Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Eli 6.0 Goes to School

The first column I wrote for Gone Gold was within days of Eli's first birthday. For those of you unfortunate enough to have been reading since then, you've watched him grow up, and on Monday, he started first grade.

It's pretty remarkable how quickly kids can change at his age. When he started pre-school two years ago, he cried almost every day at school for the first three weeks. When he moved up to the older class a year ago, he cried for a week.

On Monday, he went to a totally new school on a campus that was 20X the size of his pre-school. They let parents come in with their children for the first week to help them get settled and to be sure they find their class.

Gloria was worried that Eli would be upset when she stopped going in with him. After one day of class, though, he said he could find his class just fine and she didn't need to come in with him. No tears, no problems, no worries.

We had lunch together on Monday (his first day was a short day), and he started in with The Question, also known as What Would You Do? He's been asking The Question for weeks now, and it always involves bizarre hypotheticals about animals getting eaten by lions. "Dad, question," he said. "If you were an armadillo without your shell, and you were getting attacked by a lion, what would you do?"

"What do you mean, I don't have my shell?" I asked. "That's not even a real question."

"What would you do, Dad?"

"Well, thirty minutes before the lion was going to attack, I'd order a pizza," I said. "Then, when the lion attacked, I'd throw a slice of burning hot pizza into his face. While he was pawing at the hot cheese, I'd cover my naked armadillo parts with the box and run away."

Eli sighed, a sigh that seemed to say why is it so hard to get a serious answer to a serious question? "Without the pizza," he said.

"Sunscreen," I said.


"Sunscreen," I said. "That's what I'd do first. I'm a naked armadillo, and I bet they burn pretty badly."


Last week, he was making Cleopatra's tomb out of Jenga blocks, and he was making it difficult for tomb raiders. "Seriously, Dad, to get into THIS tomb, you'll be digging a long time without water OR sweets."

He's also been working on his checker skills, and last week he said he wanted to play a few games to practice. "They say practice makes perfect," he said, "but some people say practice doesn't make perfect."

"Who are those people?"

"I have NO IDEA," he said.

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