Kids are strange.
And not just that one kid who smells like boiled rice and looks kinda like Paul Giamatti. No, I mean regular kids. My kid.
It’s weird what sticks and what doesn’t: with only moderate prompting he’s saying “please” and “thank you” at home, but he won’t even wave goodbye when we’re outside. He’ll collapse into giggling fits with a peekaboo game or if you repeat “That’s impossible!” over and over, but doesn’t even crack a smile when I read Confederacy of Dunces to him.
And he fixates on things. Some of which I totally understand – Gorillas, basketballs, the letter O – but some things remain a mystery to my coffee-soaked mind.
Speed Stacking, for instance. Have you heard of this? You take cups, and stack them in pyramids and then collapse them. Really fast.
No, really fast.
Little dude is utterly mesmerized by this stuff. He watches youtube videos of these little 10 year old boys (it is overwhelmingly boys, for some reason) who are apparently too nerdy even for video games. They twitch their hairless arms at speeds far too great for the eye to follow and triangles appear and disappear faster than crises in a news cycle.
And lately he’s started speed stacking himself, or “making cups” as he puts it. This involves taking his alphabet blocks, clattering them around, then stacking them in little towers of 2 or 3. He then finishes by strutting around, allowing me to loudly admire his work.
I know it sounds like I’m making fun of it, but I’m just a sucker for a laugh line. It’s certainly no stranger than anything I did at his age.
The only memory I have of which is forming the “Jaguar Association Team” with 2 of my first grade droogs. The duties of said team included riding motorcycles, piloting TIE fighters, and singing the theme song.
It’s the arbitrariness, really, that gets me. Stacking cups. I’m sure there’s a mental aspect to it, like anything, but the whole deal is based on a sequence of repetitive tasks. The only way to excel is to do these tasks for hours and hours – there’s no strategy, or elevated level of thinking. It could just as easily be competetive light switch operation, or belt buckling.
Whatever, he won’t be risking spinal injury or brain damage doing this. And cups cost significantly less than hockey pads. And can fit on a bike. Give me some pom poms and watch me cheer.