Monday, January 27, 2014

sugar nazis declare war on superheroes!

alternate title: i might have to break up with my imaginary best friend.

okay. so. you know how The Boy's preschool does not allow sugar or fun? well apparently, now, superheroes are off limits as well. holy gestapo, batman!

the other night when i got to the preschool, my future/imaginary BFF was there too. (i'm only a little bit stalker-y, i swear. we sat next to each other for three hours at o' dark hundred on crazy preschool sign up day and totally hit it off, then her son carson ended up in the same class as jackson (and they both have what DM refers to as "soap opera names"), and then they became BFFs... so obviously it's fate ;) but.... there has been a slight wrinkle in my not-so-secret "single white female" plans.... )

as i walked in i heard the teacher speaking with carson's mom about about carson and jackson's joint obsession with super heroes and star wars, etc. carson's mom sort of catches my eye and looks at me like, uh-oh, we're in trouble! so i sidle up to the conversation. carson's mom and i start discussing how carson must have taught jack all about star wars (because jack's never seen one iota and yet is nearly fluent in star wars speak), and jack must have taught carson all about superheroes (vice versa), and boy are they obsessed... meanwhile i'm thinking in my head, this is a problem because why? but i keep nodding sympathetically. then carson's mom says hopefully to the teacher, "well, at least the two of them play well together, right?" and the teacher says, disapprovingly, "welllll... no. not really." carson's mom says "really?" and the teacher says, "yes, i mean, they usually don't fight with each other but they like to fight everyone else. it's always them against the world, and everyone else is a bad guy, and there's often shooting involved." hmmmm.

after carson & co. left i asked the teacher, "do you have any suggestions as to how we can help out with this issue at home?" (still wasn't entirely sure at this point what "the issue" was but i was eager to play the role of concerned and responsible parent.) she said, "well, we don't allow superheroes at school so maybe you can just tell him he's not allowed to play superheroes because it's against school rules?" i replied, "um, yeah, no. i'm not going to enforce a blanket prohibition on superheroes at home...." teacher: "ohhhh. so you do superheroes at home." (this was spoken in the same tone as if she'd said "ohhhhh, so you serve your children kit kat lasagna for dinner every night. i see.") i was like, "well, we don't 'do' super heroes, but, like, he likes them." "ohhhhh... so he watches them on TV or something?" "um, no, he doesn't watch them on TV. honestly, i'm not sure where or how he got into them. all i know is he loves all things superhero, and likes to pretend he is one. he woke up one day and wanted to be "flash man" for halloween, and he was super excited about it, so my husband got him a couple of books...." "ohhhhhh. so he reads about them." "um, yeah... but, they're like, 'i can read' books. i think the most violent thing in them is when the joker uses laughing gas..." "okay. well, i understand. i have a son, too, and he loves superheroes...." wait, what? are you serious?! then why are you treating me like i'm letting my kid watch nightmare on elm street?! "... but it's school policy...sooo... maybe try to encourage him to play firemen or something instead?" me: "uh, okay. thanks!" but no thanks.

after all that i ran into carson and his mom again. i was under the impression that we were like school girls who'd gotten in trouble for passing notes in class, so i went with a commiserative tone and said something like, "who's gonna break the news to the boys about the legislative ban on super heroes, huh?" and she responded, "well, it's not the superheroes, per se, it's mostly just that i would like to be able to play something other than superheroes for once in my life." ohhhh shit. i have misread the situation. WHOOPS. um, yeah. of course, being a paragon of social grace, i was like, "oh... yeah... soooo, uhhh, anyway, i've been meaning to get your number so we can get the boys together, since they're BFFs and all." [i am thankful for at least one aspect of gender inequality: the fact that i never had to ask a guy out. because i would SUCK at it. (also because i'm married :))] anyway, as i said this, the boys were running around in circles, rough-housing and "shooting" eachother. she looked down and was like, "gosh, i don't know if we should get them together, or if we should separate them in different classrooms or something!" i was thinking, are you serious? i mean, lady, if you don't want to go out with me, fine, just give it to me straight, don't try to make up some excuse, geez! i kid. i kid. i said "oh i'm sure it's fine." she agreed to hang out with us, under the condition that we do something that encourages non-superhero-and/or-starwars expression. BFF status on hold pending further discovery.

i mean, look guys. i am a liberal, left-wing, gun-hating feminist. i interpret the 2nd amendment much differently than the NRA. i don't like violence, in life, or on TV, or in video games. i think i say "no shooting!" and "no hitting" and "be careful!" and "could you please tackle one another a little more gently?" about 37 times a day. i hate the saying "boys will be boys," mostly because my sweet girl is obsessed with pirates and skateboards and fire fighters and super heroes and robots and sports and launching herself from great heights and body slamming people, and my son likes all of those things too, plus he likes his toenails painted red.

but, how about, "kids will be kids?" oh, and also? he's three. are you really trying to tell me my little dude (or dudette) can't pretend to be a super hero? i mean, am i off base here??? i understand that j's class is 13 boys and 3 girls and i'm sure it's nearly impossible to wrangle 16 spazz monkeys that are trying to fly, shoot webs, and "'tab" eachother with "life savers," but, "No Superheroes Allowed?" c'mon.

and listen, i'm not saying there's no room for improvement. jack definitely has a newfound infatutation with "guns" and "shooting" things. his little sister has followed suit, and i often feel like i'm preparing dinner at high noon in the Wild Wild West. i assume this is fairly normal, but, being the "left wing extremist" that i am, it does leave me feeling a little conflicted, so somewhere along the line i came up with a stop-gap "real guns are bad, water guns are okay" rule, and my little lawyer in training LOVES to toe the line. J: "pew pew pew, pew pew! i'm shooting you wif my gun" Me: "hey!" J: "wif my watow gun!" Me: "mmmhmmm." J: "what, mom? iss juss a watow gun, you know?" sigh.

he also comes up with some crazy ass shit that he certainly doesn't get at home and that makes me 3% worried that we may be raising a sociopath. e.g., the other day we were driving and i was telling the kids how we don't ever play with the door handles while the car is moving, and J was like, "Yeah, oh ewse you wiow faow out da cah and get runned over and smushed by anuddah cah and get dead." ???? or that time i told him not to push the button on the blender yet, and he said, "why, oh ewse it wiow make a smoovie outta yo' arwm?" um, no, actually because the lid is off but thanks for the warning? then the other night i told C to sit down or else she was going to fall off her chair and J said, "Yeah Co-by, oh ewse you wiow faow and cwack yo' head open and yo' bwains wiow faow out on da flo'." what-the-what?!

so. yeah. the future is full of "learning opportunities." but i'm sorry, the nazi stance on superheroes is just a bit much for me.

AND! to top it all off - get this! the next morning, DM dropped jack off and the teacher sought him out and was like, "oh, i feel like there might have been some miscommunication with your wife last night. i didn't mean to imply that they aren't allowed to play superheroes or anything." W-W-Whhhhhaat?!? um, you didn't IMPLY it. you explicitly SAID it. omg. apparently, it's just superhero paraphernalia (clothes, lunch boxes, etc), that are discouraged, based on some alleged correlation between a spiderman lunch box and violent/aggressive play. which is fine by me. i hate that character shit. i only buy it when i'm in desperate need of a bargaining chip.

on a side note, i guess it shouldn't come as a surprise, but this is just one more piece of anecdotal evidence that the preschool staff, along with most of the rest of the world, loves my charming husband and thinks i am somewhat of a bitch. possibly because of the incident where they accused me of trying to kidnap my own son? i'm not sure. anyway, this knowledge was made doubly clear this morning when shared this little gem. so, we were hoping colby could attend the same preschool in the fall (because it is so super awesome, obviously). unfortunately, she misses the age cutoff by a month. i sent emails to all three administrators, spoke with his teachers, and finally got a definitive answer from the assistant director of the preschool - an absolute, unwavering "No." i asked if they ever made exceptions for siblings, etc., and she said, "No, sorry, we would lose our license if we did." okay. fair enough. well. because only a small percentage of the words that come out of my mouth filter into my husband's brain, he had simultaneously asked the Director of the preschool if they could make an exception. AND SHE SAID YES. i am SUPER stoked. it will make our lives WAY easier, AND cheaper. but. WTF?

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