While driving in the car with my children, Nee and N, I broke into a rousing rendition of “99 Cups of Kool-Aid (sung to the tune of 99 Bottles of Beer).” Around the 96th cup, N joined in to form a gleeful duo. N and I were having a grand ole time, but Nee was not enjoying the singing as much as we were.
“Will you please stop?” She asked. “That’s so annoying.” Of course we did not stop; her annoyance only fueled our singing passion. At cup 83, Nee couldn’t take it anymore. She covered her ears and screamed, “I wish I had a normal brother and a cool dad!”
N and I stopped singing.
“You don’t think Daddy is cool?” I asked.
“Not when you’re being weird and singing strange songs,” she replied.
I turned to N and asked, “Do you think Daddy is cool?”
“Awesome!” He replied.
“Well at least someone thinks Daddy is cool,” I said.
“You’re okay,” Nee responded. “But if my friends were in the car and you started acting weird, I’d be so embarrassed and they would be my friends anymore.”
“Maybe that would say ‘I wish I had a cool dad like yours. You guys have so much fun in the car. My dad is so boring.'”
“Probably not,” she said. “They’d just think you were weird.” We drove in silence for a few more minutes until Nee had to give N a piece of her mind.
“N,” she said. “If you act weird like this in second grade no one will be your friend. Especially not the kids in public school (Note: My kids are currently enrolled in private school).”
“I’ll have a lot of friends,” N responded proudly. “Everybody wants to be my friend.”
“Maybe you have a lot of friends now, but second grade is different.”
“Don’t listen to her,” I said. “Just be yourself and you will have plenty of friends.”
“Not In second grade,” Nee insisted.
“When I was in second grade, I behaved the same way I do know and I had friends,” I said.
“N,” Nee said. “Who are you going to listen to – a person who is in second grade right now or a person who was in second grade a long, long time ago?”