Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cupcakes and Cub Scouts

So I had a witty, yet very insightful, post about comic books all ready to go. You would have been amazed. You would have been thrilled. You would have ooohhhh'd and aaahhhh'd at the vastness that is my all-knowing, super-knowledgeable, brainiac-al thing I call a brain. But then I went to Cub Scouts last night, and now I need to vent.

It all started at some point last year when Boy had the opportunity to join Cub Scouts. Personally, I'm not a scout. I don't do dirt. I don't do bugs. I don't do camping outdoors in the dirt and the bugs. It's just not me. But, Wife decided that it would be a good learning experience for him. And, better yet, it would be a chance for us boys to have a Father-Son bonding only activity. And, let me tell you it has been one wonderful experience after another since we joined.

This week's meeting was such a wonderful experience that I have to share. There are 10 kids in our little pack, and each week one of the parents gets to lead an activity. This week, the activity parent was Bob, and he picked an activity that was supposed to teach the kids how to organize a party.

It started with the boys making a balloon flower arrangement thing. Each boy got 5 balloons, then taped each balloon to a straw, set the straw in a cup, and finally filled the cup with rocks to hold them in place. There are little tiny rocks, and 10 very excitable boys. Do I need to elaborate on what a bad idea that was? Normally, I would, but it gets better.

When the balloon arrangements are complete, Bob says, "Since we're learning how to party, what do we do after we decorate?"

The little Scouts, not having any clue what answer Bob is looking for, start shouting random things out. I heard "open presents," and "play games." My favorite answer was "shoot people." Yes, one of them answered Shoot People, and honestly, that kid scares me. ANYWAY.

Eventually, Bob gave up and just said, "We have cake!"

When I heard this, my eyebrows raised quizzically because it's now 7:40 pm. My kid is due to go to bed as soon as we go home. The last thing he needs is a blast of sugar. I assume Bob is just explaining something.

But no, Bob starts handing out plastic knives. The kid who said "shoot people" is now pretending to stab people. I'm telling ya, he scares me.

As I start to tell Boy, "Don't drop your..."
PLUNK. "Dad, I dropped my knife on the floor - is that ok?"
EW! No, it's not but I can't exactly tell him "no." So I pick it up, wipe it on my sweater and hand it back. "Don't tell Mom."

Bob makes a big display of opening the can of frosting and sets in the middle of the table. Then, Bob says, "I have cupcakes for everyone! YEAH!" The little boys' screams could have shattered glass they were so excited.

The boys and their knives descended upon that can of frosting like a pack of pirhanna's in a frenzy. I'm surprised no one lost a finger.

Sadly, I was proud of Boy as he hacked and slashed away at the frosting. He wasn't about to let anyone get in his way. He didn't get as much as some, but he got enough. He started to spread it, but he was making a huge mess and smashing his cupcake more than applying frosting.

So, wanna guess how many parents intervened and said, "Let me help you with the frosting?" So they could... I don't know... limit the amount of frosting each child was heaping on their cupcake? That's right. ONE. And that one was me. Much to Boy's dismay.

I spread a nice THIN layer on Boy's cupcake, left the excess on the knife, and let him devour away. He wasn't thrilled with the lack of frosting, but he was happy to get the treat. There were kids that looked like they were holding vanilla ice cream cones they put so much icing on top.
I not sure I can accurately describe the kids putting sprinkles on their cupcakes, so I'll let you use your imagination on that one.

Did I mention it was now 7:50 pm and the meeting ends at 8:00? The kids are wired to the max. Boy has a case of the shakes. I'm to the point that I want to thank Bob outside... behind the meeting hall... with a baseball bat for doing this to my kid.

At which point, he says, "HEY, LOOK! I have extra cupcakes. Anyone want another one?" All I can think is "you have got to be kidding me!" These kids are going to have not one, but two cupcakes with unlimited access to pure sugar frosting! There is no way I am letting Boy have another cupcake! And, as I started to say "Nooooooo," I saw the look in Boy's eyes.

He already knew the answer. He knew he wasn't allowed another cupcake, and he wasn't even going to ask. But, as I sat there, and saw all the other kids gorging themselves, I knew that he needed to be part of that. I didn't want him to be the only one not eating. It absolutely killed me, but I said, "Aren't you going to have another?"

His eyes almost popped out of his head with glee.

Don't get me wrong, I made sure the frosting layer was thinner than the first cupcake, but he got to have one.

Finally, it was time to leave, so Bob gave every child a lolly pop for the ride home. All we were missing to make the meal complete was a 12 oz can of Coke for each kid. Needless to say, I had reached my limit and didn't let Boy eat the lolly pop.

So, even though I'm wasn't thrilled with the event, I was under the impression we had fun. In my eyes, it was a successful father-son bonding event. Imagine my surprise when the first thing the little Rat tells Mom when he gets home is, "Dad wouldn't let me have my lolly pop!"


  1. Was that a girl scout meeting? Balloon flower arrangements, decorating for a party, no camping tips, knot tying? At least plenty of needless calories for the kids.

    So extra calories and an activity that burned 10 calories and a population of obese children - questions anyone.

    When you lead have them read comics and drink beer.

  2. Fah. This is nothing. I can't go to an event with my kids that there isn't food. When my daughter was in Girl Scouts, every meeting concluded with a snack. When my kids play soccer, most every game concludes with a snack. This sounds like an anomoly that there was food. I'm fighting this nonsense all the time.

    I may well be the only soccer coach who doesn't organize the parents into snack providers. But I'm also the dad who does tell his kids that they're not going to be eating that crap, no matter that all their friends are. My son's track and field team is the only event either of my kids have been in that doesn't have a post event snack. Of course, those meets run all day and you have to bring your own lunch, so that would be why.

    As Jim intimates, it's no surprise we have a lot of obese kids now.