Sunday, October 24, 2010

His Stage Name Would Be Alejandro

If any male strip clubs are looking for an 8-year-old exotic dancer, Alex is a shoo-in for the job. That boy can SHAKE it, and I don't know whether I should be amused or horrified. He gyrates his slim hips in a way that would make grown women blush, and shakes his bootie like there's no tomorrow. You'd think he had dancing in his blood, but his parents can barely do the "Electric Slide."

No one on my side of the family can dance--at all. I cringe at the memory of the few times my family members have taken to the dance floor. It's not pretty. Brian can't really dance, either, although he has more rhythm than I do. We actually took ballroom dance together during our senior year of college in preparation for our wedding. However, Brian dropped the course part-way through the semester because he did not want it to hurt his GPA. I ended up with an A-, which ruined what would have been a 4.0 for my final semester of college.

Anyway, back to the bootie-shaking. Since Lauren was old enough to understand the concept, she and Alex have been putting on "shows." They used to be totally innocent affairs, with them donning funny outfits and swaying to Disney movie music. Sometimes Alex would put on some Blue Band music and pound on makeshift drums while Lauren shook some pom-poms.

But since the disco party, the dancing has taken a different turn. Maybe the disco ball is to blame. Or the CD I made of what I THOUGHT was totally appropriate dance music.

Now the shows include Alex--usually in just his underwear--standing on a stool and dancing so, uh ... intensely you'd think he was trying to get the ladies to stuff dollar bills in his tightie whities. I have not seen anyone dance like that since I crashed my mom's 40th birthday party just in time for the surprise "pizza delivery man" who was delivering more than pizza.

Alex's favorite dance tunes are the "Macarena" and "I Like to Move It" (from Madagascar). He will dance to both songs over and over again, adding new "moves" each time. Such as twirling a small towel above his head while he swivels his hips. That move, admittedly, is what brought exotic dancers to mind. Rest assured that Alex will NOT be replicating that move with his undies.

While Alex is gyrating, Lauren can often be found singing softly into a microphone or doing what we like to call her "interpretive dancing." Her moves are more reminiscent of ice dancing. She also likes to prance around on her tippy toes. Totally innocent, thank goodness. Although if she continues to watch her brother, that will not always be the case.

Fortunately Alex has a few years before he will be attending school dances, so he has time to tone down his moves. For now, I have decided to be amused--not horrified. How can you NOT chuckle at a scrawny 8-year-old movin' and groovin' without a care in the world? Maybe he'll be able to teach ME something!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Silly Things

I ran the inaugural Hershey Half-Marathon on Sunday, my first "half-mary." It was a well-organized race and actually lots of fun, if running 13.1 miles could ever be considered fun. A portion of Hersheypark was opened on Saturday evening just for runners and their families, which was a great perk of participating. Alex and I decided to hit the nearby outlets before going into the park, so Brian and Lauren were on their own. And Lauren had not used the bathroom in several hours ...

Which brings me to the real subject of this post: men's and women's anatomy. That got your attention, right?

Being the good dad that he is, Brian often assumes "potty duty" with Lauren. No parent LIKES taking his or her preschooler to the bathroom, so Brian and I trade off when we are together. On Saturday evening, Brian was the only option. So into the men's room they went, where he helped Lauren use the toilet. Then it was his turn, so he instructed her to stand behind him, against the stall's door. At 3, she is obviously not old enough to wait for us outside the stall, especially somewhere like Hersheypark. Also because she is 3, she is curious about body parts. I cannot bring myself to type, word-for-word, what she said while waiting for her daddy. She referred to a "thing" that her daddy "pulls." Enough said.

Brian did not get around to telling me this until after the half-marathon. If he had told me before, I would have had something to laugh about while running down a barren country road in the face of what felt like gale-force winds.

Lauren's curiosity about body parts continued this morning. I had just gotten out of the shower and was getting dressed. She pointed at me and said "that's silly." "What's silly?" I asked, hoping she was referring to my belly button. But she was pointing a little lower. Oy. I stammered something about how your body changes as you get older. Then she shifted the conversation to the upper body. "When I grow up, will I wear something under my shirt like you do?" she asked. "Yes," I told her. She then proceeded to puff out her chest and say, "I'm going to be huge!"

Sorry, babe. Genetics are not in your favor.

So now I'm struggling with the introduction of the correct anatomical terms. I HAVE used them with her before, but I guess she does not remember. She still uses "bum" to refer to her entire nether regions. If I teach her the "P" word (sorry, I just can't type it in my blog), she is likely to say it--loudly--at inappropriate times. This is a kid who, when she sees someone in the ladies' room with short hair, blatantly asks if she is a boy or a girl (because in the world of princesses, long hair = girl and short hair = boy).

I know that I should start introducing the correct terms now. She will likely go through a phase when she uses them frequently and inappropriately, but she will eventually understand when and how those terms should be used.

Or maybe I'll wait just a little bit longer. This makes for great blog fodder!