“Your son is giving a talk at school on Monday,” Tracey told me as I walked in the door and pecked her cheek. That it was the first thing out her mouth and she was grinning told me I should follow this up.
“Hey, I hear you’re doing a speech at school,” I said to Master8. “Want some help?”
This is the one area of parenting I do well with. Homework and general supervision might be beyond my skill set, but I’m happy to be an audience and offer tips.
Not that I’m good at public speaking myself. I break into a sweat at the very idea of standing in front of people, which is understandable when you consider I don’t multitask well so pulling off thinking and talking at the same time would be a stretch for me.
But I figure talking in front of the class is a great way for a kid to impress their teacher so it’s good to put some practice in at home.
Master8 stood in front of me with his palm cards, took a deep breath and began his talk on what he wants to be when he grows up. A policeman? A fireman? A doctor? No.
“When I grow up,” he said, “I want to be like my dad.”
Queue my awwww face. No wonder Tracey was so keen for me to hear this.
“My reasons are…”
This oughta be good, I thought, mentally rubbing my hands together.
“…he has a magnificent wife.”
“Hold up,” I interrupted my son before calling out to Tracey. “You didn’t happen to help him with this, did you?”
“No,” she yelled back from the next room. “He’s just very observant.”
I indicated for Master8 to continue.
“My dad is smart.”
True: especially if compared to a fourth grader.
True. I mean, basically the same point but worth repeating.
“He also has lots and lots of children.”
Speaking of repeating something over and over. Nice to see this is in the plus column though.
“He says this is because he’s got swimmers.”
“And my dad is very handsome. Of course, he had to be handsome to end up with a pretty wife like my mum.”
Master8 himself assured me this time, my having interrupted him yet again, that his mum really hadn’t helped him write this.
“My dad likes to sing but he can never remember the words. And last but not least,” he went on, “my dad can play sport.”
Although I ride a bike, even I would have to confess this one is a bit of a stretch.
“But doesn’t do it much anymore.”
“And that’s why I want to be like my dad,” he said, wrapping it up. He grinned over at me. “Would you add anything, Dad?”
“It’s pretty damn excellent just the way it is,” I assured him. But I couldn’t help myself. “Maybe you could say how I’m strong, like an ox.”
“That’s a good idea,” he said, and scribbled some notes. “Only I won’t say ox,” he added and, I swear, looked pointedly at my stomach. “I’ll say you’re strong like a hippo or an elephant.”
“You could say he’s strong like a rhino,” Tracey yelled from the next room. Nice to know she’s got my back.
“I’ll accept strong like a rhino,” I said to Master8.
“Because a rhino has something protruding from its head,” Tracey continued.
I shook my ‘hornless’ head at my son. “We don’t want to say your mum helped you write this so you better leave that last bit out.”
I can’t wait to hear the feedback on this from his teacher, although from my son’s description of me I doubt very much she’ll recognize me when I walk in the classroom.
Unless, of course, I arrive with my pretty and magnificent wife on my arm.
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”