to mention the freakingearly practice times.)

Which leaves soccer, baseball and golf. I can’t imagine the ‘headers’ in soccer  are any better than the hits in football where dementia is concerned. And baseball….would it crush my kids if I never went to any games? And golf seems pretty expensive, not to mention neither the professor nor I appear to have any aptitude where that game is concerned. (The professor having achieved something like 25 over par at his annual golf game a few weeks ago.)

‘What about music lessons,’ he finally suggested last night. ‘Maybe guitar or the piano…but nothing weird or expensive like the cello.’

Perhaps they will be professional sandbox players.

7 thoughts on “The Five Year Old

  1. Volleyball might be an option…but I doubt they’ll be tall enough. And hockey…I feel like it involves a lot of blood. Maybe lacrosse? Or quidditch.

  2. Hockey = incredibly smelly van full of smelly equipment. Sitting on very cold seats early on saturday morning.

    On the plus side excellent hair possibilities, little kids in giant pads look cute chasing around the puck…. and maybe it would tire him out….

    is jumping on the bed a sport. I think they have aced that one, or maybe loud squawking at insane hours of the morning….. my favorite of their many pursuits…

  3. Hmm, lacrosse would have the same smell problem as hockey. However, your boys might really enjoy whacking their opponents with sticks, which is tolerated within the rules.

    Loud squawking may lend itself to certain forms of rock and roll performance.

  4. I don’t really care about your kid’s sports propensity (or lack thereof). What *I’m* interested in is this possibility raised by your CLEARLY genius son: I didn’t know that leaving the family was an option! Can he come elaborate? Can I use that in arguments with my husband? Is it an option for siblings and parents? Or in-laws?? 🙂

    1. Excellent point, VS. Next time he tells me to leave the family, I’ll say ‘okay!’ And hightail it out of there. Who’s laughing now, kid?! Try it on the in-laws and let me know if it works 🙂


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