Saturday, February 19, 2011

Strike out

So we're developing sort of a preschool social life here, which is good because it'll help kiddo further settle into this new place we've deposited him into, and also because you can only have serious conversations about potty usage and tantrums and snot color with other parents. Non-parents must think we're loons at this point.

Kiddo had his first bowling birthday party the other day. This had me a little worried, because he'd never been within 50 feet of an actual bowling ball in his life, and also I was going to be no help, because I suck so much at bowling that I'm not even sure bumpers would help me. Also I hate doing badly at things in public. I don't even enjoy Trivial Pursuit games once I've blown a couple questions too many. (Which inevitably happens once the sports questions roll around.) DH of course is a fine bowler, and owns his own ball and shoes. He also couldn't come to the party. Leaving me to coach kiddo, which is a bit like asking that Sanjaya dude to teach you opera singing.

Most of the other parents were bowling themselves, and were all shoed up and ready to go. I begged off on account of my suckitude, and also I suspected kiddo would run up and kick the pins over himself if I weren't watching him. Tactical error: You're not supposed to walk onto the lane part in your street shoes. Not wanting to break the rules, I hovered near the ball return as kiddo staggered up to the lane, carrying the ball with both hands: "OK, bring the ball up to the line. Not that line. The other line. No, that's not your lane. Go straight ahead. Straight ahead! OK, now push the ball down the lane. Push! Go ahead, push! That's it! No, don't cross the line! Don't cross the -- "


"OK, that's OK, come on back, you get to go again. Come get your ball. Now bring it up to the line. No, don't push it from back here. Up to the line. Up to the line. Go ahead! No, not that far --"


Seriously, I think his score sank into the negative numbers.

Before we started, he'd discovered the glory that was the video game nook behind the lanes we were using. He was especially fascinated by the racing car game, even though he never caught on that what he was "playing" was the demo. Hey, he's entertained, I get to keep my quarters, it's a win-win. But naturally this racing car game was way more fascinating than whatever arcane task I was trying to get him to perform with the bowling ball, so every time he was done with his turn, he ran right back over to the video games and grabbed the steering wheel. I spent several frames positioned between the games and the bowling lanes, watching the monitor, so I knew when to grab him and haul him -- over his protests -- back over to the ball return. At about frame six, I had a sinking realization: There are four frames to go. What if we were expected to actually finish out a game before they wheeled out the pizza and cake? How long were the lanes reserved for? Could kiddo maybe nap in the party room in between turns?

Thankfully, that was when they wrapped things up and we commenced eating.

Don't get me wrong, it was a nice party. It's just that kiddo, clearly, is my kind of bowler.

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