Tuesday, July 21, 2009

See Dick. See Jane.

I had this t-shirt in high school. It read:

See Dick drink.
See Dick drive.
See Jane die.
Don't be a Dick.

I was reminded of it the last night. Tuesdays are bike day at school. The kids at Casey's summer program can bring their bikes and ride them around. There is, as you might imagine, a whole saga around getting Casey the right bike so he could share this experience (which resulted in us buying Casey a new bike because the one he got for Christmas is just too much bike and also resulted in us buying Marcie a new bike to be fair). He was thrilled to bring it to school last week. Thrilled.

We'd gone to the park and practiced. And even though it still has training wheels, Casey had been apprehensive. So we just figured one step at a time. I'd been scoping it out. Lots of kids still had training wheels at school.

Then, this week, the night before bike-riding day, Casey announced that he just didn't want to bring his bike. I told him I'd bring it and leave it, just in case he changed his mind. "No, thanks, Mom," he said. "C_____ said, 'Your bike has four wheels last week and laughed at me.'"

"Well, your bike does have four wheels, Casey," I said. "But that's okay, you know. What do you think you could say to C____ if he tries to make fun of you tomorrow?" (This strategy does not work so well with a 6-year old lamenting the teasing of a fellow-six or seven year old. I know. But I think it's good to go through the motions of attempting to use these problem-solving skills so that when he can negotiate these situations on his own, he has the tools to.) Casey came up with nothing.

Jason, sitting at the table with us, says, "I know what to tell him, Casey. Tell him he's being a Dick. Tell him: 'Don't be a dick, C____." I almost choked with laughter when he said it. But I wasn't quite sure he was kidding.

So I said, "Nah. Just tell him four wheels is better than four eyes." Gosh, I crack myself up. I don't even know if C____ wears glasses. And since Jason and I both have had laser eye surgery, we're not really ones to talk.

Of course, we didn't mean it. Of course, we told Casey he can't call anyone at school a dick. (And he doesn't even know what it means, thankfully.) Of course we told Casey that the word was not a nice word and that he would get in trouble if he used it at school. Of course we told Casey that he should tell C_____ to mind his own business-- and we pumped up Casey by telling him:
  1. race cars have four wheels
  2. monster trucks have four wheels
  3. when he's ready to ride his bike on two wheels, we will be there to help him

He was in good spirits when he left for school this morning, with his bike. He put on his helmet and rode it onto campus. I can't wait to hear how his day went. . .

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