“I would rather be at Vacation Bible School.”
That’s what Beckett leaned over and said to me at The Freeman Stage last week during a production of Mary Poppins by Clear Space Theatre.
While he seemed to be enjoying the performance early on, he’s 10 years old and it was a bit on the long side for him at three hours plus.
After I got on him a little bit for saying it loud enough for the actors to hear on stage, I got to thinking it wasn’t necessarily a terrible thing he hasn’t embraced the arts entirely at his young age.
For one, I agreed with the sentiment the performance, while impressive and featuring a talented cast, was probably an hour too long. Secondly, I liked the fact he didn’t want to miss Vacation Bible School (VBS).
We are fortunate he wants to participate in this each summer. He was one of only a handful of kids in his age group so I’m happy he still wants to do things even when other kids his age are not.
When he asked one of his friends at camp about coming with him to VBS one night, he said later he was made fun of for going to something at a church. Beckett has shown a proclivity to bowing to peer pressure in the past, so I was excited when he didn’t immediately cave on going that night. His response was “it’s fun so I want to go.” That works for me and I hope he got something spiritual out of it.
I only wish I had this conversation with him before the Mary Poppins performance. I may not have been so frustrated when he asked me after each song if we were going home yet.
I wonder if other parents deal with this sort of thing.
Carson is notorious for being a slow eater while out. I say slow only because it sounds weird to describe him as a “procrastinator eater,” which is really what he is these days.
Several years ago, we stopped ordering the kids food before our own meals. While we like the idea of eating together, the more important reason was they would be finished before our meals even came. That would result in them growing bored and, of course, having to use the restroom as soon as I picked up a fork. Ultimately, most times they didn’t need to go. They just wanted to get up and move around.
With waiting to order all our food at one time, we are eating together and ideally finishing around the same time. The goal is to do this without electronics while we are out to eat.
Although I’m not proud of it, there have been many instances in the past (such as after church for brunch) when we allow the kids to be on their devices while we are out to eat. It’s the easier route to be certain.
We recently decided to cut back on it because we want to talk with them. We tell them you aren’t babies anymore. I think they wish they were sometimes.
Back to eating, Beckett is a quick eater. He views eating as something that needs to be done, rather than enjoying. It’s a part of the day so he can continue to grow and be taller than me, according to him. He’s always the first to finish and then waits for us to finish. Sports on nearby televisions usually keep him entertained.
On the opposite extreme is Carson, who will not start a meal until he has colored every inch of his kids page handout from the restaurant. If it has a crossword puzzle, word search or tic-tac-toe game, those must all be completed as well. The fixation has gotten so real we encourage him to eat while he finishes his sheet.
The end result is usually Carson never finishing his meal. I can’t remember the last time he cleared his plate while out to eat. We usually grow impatient or feel guilty making customers wait longer for the table.
Carson took his slow eating reputation to new heights last weekend. We checked out the new Gold Coast Mall movie theater (highly recommend for the heated seats and trays) during a rainy Saturday.
The boys’ disparate eating tendencies were on full display. Beckett wolfed down some candy and popcorn and drank his whole drink within a half hour. Carson was so enthralled in the movie (Hotel Transylvania 3) he barely ate anything by the time Beckett was finished.
Despite repeated reminders, he was slow to wrap it up. It was to the point the movie was over and he had a bowl of popcorn in front of him. Carson then went about stuffing it all in his mouth. Pam tried to encourage him to pack it up and save it for later. It didn’t work. I tried to coax him with my phone. Beckett offered to let him sit in the front seat on the way home. He was having none of it.
That situation ended up with all of us sitting in the chairs as the theater cleanup crews began getting it ready for the next guests.
He eventually finished in time for us to catch some dinner on the way home. The cycle pretty much played out the same from there.