Thursday, August 10, 2006

False Advertising

I went to chess camp with my son, and agreed to fold origami with the children as a free time activity. I got so much more. I did make a lot of new friends, and met many wonderful children, some of whom were great little folders, as well as great chess players. One child I met defies definition. I knew this child was trouble as soon as I laid eyes on him; he didn’t just have a twinkle in his eye, his whole body radiated mischief.

The child spent the day at my origami table. Every opportunity he got he was there with his rapidly folded models, shoving them in my face, demanding my evaluation and attention. I made him wait his turn before helping him realign his twisted little models.

One of the lovely surprises I received on arrival to chess camp, was that I was to be a camp counselor. I had been told I would room with three little girls; they gave me seven little boys.

And worse, they gave me the child.

He wouldn’t go to sleep; he had many suggestions to make regarding lights out: “Can’t we stay up later? Just ten minutes? Can we use flashlights? Can we play cards?" He ended up listening to his iPod (he is a ten year old) and using the backlight to disturb the other children. He also managed to get the other children to misbehave. All of them lost points in the camp’s reward system before finally giving up and going to sleep over an hour later.

Predictably, the next day the child turned up at my origami table. I looked up and said, “No, you cannot fold. I am tired of you. You wore me out last night. Go away.”

He begged to fold, so I gave him paper and sent him far away, across the room--for his own protection.

Half and hour later he returned, tail between his legs, and asked if he could come back. I said, “As long as you don’t irritate anyone, especially me.”

The rest of the session went without a hitch, and he behaved (mostly) for me the rest of the day.

Oh, did I mention the child’s name? He is called Happy.

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