Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dads and Donuts

I got to be an honorary Dad this morning.

DH had a court appearance that he could not miss, and I explained to Teddy that his Dad would not be able to attend the 4th grade-hosted "Dad and Donuts" event running from 9:00 to 11:00am. Teddy was bummed out, but seemed to accept the disappointment.

Less than 5 minutes later, Teddy returned to my side with a pleading look and asked if I could please, please, pretty please come to the Dads and Donuts event in DH's place. Umm, Teddy, I'm not a Dad. Won't that look kind of silly? He assured me it would be fine, he would not be embarrassed to have his Mom there instead of his Dad, and could I please come?

Luckily, my manager has school age kids of her own, and announced this week that her schedule would be affected this month by a cluster of "end of school year activities". Thank goodness for webmail and iPhones--I checked the pulse of my in-box to make sure nothing was going to meltdown if I was an hour late getting to the office, and then agreed to stay. I also told Teddy that I would have to leave at 10 to get to a meeting on time.

I followed one of our neighbors into the cafeteria, where there were about 20 or so Dads waiting. Yes, I was the only woman. And wearing a bright pink dress. Our neighbor teased me that I had forgotten to wear my Man-pants this morning. I felt pretty conspicuous and stuck close to my friend.

When the children came trooping in, there were 3 classes (about 90 children), and only about 25% of the students had a Dad "or Guest" present. I felt bad that the teacher running the event had to keep appending "or Guest" every time he announced the next activity, just because I was there. However, Teddy was very glad to be able to sit with me, and he invited 4 rowdy Dad-less friends to join us at our table. Our neighbor was also with us, and his quiet daughter.

Teddy took my drink and donut order, and served both to me. Then he was able to serve himself, before the guestless masses were dismissed table by table to stand in line to get their own sugar and carbs. Aha, the real reason Teddy wanted me to attend today!

So, I enjoyed my donut, chatted with the boys at the table, posing them brainteasers to keep their natural boy table thumping, backslapping, namecalling hyperactivity from escalating into fisticuffs. It was 9:40 and I wondered what on earth they were going to do for the next hour with all these sugared-up kids. I was leaving soon.

Well, more fun was in store! One of the teachers gave a dissertation on the various methods and controversies surrounding the claiming of the title "Tallest Building in the World" (who knew?). There is even an official Council that decides these things.

All this was an introduction to the next activity, which involved 30 straws and one 3-inch piece of tape. Each team would include one Dad "or Guest", their child, and however many other children as they wanted. The goal would be to build the tallest structure possible using just the straws and tape. Only "habitable" levels would count, as defined by 2 straws joining, and no more than 2 straws stuck end-to-end per level. 30 straws stuck end-to-end would just be a radio antenna and that height would be disqualified.

I explained to Teddy and his 4 rowdy friends that I could not stay, but my friend agreed to allow them to join his team with his demure daughter. I felt bad that he had inherited such a motley crew as a result of sitting next to me, but he seemed to take it in stride. In fact, before I left, he had already gone to the judge for clarification on the rules and started talking to all of kids about the stability of a tripod structure.

I think they were in good hands. On my way into the office, I called DH to tease him that I had eaten his chocolate donut--SCORE!

1 comment:

  1. I would have left at the minor feats of straw engineering even if I didn't have a meeting. Up next, a bit of fun calculus! Whee!


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