Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Modern Child

Remember when you were in elementary school and there was that kid who could entertain himself for hours by picking his nose and examining what he found there? Or the kid who cried over everything? Or the one who could burp the alphabet? Or what about the kid who covered her arms and hands in self inflicted doodles? Or how about the kid who prided himself on making people run, screaming from his presence by sheer force of his self made noxious fumes?

Remember those kids? Fun times.

Or maybe you were one of those kids?

You'd think that in this day and age of techno savvy kids bombarded by adult images on every billboard and commercial kids nowadays would be much more mature and  sophisticated. Yeah ... not so much. I spent three hours on a school bus yesterday and I can tell you that there is nothing elegant or composed about the modern nine year old. They are just as goofy, gross and juvenile as kids ever were ... and proud of it!

I was one of several parent volunteers on a field trip with Crafty's school choir. When I signed up I thought I'd be hanging with Crafty and her pals and it was all good. The reality was quite different. I ended up with a couple of boys in my group and that changed everything. They weren't bad or rude boys ... it was worse ... they were typical nine year old boys.

The ride to the event wasn't too bad. I think they were lulling me into a false sense of security. Most of the kids read, drew pictures or chatted quietly among themselves during the hour and a half drive. When we arrived it was all business and the kids did great. After their performance we settled in to have lunch together ... and that's when things started to unravel!

They were subtle at first; a random tossed carrot, a stray fart sound and a few goofy faces, nothing too bad. I just chalked it up to letting off a little steam after being so nervous all morning but when we boarded the bus for the ride home everything escalated!

The same 30 or so kids who were quiet and calm on the ride in to the city erupted into a mad mob of lunatics! Paper was flying, kids were squealing and pencils were rolling down the aisle. The wee monsters were doing blow fish on the windows and flicking condensation from the windows on to their pals. An intergalactic war broke out on the seat next to me and behind me some kind of Booger Battle erupted. Kids were laughing, squealing, singing and chanting. It was chaos!

The straw that broke the camel's back ... or nose was when the space conflict was resolved and a fart contest began. That was it. That was more than I could take. Within seconds our whole section of the bus reeked! I don't know who was feeding what to those kids or what had crawled into them and died but the smell these two, sweet looking boys were able to conjure is the stuff chemicals weapons are made of! I spent the remainder of the drive breathing through a musty mitt I found in my coat pocket and it smelled like Heaven, comparatively.

The next time people complain about kids growing up too fast I am going to challenge them to an hour and a half bus ride with 30+ grade three and four student ... that should set them straight!

Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else. ~Will Rogers

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