Zane's class had their year-end party/field trip today. The first half was at the bowling alley. Zane told me, before we even got there, that he doesn't like bowling. He didn't want to bowl. Bowling was boring. He proceeded to be kind of grumpy through the entire first game of bowling, until he realized that he had come in second place in his group. Suddenly it wasn't quite so boring or dumb. He started the second game with a much better attitude, and ended up winning that game.
To be fair, the bumpers were up, and his style of bowling was to run up to the line and just kind of fling the ball down the lane. It generally bounced once or twice off the bumpers before knocking over pins. But then again, his form was no worse than most of the other third graders playing. There were a lot of kids who would walk up to the line, swing the ball back and forth, and then throw the bowling ball in a high arc toward the lane, where it would land with a dull thud before zig zagging sloooooowly down the lane. Some of the kids just stood right next to the ball return and flung the ball from there. I saw several kids accidentally step over the line and fall on their butts. I saw one kid accidentally let go of her ball so that it went backwards towards the audience. It was kind of chaos.
After bowling for about 2 hours (During which time Zane's group finished one and a half games. One. And a half. Games. Two hours.), we went to a park that's about 2 blocks away. It's a great park, with a fun playground and a giant field to run around in. (There were two swings, which were apparently in high demand. In the course of about 3 minutes, i had four different kids come over to me and say, "Zane is swinging and he won't share, and he's been on it for 20 minutes." (He hadn't. I know this because we'd only been at the park for about 5 minutes.) His teacher, who i already think is awesome, made me like her even more by telling them, "He's allowed to swing. You can just wait your turn," and then telling those of us who were sitting with her about a book called "It's OK Not To Share." Which...yes! I want to read that book now.) (I just completely derailed my line of thought with that long parentheses, so i'm just going to go ahead and start a new paragraph.)
I'd forgotten my camera at home (sad!), but Zane's teacher had a camera almost exactly like mine, and she was all, "Here! You can use my camera if you want and take as many pictures as you'd like! I know that you know how to use it! I'd actually really like that, because then i can just enjoy myself!" Me: "OKAY!!!" Her camera is extra-awesome because she has an amazing zoom lens, so i could take pictures surreptitiously. (Insert evil villain laugh.) The downside is that now i've taken a whole bunch of pictures, and...i don't have them.
There was pizza and games and face painting, but everyone could do whatever they wanted - no scheduled activities at all. It was quite lovely. This group of kids - the ones in Zane's grade - are really, really good. Every year, i think, "This class is so well-behaved!" Yay!