Mildly Amusing, Parenting Gone Awry

Gotta’ Dance!

The other night was one of the rare occasions when we had the television on before Sean went to bed. Sean hasn’t shown much interest in the television beyond shoving animal crackers into the VCR, so it hasn’t been an issue so far. But I remain concerned about the influence of television on his tender and malleable mind. While television can enable children to learn their ABC’s, it can also enable them to learn about other things like violence, or worse, ballroom dancing.

Anyway, this new show called “Dancing with the Stars” came on – with the word “stars” being used in the most liberal sense. Since no one could find the real remote control to make a station change, we were all three sucked into the television like it was a giant Hoover. The pseudo celebs quick-stepped and fox trotted their way across the screen and we were powerless to turn away, especially after one of the contestants described himself as the “bad boy of ballroom.” That phrase alone made me do one of those snort-laughs. There was just something oxymoronic about that statement, with the emphasis on moronic.

To make my point about the influence of television, since watching that show Sean trots out his best Travolta-like moves anytime any kind of music comes on anywhere. And apparently Sean has studied at the Elaine Benis Dance Academy. Sean is not aware that, like one of his (semi-bald) parents, he is not genetically predisposed to dancing.

When a repairman came to the house the other day, his cell phone started playing the Lone Ranger theme and Sean showed him what he could do just on the spur of the moment — an impressive routine that included the splits.

As we were driving to pre-school the other day, an old KC and the Sunshine Band song came on the radio and I looked in the rear view mirror to find Sean doing the stir dance in his car seat like the whitiest white boy that ever did a funky white boy dance. I called into the backseat “Sean! Get down with your bad self!” And he called back cheerfully, “I dancin’ Mommy! Wit my bad self!”

Later that same day, after I picked him up from school, we made our daily trip to Wal-Mart. As we were standing there gazing at the tropical fish, Pink came on overhead singing “I’m comin’ up so you bettah get the party started, I’m coming up, so you bettah get the party started.” (repeat 30 or 40 times). At first he continued to look at the fish while bouncing to the beat. But then it was like he was in a Broadway musical and he spontaneously burst into an interpretative dance. What the heck. Life is short. So I joined him in a modified Frug.

This is another one of those posts where there is no real point to this story other than perhaps this: Be careful what you let your kids watch on television and never miss an opportunity to dance like no one is watching. Unless you count fish and the security camera.

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