Monday, June 13, 2011

Life in the bubble

My son is a goofball. Granted, he's only six, but I already envision that he will be the guy you want in your fraternity 12 years from now. Not necessarily because he will be the guy doing the keg stand (hopefully) but because he is genuinely funny in a Will Arnett-Adam Sandler-Steve Carell kind of way. Goofball. So it is surprising to realize that he is observant as all get out. Nothing gets by him. Ever. And he has a memory like an elephant. You put those two together along with goofball and he is the social chairman of kindergarten. And not just his class of 20. I'm talking all 7 sections of kindergarten plus the 1st grade. He knows everyone. And can tell you about them, and their siblings, and possibly their parents if he's ever seen them, which bus they take and what they wore to school last Thursday.

My daughter is not a goofball. She has a sly wit and a dry sense of humor. She also lives in a bubble. By this I mean she pays attention to what she deems is important and pretty much filters out the rest. This results in a problem. When asked about things that happened at school she has no idea. She knows what they studied that day (most of the time) but if I'm trying to pry some critical gossip out of her I get nothing. And not because she doesn't want to tell me, she honestly has no idea what I'm talking about when I ask if Bobbie got sent to the principal's office again today. There's a Bobbie in my class? would be her first question. Next she would try to recall if she is aware of anyone having been sent to the principal's office. Finally she would try to remember if they have a principal at her school and where his office might be.

This isn't a new thing. She has always been like this. My son could tell you who is absent from his class on any given day, not to mention a few kids from other classes who were home sick as well. My daughter couldn't tell you with any certainty whether a specific child is even in her class, let alone home sick. For three years she did ballet. For three years there were a couple of girls who took every class with her and performed in the recital as a group. Six ballet classes, three recitals. And yet if I mention Suzy from your ballet class I am met with a blank stare. Even if I show her the class picture she can't quite recall having met Suzy. This also happens with girls on her soccer team. The same soccer team she has played on with more or less than same 14 girls for the past three years. Granted, they all wear the same color uniform and most of them sport ponytails of varying lengths so I can allow for how that might make things harder to remember them.

Okay, so I may be *slightly* prone to hyperbole. And I should't be so hard on my poor bubble-girl. And just when I think she is growing up and becoming more aware of the people around her we have this conversation over the weekend:

Daughter: Mommy, what is the name of my school's Vice-Principal? You know, the woman who says *hi* to us in the morning?
Me: You mean the woman who you have seen every day for an entire year on your way into the building?
Daughter: Yes
Me: Her name is Mrs. Howard honey.
Daughter: Huh, go figure. Mrs. Howard. Okay then.

At least she knows who I am. I think.


  1. I like the bubble concept. Sounds like a good place to live, everything is on a need-to-know basis. :)


  2. I suspect I am much like your daughter here, but only realized it of late.

    If network sit-coms still exist in 20 years, I look forward to seeing your son on one :)