Monday, April 30, 2007

The Goal of the Century, Streams, and Brown Bags

To understand this story, you should probably go watch Maradona's "Goal of the Century" if you've never seen it before.

And if you're just lazy (why wouldn't you be?), know that Mardona ran half the field, dribbling through most of England's defense, and scored during their match in the 1986 World Cup.

The film clip of the goal lasts thirty-three seconds, and some of that is celebration. The on-field action only lasts twelve seconds.

On Saturday, at Eli 4.8's soccer game, I saw the Goal of the Century again--sort of.

Isabella, his teammate, took possession of the ball at midfield. Then, moving so slowly that she looked like a replay, she slalomed through an entire team at a top speed of one mile an hour.

"Goal of the Century," I muttered under my breath, after she'd had the ball for at least a minute and was nearing the goal.

"What?" Gloria asked.

"Nothing," I said, just as Isabella, after a tremendous wind-up, shot the ball from a distance of three feet and sent it at least a foot wide of the goal.

Eli had his first net-positive game. He scored a goal (a roller from at least thirty yards out) for his own team and managed not to score for the other team, the first time he's managed to do both in the same game.

Sunday morning, we were getting ready to go to the Pancake House for breakfast, and Eli still needed to go to the bathroom.

If you don't have kids, you might not know this, but little kids can be pretty resistant to going to the bathroom. They wait until they have five seconds before peeing uncontrollably, and then they'll spring for the bathroom yelling "GOTTA GO!" at the top of their lungs.

Or, um, some kids do that, anyway. Not that I know any.

Oh, and one other thing. Eli now, at times, sounds just like George Costanza's father (Jerry Stiller) in Seinfield.

"Eli, you need to go to the bathroom before we leave," I said.

"But I don't need to go," he said.

"You slept all night," I said. "You need to go. Everybody needs to go."

"Just listen," he said. "You will NOT hear a stream." Eli believes that unless he sounds like Niagra Falls when taking a piss, it was a wasted trip.

He went into the bathroom and Gloria started laughing. "Streams," she said.

"I HEARD THAT!" he yelled.

The next thing we hear is the sound of someone peeing.

"That may not be stream-worthy," I said. Gloria laughed.

"DO YOU HEAR A STREAM?" Eli yelled from inside the bathroom. Before we had a chance to answer, he followed up with "NO STREAM!" We're both laughing so hard that we don't even answer. Seconds later, he opens the bathroom door, his underwear pulled up but his shorts around his ankles. "STOP THAT LAUGHING!" he says.

We can't, of course.

Then there's karate class. In Eli's karate class last week, Mister Matt scored paper lunch bags, then held them up and let the kids kick through them.

They didn't know he'd scored them first, of course. They all thought the impressive destruction of a brown paper bag was entirely due to their raw power.

Suddenly, one bag later, Eli is a karate expert. "I'm really learning to focus my energy," he said. "I'm teaching karate to all the kids at school," he said.

"Teaching?" I asked.

"Lavanya teaches monkey bar karate," he said. "Sharia teaches somersault karate. I teach ground karate, plus I teach the other two disciplines."

"Disciplines?" I asked.

"Mrs. Ali calls me Mr. Karate now," he said.

"Dude, are you supposed to be teaching karate?" I asked. "After all, you only have a brown bag right now. I thought to teach karate you needed to be a black bag."

"Dad, what are you talking about?" he asked.

"Well, you broke a brown paper bag last week, so you're officially a brown bag," I said. "Then you'll move up to one of those white kitchen trash bags. But to teach, you need to break one of those black lawn bags. Then you'll be a black bag."

"MOM!" he shouted.

"Don't listen to your father," Gloria said from her study.

She says that a lot.

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