A Pox on Thee, Dav Pilkey!


This morning after recess, we took a few minutes out of class time to practice for the talent show.  With the big night only two weeks away, the kids have been buzzing with excitement, visions of their own American Idol moments dancing through their heads as we work on our bring-down-the-house kindergarten musical numbers: Magalena Hagalena, Grandpa’s Farm, and the class favorite, Fishy.

“Have you ever seen a fishy on a hot summer’s day?

Have you ever seen a fishy out swimming in the bay?

With his hands in his pockets and his pockets in his pants,

Have you ever seen a fishy do the Hootchie-Kootchie Dance?”

We’ve sung it a thousand times, but during today’s practice session, the giggles and squeals grew progressively louder, exceeding the usual gleeful enjoyment that accompanies each child’s personal interpretation of the “Hootchie-Kootchie Dance.”

I looked around for the source of the uproar, and there he was.

My son.

His jeans were puddled down around his knees, his Disney Cars underwear boldly flashing back and forth as he clapped in time to the song’s rowdy chorus.

“Caleb!” I screeched.

The note of hysteria in my voice finally penetrated the cloud of delighted chaos that had overtaken the class at the sight of one of their classmates in his underwear.  A hush descended as they all waited to see what hideous repercussions might befall the perpetrator of such a shocking act.

What are you doing?” I hissed.  “Pull your pants up!  Why are you doing that???”

He did as I asked.  Finally, nearing tears, he explained, “Mom, I was just showing everybody the Underpants Dance!”


Oh, no.

Oh, no, no, no.

I recognized that dance.  Somewhere inside, I had always known that my carefree, lackadaisical attitude toward juvenile reading material would one day come back to haunt me.  As it turned out, today was that day.

My baby, my precious little boy, had been hopelessly corrupted…by Captain Underpants.

I tried to continue with the class, but, as with a natural disaster or a cataclysmic world event, there was no going back to normal life without a pause for closure.  We finished singing our other songs, and I looked around to see Caleb, dejected, staring at the floor, barely moving his lips.  As the class took their seats, I gently asked him, “What’s wrong, bub?”

“I’m embarrassed about myself, Mom.”

“It’s okay, buddy,” I reassured him with a hug, having had enough time to recover my own composure.  “You didn’t know.  And everybody in here still likes you just fine.  Right, class?”

“Right!” they echoed dutifully.

“For future notice, though–and this is a rule for everyone,” I emphasized, raising my gaze to take in the entire room, “Underwear is private.  You’re not supposed to show it to anyone else.  Okay?”


And just like that, it was over.  We moved on to math, and the incident wasn’t mentioned again all day.

Still, a part of me is waiting for that phone call from an irate parent demanding to know just what kind of talent show we’re running here.

12 responses »

  1. Oh, poor buddy! I feel for him…and you. Isn’t it interesting how the innocence acts of a child is sometimes soooo inappropriate?

    If my munchkin did something like that, I would have reacted the same way. Then felt awful later about not understanding where the thinking was coming from. I wish I could read her mind sometimes…um, all the time!

    I hope their play turns out well and they have a blast presenting it. 🙂

  2. At least he did it in class and not on stage during the show! 🙂 Kindergartners are very forgiving aren’t they? I think they know that it could very well have been them.

  3. Ok, I am laughing and cannot help myself…even though I am waiting for my turn with Ian! I know it will come, eventually!! But none-the-less, you can thank God that he didn’t decide to do this little dance at the performance…it was, after all, just practice 🙂

  4. I laughed as I read your post and want you to know that my son, Gabriel accidentally tore a huge hole in his shorts sliding down the slide at school this past week and he had “forgotten” (which he does every day I don’t watch and make him put them on) to wear underwear. Thankfully in our missionary kid school he only had 7 kids screaming and chasing him around to the front porch of the school, but David and I were both in different villages and our school teachers finally ended up talking him into wearing a bat man costume for the rest of the day to cover his bare bottom. Of course he had to wear the whole thing, mask included, so I came to school to pick up batman with no underwear and a big rip in his shorts. At least Caleb had underwear on 🙂 Can’t wait to hear how the program goes!

  5. Ha ha ha ha ha! I laughed out loud at this one. I can picture it so clearly- likely because you write so well! Can I please use this post to feel just a tiny bit justified in detesting Captain Underpants? Andrew, of course, thinks the books are hilarious, but I am not a fan. I’m an old fuddy duddy mom. 🙂 I also loved reading about Gabe’s forgotten underpants on Becky’s post. Funny stuff!

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