My son attempts to dance in the living room. If you were to pass by the window and look inside, you’d probably think otherwise. As he moves around the room to the beat of his own drum, it’s quite clear whatever drum beat he hears is way out of rhythm.
I think the drum he hears is broken.
He looks like he is doing a Haka War Dance. If a Haka War Dance was being performed by a recently beheaded chicken.
As he screech-sings the words to “Can’t Stop The Feeling”, the Trolls song by Justin Timberlake, I scream internally. Somebody has to stop this feeling. Somebody has to stop this feeling right now.
My son is a terrible dancer.
What makes it worse is I don’t know how to tell my son he can’t dance. I don’t have the slightest idea how to break the news to him. He’s only four. I feel bad. His mother can dance. His twin brother can dance. Even his younger brother can dance. This kid though? Nope. This is the sort of dancing you see at concerts where you are unsure if the concertgoer is actually dancing or just trying to keep their balance.
“Daddy, come dance with me!” He squeals, startling me from my judgement. Nope. Not today. Not ever.
It’s not entirely fair of me to make fun of him for his awful dancing. I know it’s a genetic trait he received from me. In middle school, I once tried to do the electric slide and someone asked me to electric stop.
We just aren’t lords of the dance him and I. My wife gyrates her hips back towards me as Despacitó suddenly possesses her body, waking her inner Shakira. I try in vain to grind back. To bring my motion with the ocean. Ultimately, I look like I am trying to get my junk unstuck from a mason jar. Not that I have ever gotten my junk stuck in a mason jar. That’s never happened. Definitely not more than once in my lifetime.
I can’t dance. I can’t even get the whole bob your head to the beat thing right. In high school, I tried to dance to Lean Back by Fat Joe. People thought I was playing an imaginary game of Limbo with myself. It cleared the dance floor.
Now, I have my son moving around the living room with the finesse of someone being electrocuted.
Sure, some of you are like, “He’s only four.” No, this isn’t a toddler thing he will grow out of. It’s not ‘just a phase’. He has the grace of cat. If that cat was partially blind, with poor depth perception, and had a debilitating meth addiction. I feel like I am watching my son try to do karate. On acid.
I’m telling you, it’s that bad. Bad enough for me to know this fighting-possession-by-a-demon jig he is doing is probably the best move he’s got.
I’m no one to talk. I once got in trouble because someone thought I was throwing gang signs during the Macarena. Lo Siento, Esé.
As my tiny dancer goes footloose across the living room, I begin to worry. He looks like he is dancing his little heart out, but what if he is actually having a stroke or cardiac arrest or something- and I am just sitting here making fun of him?
His red face then turns to me and demands I put on the song “Shiny” from Moana. As the giant crab begins to sing, my son resumes his Zumba For The Awfully Uncoordinated. His new interpretive dance can best be described as if Tamatoa was caught by a fisherman and was getting steamy in a boiling pot of water.
This dance dance de-evolution needs an intervention. And soon. Before he starts going to school dances and someone mistakes his Cotton-Eyed Joe for Nazi goose stepping.
Is your child awesomely awful at something? Is it a genetic trait you passed down to them? If you enjoyed this story, don’t forget to like and share it with your friends so we can all make fun of a four-year-old together. It feels less awful when we are all in this together.
Briton “Punk Rock Papa” Underwood