On playing with other people’s kids

8 Sep

At some point, whenever I’m playing with other people’s kids, an adult – usually the parent, sometimes just another adult – will say to the kid, ‘Peter’s silly‘. This was no exception this past weekend, when we drove our asses out to the suburbs to have Labor Day barbecue with friends. Well, not really barbecue, more boiled hotdogs, veggie burgers, and a gluten-free quiche. And people say New Yorkers aren’t like the rest of America!

But the kid in question, a dear and darling 4/5ish-year old, oscillates between not talking to me at all, and treating me like her BEST FRIEND EVER!!1! This time, it was the latter. I found myself in a philosophical discussion regarding Dora the Explorer – who is this Dora? Does anyone know her family? Isn’t it suspicious that she speaks to a monkey but no one knows her last name? Is Boots the monkey’s name, or is it a nickname? Do you think Boots’ real name could be Peter? Where do you think Boots bought those boots? Is it weird that it’s a monkey that wears no clothes but wears boots?

I can go on like this for hours, but usually after about 15 minutes I get the ‘Peter’s silly!’ But the thing is, on Tuesday after this little hike to the wilds of Westchester, I was completely wiped out. What I really think is going on, is that I am able to play with other people’s kids because at the end of the day I can give them back. This doesn’t necessarily translate into good practice for being a ‘good father,’ it’s more like being a good performer. I mean, I do that for a living, edutaining students for 1hr20, twice a week. If I’m edgy about anything, it’s the sheer number of hours in the day to deal with a kid. People really do this? For hours and days at a time? Chatting about Dora for an hour or so is one thing, but doing it for 5 years seems like a little much. People will stop saying I’m silly and start edging carefully away from the wild-eyed crazy man.


3 Responses to “On playing with other people’s kids”

  1. Davin September 8, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    Oh, sure, don’t even mention that you got to play with our little squiggler over the weekend, too. No problem. We’re not hurt. I’m just glad Vander can’t read yet.

  2. Ivy September 8, 2010 at 10:50 pm #

    I’d like to point out here that I’d never say you were silly…because I think I’m *sillier*. Silly-off tbd! The gauntlet is thrown!

  3. Peter September 8, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    I don’t know Ivy, I sometimes worry that I fundamentally think like a small child. My dearest would disappointingly agree.

    You know D, I don’t ever know if it’s appropriate to actually mention other people’s kids specifically. I thought Ivy’s off-the-cuff remark that she’s routinely seen him pull a smash-n-grab at daycare was pretty hilarious. It conjures images of your baby as vigilante. But I’m not sure how to describe that scenario..

    Seriously, obviously your kid just isn’t cute enough to blog about him. Sometimes it’s good to know these things up front – I’m sure he’ll have a good personality.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s