The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Glimpse Into The Future. Brrrrr.

Like most parents, I look to the parents with older kids to get a sense of what to expect in the coming years. One of my co-workers has been particularly helpful. Her son is about three years older than The Boy and watching him has prepared me for things both squishy and cute.

Yesterday, after spending the morning at her son's Summer Camp talent show, she stormed into the office. Her one sentence review, "You shouldn't be in a talent show if you don't have any talent!"

Some highlights:
  • Kids skipping rope to a Hanna Montana song. Not trick skipping, not double dutch, just regular skipping, for four minutes.

  • Three girls doing a step-step-kick routine, to a Hanna Montana song. Step-step-kick, back-back-kick. Very cute until 15 seconds in she realized that's they do for the whole song.

  • Kids, who have obviously never played a piano before, sitting at a piano hitting random keys.
"I'm surprised there wasn't a kid onstage eating a bowl of cereal, to a Hanna Montana song."

Are kids really so fragile nowadays that everyone has to "win a prize"? Doesn't this just set them up for even bigger disappointment later in life - the day someone finally tells them they didn't make the cut. Don't they hold auditions anymore? And where's the teacher/advisor in all of this? If everyone makes it to the show, then the kids should get some direction. Instead of standing in one spot pretending to lip synch, how about singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or London Bridges for real? It's cute, over in 15 seconds, and really lets kids feel like they've accomplished something.

Hopefully The Boy will fair better when the day his school talent show rolls around. But if he's not dancing like a monkey to a organ grinder, I'm pulling the plug.