Thursday, February 02, 2006

Too Cool for Love

Remember that scene at the end of Close Encounters. . . when Richard Dreyfus walks into the space ship and is surrounded by all the little aliens? That’s kind of what it felt like when I went to visit Allie’s Kindergarten Class yesterday.

Okay, it wasn’t exactly like that, but that’s kind of the vibe I was getting. This vibe was particularly strong after Allie and I handed her classmates compass/thermometers.

Swag engenders love at any age.

We had a mini-clinic on how to use a compass to find your way out of the wilderness (or at least the north side of the classroom). Then Allie’s teacher talked about money. After that we all walked down the hall to watch a video. The episode of The Magic School Bus we watched had kids flying out of volcanoes in their “Magma Suits”. A little too trippy for my tastes, but everyone seemed interested. Allie didn’t want to sit next to me. “I had a good spot where I could see everything,” she explained.

Three boys came up to me at different times during my hour-long visit and whispered, “Mr. Lee, I like you.” Why it had to be a secret I’m not sure. Perhaps they were after the extra super deluxe compass complete with Spider-Man indicia that I only gave to kids who ingratiate themselves to me. I can’t be certain. However at their age I’m fairly sure their sentiments were genuine.

One kid wanted to sit in my lap. I told him he could sit next to me. He had a loose tooth. He showed it to me several times.

Deb had gone to see Allie earlier in the day. The same kid also wanted to sit in her lap. The news made me feel less special. Of course Deb brought cupcakes. I’m thinking a cupcake trumps a compass/thermometer in any Kindergartener’s hierarchy of cool. Deb got to read Mrs. Toggle’s Zipper to the class. No wonder they loved her. But I’m pretty sure if the kids went feral and in a Lord of the Flies type scenario decided to waste one of us they’d kill Debbie first. I don’t have an explanation; I just feel that I’d be kept around a little longer for their amusement.

Allie and I left school early to head to the dentist. As we walked out she looked up at me and said, “I’m glad you came to school today. I love you, Daddy.”

That’s when I shoved her to the floor and laughed at her as she tripped over her backpack trying to get up. She cried, but later I explained there was a fourth grader standing nearby. I had to shove her in case he had heard Allie’s sappy declaration. I didn’t want to him to think I wasn’t cool.

Allie understood.

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