The Kids

Somewhere recently I read something about a woman being offended that people refer to their children as kids. It was a Christian argument as I recall, something about cloven hooves and children being two things that don’t go together. I guess that’s fair.

I will never be offended if someone refers to my children as kids. On a given day, they exhibit perhaps five human qualities for every, oh, let’s say 25 goat-like qualities. (Even more, if someone can confirm that goats whine?)

Take preschool pickup for example. Fresco runs in the classroom, beans his brother on the head as a greeting and goes immediately to the toy shelf and starts removing toys that were recently placed there during clean-up time. Trombone gets up from his place in the circle, starts bouncing straight up and down like a pogo stick, puts his face in his friend’s face and says, “URGLEBLURGLE HAHAHAHAHA.” They both laugh and then one of them tries to lift the other off the ground.

I herd them – yes HERD – out of the classroom, which can take anywhere from three to forty-five minutes, while the teachers smile and wave at us like cruise ship directors after a week at sea. Just get off the boat. GET OFF THE BOAT.

From the classroom we move to the cloakroom, where my repeated pleas for application of vest and hat are ignored in favour of getting all up in another friend’s face and saying “It’s TIME FOR WAR.” If it were me, Trombone would not be my friend anymore, but this little girl doesn’t seem to mind, in fact she bleats back, “LET’S GO TO WAR” and then they jump up and down some more.

Meanwhile, Fresco is climbing onto the bench so that he can steal a pen from the shelf and scribble in the sign-in / sign-out book. True, if he was a real goat he would eat the pen and the book. Fair point.

Outside, there are four hundred, I mean, TEN children running around like the devil himself is at their heels. And they are screaming. And it is all happy screaming.

“WHY ARE THEY SO BATSHIT,” I shout at another mother.
“I DON’T KNOW,” she shouts back.

At the end of last year, when they were 3.5 going on 4, the preschool children invented a game called rescue. It goes like this:

– one child stands at a pole and screams “help!”
– the other children run to him / her and “free” him / her.

Now the children are 4.5 going on 5. The game is called BAD GUYS GO TO JAIL. It goes like this:

– one child says “I’m the bad guy!”
– the other children try to kill him
– I interrupt to make sure it’s consensual killing
– they look at me scornfully
– and continue to tear their friend to pieces
– and drag him / her to the other side of the playground
– and declare YOU ARE A BAD GUY.

I am sorry for all the all caps but they are shouting the whole time and my brain is having seizures right now, reliving it.

They scamper and cavort and hip check each other. They don’t walk. They don’t respond when you call them. They throw themselves in mud puddles and eat food from the ground – food that they didn’t drop there. And today I actually saw one put his head down and run at another. Good thing no one has horns. Yet.

I check every night, and their feet are not cloven / But sometimes, they truly are more goat than human.

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