Fonz and Whatshername Sitting in a Tree

Posted on January 20, 2012


In last Saturday’s post I shared the story of The Fonz returning from Christmas break and discovering a new Italian girl enrolled in the second grade. Her addition to the second grade seemed to coincide with The Fonz asking me a lot of questions about girls and what age people start dating. I explained the progression of phases he could expect to experience:

Phase #1: Girls have germs and are boring.

Phase #2: Girls don’t have germs but are still boring.

Phase #3: Girls aren’t so boring anymore but you still prefer your guy friends.

Phase #4: When did every single girl become so beautiful?

I gave him this vague outline but he wanted specific dates. He also asked how old I was the first time I kissed a girl. I decided I didn’t want to go into details:

“It’s kind of hard to remember the first time I kissed a girl because I spent so much time practicing kissing the mirror. I get the dates I first kissed a girl and first kissed a mirror mixed up.”
“You kissed a mirror?”
“Sure. All the time.”
“So you went up to the mirror and said, ‘I had a real nice time tonight,’ and then you walked to the other side of the mirror and said, ‘I had a real nice time, too’?”

The last two weeks he’s given me daily updates on the development of his relationship with this new Italian girl, and I’ve tried to be as excited for him as possible even though I don’t always see the same underlying import in their interactions as he does. The relationship has progressed through the following phases:

Phase #1

“Dad, a new girl is in the other second grade class.”
“She’s Italian.”
“Um…that’s all.”
“Is there something else you want to say?”
“Because it seems like you wouldn’t mention her unless you were thinking something else.”
“Um…and she’s cute.”

Phase #2

“I think she may like me. She came over and talked to me.”
“What’s her name?”
“Um…I don’t know.”
“Maybe you should find out.”

Phase #3

“I asked one of the other kids in her class and he said her name is Adare…or Adara…or Adrian…or Adarian. It starts with an A.”
“That’s great. Does she know your name?”

Phase #4

“Today she asked Harold what my name was.”
“That’s good news. Did Harold tell her your name or was he jealous and told her a made-up name?”
“Harold told her my name. Then she walked over to me and asked about his name.”
“Did she ask about everybody’s name?”

I chose not to point out that her asking everybody’s name probably diluted the significance of her asking about his name.

Phase #5

“Today she said I was a genius.”
“Wow! What happened?”
“Some of us were using the computer and the scroll button wasn’t working on the mouse and she went to tell the teacher we needed help but when she got back I had figured out how to scroll down by clicking on the bar on the side. And then she said, ‘You’re a genius.'”

I considered pointing out that this girl sounded like a keeper because if she had such a low definition of genius she’d always be easily impressed, but I also worried if he actually did anything genuinely genius her head might explode. He’s too young to deal with that level of tragedy.

Phase #6

“Today we were working on something and she said, ‘Do you have any information on it?'”

He offered no other information on the type of information she sought or whether he indeed had this information, but my information tells me it’s probably a good sign that she considers him a credible source of information.

Phase #7

“She walked up to me and said, ‘You’re The Fonz, right?’ and I said, ‘No, I’m Stupendous Man!'”

I don't mind that he sometimes wears a cape to school, although I do wish I noticed first.

This is when I noticed he had worn a cape to school.

“And then I climbed on these things, these tall things, and I jumped off.”
“And she was watching you?”
“Did she seem impressed?”

I worried he may have set himself back by denying his name and giving an alias since English is her second language and she might be genuinely confused.

Phase #8

This took place today:

“And when the day was almost over I said, ‘In one hour I’ll be playing sports,’ and she said, ‘Playing sports.'”

He grinned and raised his eyebrows to emphasize the promise of those important words, “Playing sports.” I didn’t have the heart to ask him to explain why her repeating of his words, “Playing sports,” was important. It sounds more like she didn’t understand his meaning and was repeating the words in the hopes of clarifying what I assume was one of his hundreds of daily non sequiturs.

He’s already gone through a lot more phases than I had anticipated. When he told his mother the latest story about this girl, she corrected the pronunciation of the girl’s name and it didn’t turn out to be any of the multiple names he had suggested in Phase #3. I worry this may negate his progression through Phase #3. Either way, he seems to be making much faster progress than I ever did. His mother is worried.

(Read Fonz and Whathername Sitting in a Tree: Part 2)

Posted in: Family