But every once in awhile, Ethan goes beyond the realm of appropriate running and summersaulting. And he becomes....that kid. The one other parents can't help but watch with a mix of amusement and horror (light on the amusement, heavy on the horror), peeking around and wondering where is the woman who is raising this child to be just this side of neanderthal? Yesterday was that day.
Every 6 weeks or so, the gym has a parent participation session, where we're allowed to take off our shoes and go sit on the big red mats inside the gymnasium while our little ones show off their monkey-bar skills and chase the teacher around the room skipping and leaping and pretending to be ninjas, or whatever the hell it is they're doing. It's adorable.
Until your kid licks his own foot. Licks. His. Foot.
WHY why why would he do that?! I don't know, people. But he did. While sitting with his friendly little friends on the mat, waiting for instructions on what feat of strength and gymnastic-y skill they were to perform next, Ethan picked up his own little bare foot, inspected it seriously for a second or two, and then licked it. Twice. To, of course, the utter glee and fitful giggles of his friends. Thus proving to me that Ethan will do just about anything for a laugh and an adoring audience.
And I can only assume whatever he licked off of his foot had some sort of hallucinogenic property (or more likely, he was egged on by the laughter of the other kids), because after that, he was pretty much the whirling-est dervish that ever whirled. He could not contain his energy while his teacher was giving instructions and while the teacher was mid-sentence, Ethan decided to pop up and yell in my general direction, "I LOVE YOU, MOMMY!!!!!"
I whispered, "love you, too. sit down and listen," and hid my face in my hands while the other moms were either snickering or tsk'ing. I could tell the teacher was getting frustrated by Ethan's complete lack of even pretending to pay attention to anything he was saying. I was torn between taking over and disciplining him and sitting back and letting the teacher deal with him. None of the other kids seemed put out by his momentary lapse in self control, but every time he interrupted or got up to jump around while he "should" have been sitting, my inner highly-strung-overly-self-controlled 8 year old self got twitchy. I have issues.
As the teacher was finishing up giving instructions, Ethan decided that, having exhausted the taste sensations of his own feet, he would have to branch out, and he popped up again, grabbed his teacher's hand, and swung on it a couple of times.
And then licked it. Oh dear god. *twitch twitch*
Thankfully the teacher took it all in stride (and thankfully the gym comes equipped with all kinds of hand sanitizer dispensers), and after explaining kindly to Ethan that licking other peoples' hands was A.) not very polite, and B.) GROSS, he sent Ethan on his way to show off more epic gymnastic skills.
This is what he looks like most of the time--blurry from all the moving.
And then there was much twirling....
And don't forget to swing on the bars...
look how happy he is--think he knows that some germ he licked off his foot is going to have him puking by Thursday? Probably not...
look how hard that girl's working to swing herself around the bar. My kid looks like he's sitting at a bar waiting for a margarita. Bless his little heart.
In hindsight, he was far less "that" kid than I initially thought in the moment--he was just so much more of a kid than I ever was. Sometimes its hard for me to gauge where the line is and when he's actually gone over it. True, licking his foot? And someone else's hand? Mortifying. But only for me. And only for a minute.