Jack Belts it Out, While Other Kid Gets Brain Nuked

January 31st, 2012

Jack had a class musical at his school tonight and I thought he should dress up for it. You would think that a house with four sons would have loads of dress shirts for a boy to choose from. Oddly enough, the smallest one I could find was a size twelve which was a bit big on Jack, but it looked okay. Then we fished through a box of his brother’s outgrown pants and managed to come up with a pair of ten slim khakis that just barely fit. Lastly, I found a worn pair of black dress shoes in a box in the back of the closet. Giving up going to church has created a dearth of dress clothes in this house.

After Jack had his ensemble on, I told him he was going to need to tuck his shirt in and put on a belt. From the way Jack responded to this statement he must have thought I told him I was now going to drive nails up his arms and into his eyeballs. His resistance was profound. I stood there blinking at my child wondering how such a iron willed being could ever have emerged from my womb as I am the world’s biggest pushover. How is it that I have children who are such bulwarks of forged iron? Especially my oldest and my youngest. The two middles are at least somewhat accommodating as they often see giving into their mother as a chance to manipulate me with their contrived obedience. I am not sure which is worse.

So later Jack comes downstairs and of course he doesn’t have either his shirt tucked in nor his belt on. The CD is getting a little testy by now because we are on the verge of being late and he ever so gently reminds Jack to GET HIS BELT ON RIGHT THIS INSTANT OR ELSE! So Jack tromps back up the stairs and takes nineteen years to get his belt on and the CD is losing his mind at the bottom of the stairs and I just want to hurl my body in between the two of them and make it all go away and regret that I ever even purchased a belt for my son when Jack finally comes down the stairs all tucked in and belted up and of course very upset and crying that his parents are such horrible monsters who are forcing him to wear a belt and tuck in his shirt!

He cried about half way to the school and then he forgot about it. After we dropped him off at the door to the school and went looking for a parking place, we took bets on whether or not he would have his shirt tucked in and his belt on during the performance. Everyone bet against Jack being tucked in except for me. I lost. Jack appeared on stage – shirt untucked, belt hidden. We counted the boys who had tucked in shirts versus those who did not. It was about fifty/fifty.

Then a kid passed out.

Some kid on stage who was fortunately seated at the time, fell backwards off his chair and laid on the ground. It kind of looked like he might be having a seizure. The music teacher could not see him from her position on the stage, but the entire audience could and when the music kept on playing with about half the kids singing and the other half gawking at their fallen classmate, a local state trooper who was there to see his son jumped on the stage. I elbowed my husband in the ribs, hard, harder and then really, really hard until he also walked to the stage and climbed up. By then the music teacher had realized what was going on and she called a few people to come help her. They all stood around looking at the kid. The state trooper and the CD kneeled down by him. Eventually the kid was walked off the stage and the musical continued.

When the CD re-appeared at my side, I asked him what happened. He said that he thought the kid just fainted, but everyone else in the group thought he had a seizure and since the CD was significantly out-numbered, it was determined that the kid did indeed have a seizure and was on his way to the emergency room to get his brain “nuked”. At this point in the CD’s story I started freaking out because HELLO! Why is medicine a vote and why are they nuking brains at the local ER? Then the CD said that there has been a lot of concern over children getting too many X-rays starting at a young age and the current thought is to limit them as much as possible, but since the boy who fell over on stage was determined to have a seizure via a vote by the crowd of people who examined him in spite of an MD’s resistance to the idea, his dosage of X-rays was almost certain.

I asked the CD why he thought the boy fainted and he said, “Boredom. If that kid hadn’t passed out, I am pretty sure that I would have.” Jack’s musical wasn’t exactly titillating. And then the show was over. We walked out to the hallway to pick up Jack. He had carefully re-tucked his shirt into his pants as if we wouldn’t have noticed that he had un-tucked it during the program, displaying a lame attempt at crafty deviousness that made me kind of proud.  We all ridiculed him for tucking his shirt back in and then we went and got some ice-cream at the Kreem Kup to celebrate surviving another school program.


  • And I thought I had cornered the market on stubborn boys. Just wait until you have to argue with them about wearing their khaki shorts at their waist line as opposed to their butt cracks. *rolling eyes*

  • There are a few things I find funny about this story Rechelle. First is that he tucked his shirt back in after the program….too funny! Like you didn’t notice it untucked onstage, such a kid thing to do! Secondly, the CD is a doctor. People just bypassed his opinion and sent him to the ER anyway! It always seems like someone goes down, in some way, during a school program. Whether it be falling off the risers or fainting, someone always bites it. And Rechelle, you’re not alone, I think boys are WAY more melodramatic and stubborn! Luke would have put up the same fight about the dang shirt and belt!

  • Kathy from NJ:

    Back in the olden days, I passed out during a school concert but I was in the front row and the whole world saw it happening. I was sent to the nurses office to sleep it off. We did not go to the doctor (it cost $3 for an office visit!) unless our temp was above 104° or we had uncontrollable bleeding or in the case of my spoiled baby sister, if we fell off the basement stairs from 8 steps up onto the concrete floor. And SHE, the spoiled brat, got a house call ($5) because my Mom was afraid to move her.

    • Nancy P.:

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha! This made me snort! My mom just smeared Bag Balm on everything. I was in 4th grade before I noticed that the can said “For veterinary use only”.

  • Nancy P.:

    As a mother of boys who now has an empty nest, this story made me smile with a bit of a lump in my throat. Life is relaxed, tidy, and even romantic now – but oh, sometimes I miss the hustle and bustle of the little league/school program/shirt tucking days. : )