I try to cheat in poker, and my husband is ready to call the PoPo. My daughter cheats and it’s just adorable. At what age does cheating stop being cute? I mean, when do I have to stop pretending that she climbed UP a SLIDE in Chutes and Ladders? When do I get to stop skipping my turn, so she can win? When do I get to sound like a spoiled sport and shout “cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater”? (What the heck does that mean, anyway.)
Babyface is going to gymnastics camp this week. She’s only three, so I assumed there would be some simple tumbling and maybe dangling from the parallel bars. Boy, was I wrong. This place is training her to be the next Nadia Comaneci. Mary Lou Retton, if you’re a bit younger. Nastia Liukin, if you had a baby at 12-years-old.
She’s never taken a real gymnastics class before, so most of it’s new to her. I mean, I haven’t taught her to do star jumps, pikes and ring lifts at home. She doesn’t really even know how to do a bear crawl, which leads me to her constant cheating in class.
The teacher asks for a bear crawl and Babyface and her friend crawl across the mat like babies, just because it’s too hard. And no one says anything! She’s timid about climbing on to the trampoline, so she skips it and heads to the next step. And no one says anything! She does a “pike”, when they ask her to do a “Y”. The teacher corrects her and she still gets it wrong. She gets applause!
I mean, what happened to the boot camp mentality they had when I was a kid? They’re training her to be a national scandal, not a triumphant hero. She’ll be the next Dong Fangxiao. China will offer up citizenship soon and let Babyface be on their team.
Pretty soon she’ll be cheating on a math exam. Then, it’ll be the SATs. She’ll be expelled and we’ll have to fork out the cash for military school. She’ll decide she wants to go into the army and then cheat by hiding (although, I do like this one). She’ll take the credit for someone else’s valiance. She’ll get the Medal of Honor for doing nothing. It’s a travesty.
Because of this gymnastics observation, I thought of all of the other times she cheats. She squirts the soap straight into the sink, turns the water on, stares at it for a few seconds and says she washed her hands. She pretends to drop her food on the floor when she doesn’t like it and says she can’t eat it anymore. She colors the walls with crayons and says she doesn’t know who did it. She even says, “But I’m sleeping,” when we tell her to go to bed for the third time. This isn’t even cheating; it’s lying. But, that’s a different story. It’s a lying, cheating, lowdown shame. Or something like that.
Okay, she’s only three. She should get a cheating pass. Maybe I’m just jealous. I’d at least like to have the option to cheat from time to time.