Kindergarten spring exhibit

It’s that season again. Spring parent-teacher conferences mean it’s time to get the official assessment of your Kindergartner’s progress since November, and more importantly, admire his artwork.

Kindergarten artwork is always instructive for gaining insight into the minds of five-year-olds. This piece tells of Buster’s limitless imagination, and rudimentary spelling.

rich man

Get ready to sell all your stuff. He’s in the market for everything.

It’s the Kindergarten equivalent of “If I won the lottery,” and just like everyone who’s ever won the lottery, our kindergartner would attempt to buy everything.  Lottery winnings have never succeeded in buying everything, and I doubt a pot of gold would either, but then I don’t have any better idea of the price of everything than he does, so maybe a pot of gold would just do it. I guess it would depend upon the size of the pot.

On the other hand, I’m glad he’s got an open-ended shopping list, because I’ve got lots of stuff lying around the house I’d like to sell him, starting with a playroom full of broken toys.

a sweet penalty

Two minutes in the penalty box never looked so sweet.

This holdover from Valentine’s Day seemed odd at first. It’s the only image of a hooking penalty I’ve ever seen captured in a heart cutout. Art critics could spend weeks speculating on the deeper meaning of this piece. The kid has never played hockey or even paid attention to a hockey game on TV. He doesn’t skate and he’s never touched a hockey stick that was taller than him and not made of plastic.

Looking at it from a hockey perspective is probably the incorrect view. At a basic level this is an image of one guy jabbing another guy with a stick. That’s something every five-year-old boy can relate to. I wouldn’t be surprised if the artist imagined the jabbee to be the jabber’s older brother. Therefore, he had it coming. What kindergartner wouldn’t admire a photo snapped at that moment of triumph when he whacked his brother with a stick? The only shame is that he couldn’t find a photo of a good, solid slashing penalty.

Oh well. There’s another whole year, and half of 1st grade, to find a more romantic, major penalty picture to put inside the next heart.

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Big Brother and [TOP SECRECT – Name Redacted] up in a tree, K. I. S. S. I. N. G.

Young love is fickle. So is the willingness to discuss it with parents.

Our six-year-old has swapped out the girl he liked for a new love interest regularly since the dawn of kindergarten. He’s a young man on the move, and a girl has to stay on her toes to keep his interest for long. Also, she has to not make it obvious that she likes a bunch of other boys better.  That’s a deal breaker. He’s very particular about having a “girlfriend” that likes him back. He has to be, at the very least, the boy she likes second best.

Way back in those callow days of kindergarten, the boy was shy about naming the girl he liked. He must have thought he had one of those mean dads who would tease him about liking girls and warn him that school was a place for learning, not for smooching. Of course, I’m not like that. I would never do that for very long. It stops being fun after a while.

Smooching

This is exactly the type of behavior I’m talking about –  I mean, it would be, if I were one of those dads who teased about smooching.

After some time, he shook off his shyness with talking about girls he liked. Once he discovered that he had a nice dad who wouldn’t tease him very much, it got kind of cool to have somebody with whom to talk about girls – somebody who’s already married and out of elementary school and everything.

Now, the pendulum seems to have swung back the other way again. But now his reticence is not rooted in embarrassment; it’s about his right, as a mature young man, to withhold information from his parents.

It’s been a while since he’s talked about liking any particular girl, but the other day the topic of girls came up in conversation. My wife and I quizzed him about all the girls he used to like. None of them were on top of the list anymore.

Was there a particular girl that he liked now?

“I’m not gonna tell you,” was his reply.

“Why not?” asked his mother.

“Because that’s my Policy Privacy.”

“Do you mean Privacy Policy?” I asked.

“Nope. It’s my Policy Privacy.”

“What’s that mean?” my wife asked him.

“That means I don’t have to talk about it.”

Fair enough. You have the right to clam up about it. But that doesn’t mean we can’t throw girls’ names at you until one of them makes you grin. We have our methods. And you may have Policy Privacy, but you sure as hell don’t have a poker face.

Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a bear attack

Valentine’s Day isn’t my favorite holiday. It’s like a yearly final exam of love, and I never liked being tested. If you don’t have someone special in your life, you fail. And if you’re lucky enough to have a special someone, you probably fail anyway, because you used up your reserve of romance during those early days when you actually imagined you could top yourself year after year.

If you’re that guy who doesn’t do little things for your love whenever you see the chance, Valentine’s Day is your opportunity to make one grand gesture that you hope will sustain you through another year. I try not to be that guy, so I can’t say if it works, but it is a potential upside to the holiday.

If you do rely upon a yearly gesture, the fine folks over at Vermont Teddy Bear have just the trick for you. It’s a six-foot-tall stuffed bear that your lady love is sure to love appreciate be unable to ignore.

I’ve seen several commercials for the Big Hunka Love Bear in the buildup to Valentine’s Day. They are, to say the least, eye-opening.

All out of love

Oh no! Sold out! Now what kind of monstrosity can we buy to express our love? (Image: Vermont Teddy Bear Company)

If the commercials can be believed, and we all know they couldn’t put it on TV if it weren’t true, women go gaga over Big Hunka. That is to say, women who resemble supermodels go gaga over him. There were no women not resembling supermodels in the ad, so there’s no telling how ordinary gals will react.

But, on this special day, you want your woman to feel like a supermodel, right? When you flop this behemoth bear over her shoulders, she will know, if she has not suffered a concussion in the attack, that you still think she’s awesome sexy after all these years. Because nobody’s ever seen a Plain Jane hunker down under the weight of such a gargantuan plush toy.

According to the TV, your woman will adore this bear enough to frolic with him while dressed only in her most sensuous underthings, thus taking the pressure off you to cuddle with the half-dressed love of your life. In business, they call that a win-win.

I’m not getting my wife a Big Hunka Love Bear. She already knows I think she’s a supermodel. Plus, she’s not a large person and I’m afraid she could not stand the mauling. Moreover, I’d be crushed to discover that her other man is a stuffed bear. He may be physically appealing, with his hairy chest and whatnot, but I’d hope to rate well intellectually against such a rival.

The boys would like the bear, though I’m not sure I want them strutting around like supermodels. Little Buster would have a blast, alternating between petting the bear and punching him, because that’s just the kind of emotional psychopaths boys can be at his age. But Buster has me for punching, so we’ll skip the bear this year.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all, but especially to my supermodel wife. I love you more than a bear ever could, sweetheart.