Thursday, February 01, 2007

While visions of jelly beans danced in his head

The Kid and I have a birthday party to attend on Saturday morning. I have the hardest time keeping the names of his classmates straight, and so I asked him to remind me again which one is Justin.

"He's skinny like me. And his hair is brown like mine, only a little bit lighter. And it's flat."

These are all common descriptors for The Kid. Weight is always a factor, only because The Kid is so desperately aware of his own inability to keep pants around his waist without stapling them to his hips. Belts don't work because he has to cinch them so tight that the resulting explosion of fabric above and below the belt severely hinders his ability to sit (as well as his ability to look cool, which is far more important than sitting if you ask me.) He envies those children with a little pooch around the belly; those lucky, lucky children whose pants stay on without staples. Hair color and style are always worthy of comment as well. (Here, "flat" refers not to a lack of body, but to a lack of curls. And also a lack of product that gives that perfectly mussed bed-head look. That kind of hair is usually referred to as "pointy.")

But the next description threw me for a loop:

"And his head goes back. Do you remember a kid with that kind of look?"

I suppose it was actually more the gesturing than the actual words that concerned me, with The Kid pantomiming something that resembled a bulbous tumor growing out of the back of his classmate's head. I'm pretty sure I would remember a kid with that kind of look. Tempted to laugh but concerned that perhaps Justin really does have something wrong with his head, I probed for more details.

"You know, it goes back." [more bulbous tumor pantomiming] "His head is shaped like a jelly bean."

I checked out Justin when I dropped off The Kid at preschool this morning. Skinny with light brown flat hair? Yes. Jelly bean head? Not so much. But, where my child's head is almost perfectly round, Justin's is more of the elongated sort. And while it's well within the parameters of perfectly normal head shapes, it's apparently just elongated enough to remind one very fanciful preschooler of a delicious piece of candy.

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