Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"That" Kid

The boys try out the dog bed.

A couple days ago, Emerson came home from preschool in a Red Wings Jersey. This was a "spare" shirt I sent with him on the first day of school in case of accidents, so I went fishing for the inevitable note in his backpack. Sure enough, his teacher had enclosed a short letter explaining that after using the toilet, Emerson "was doing some spinning" before flushing, but lost his balance and fell in. Hence a soaked shirt.

Robbie and I exchanged looks and then burst out laughing - not because of the story itself, but because his teacher was so matter-of-fact about him spinning before flushing the toilet. Whether it be randomly spinning before flushing, licking his knees, or walking around the house with a plastic tub on his head - it doesn't take long to get used to his oddities.

Emerson's favorite activity - looking at his reflection in the school garbage can.

Robbie and I exchange a lot of looks that say "oh god, he's that kid." By that we mean the kid that is playing dragons and aliens by himself on a corner of the playground while other kids play basketball or tag. The kid that whispers strange things under his breath or wears the same outfit for several days in a row.

Don't get me wrong - Robbie and I both have plenty of childhood pictures that attest to our own history of dorkiness. And frankly that kid is often the one that grows up to be a brilliant artist or billionaire CEO, so it isn't necessarily bad. But as parents, of course we want his social life to be as painless as possible.

Despite the jokes and our underlying fears, I am starting to wonder if our theory is even right. The more often I see Emerson is social situations, the more I see a future class clown. He does undoubtedly weird things, especially when he's under pressure to socialize (i.e. when we introduce him to someone for the first time, instead of just saying "hi," he might make a goofy face and then do a dramatic stunt fall), but I also see him feeding off the attention.

It's hard to know what social pecking order he'll eventually fall into, but one thing is abundantly clear: his view of the world is unique. I wish I could see what he sees or hear the thoughts he's thinking. As one of his teachers once said during a PT session, "Emerson, I love you. I just never know what you're going to do next!"

My little Fionn, on the other hand, has very clear social skills. He mixes his unruly white curls and cherubic cheeks with a sly smile that can get him pretty much anything he wants. And if he doesn't get what he wants - watch out! He's charming, dramatic and conniving all at once.

Future politician?


  1. There's one thing I can say for sure...your children are never boring! I can attest to that from personal experience. I never cease to be amazed at what will catch Emerson's interest. For example, while waiting for a therapy appointment Emerson and I spent 30 minutes playing with a janitor's yellow caution cone. As for Fionn, God help us if he ceases to use his charm & talents for the betterment of mankind.

  2. I have "that kid" too. Fiona is incredibly, undeniably unique. It's one of the things I love about her, and so do her many friends. I think Emerson will be just fine.

  3. BTW, gotta love EmPo...that kid's got personality!

  4. Funny, I have "that kid" as well. The other day I picked Ari up at preschool and the teacher asked to "have a word with me" (uh oh). Apparently Ari had gotten naked during free time, streaked around the school and invited/demanded his teachers and girl friends (he's the only boy there) to do the same. Thing is, this isn't an unusual situation.