The Fist Pound
One of the great things about having a child is getting the kid to do funny or cute things. Any parent will tell you they’ve taught their kid something to do to make the parent’s friends laugh or ooh and ahh about how adorable the kid is. Any parent who denies training their kid to do cute stuff is lying to you. We’ve taught Keegan to do the high five, but what kid doesn’t do that? It’s almost cliché at this point.
The other night. Jen brought Keegan
to my softball game and left him with me so she and a friend could go watch the Cincinnati Bengals secondary make Joey Harrington look like Dan Marino
. We went for the proverbial post-game pizza at a nearby Mellow Mushroom
. I sat K-Man in between me and a fellow attorney I work with, Josh. Josh was kind enough to share the crackers that came with his salad with Keegan
to help tie him over until the pizza arrived. I think the gesture endeared Josh to Keegan
because a little while later, Keegan
was giving Josh a little pat on the back like “Thanks for the crackers old man. That was very cool of you because I was a little hungry and the pizza isn’t coming for a while.
” That evolved into me getting Keegan
to give Josh five. Everyone ooh-ed and ahh
-ed on cue. Josh though decided to shake things up a bit and tried to teach K-Man the fist pound
. Josh would put his fist out there waiting for Keegan
to pound back. Keegan
recognized that Josh was extending the fist as a friendly gesture, but the only way Keegan
knew to reply was with the high five. So the fist got high-fived
. Looked a little awkward like when one guy goes to shake hands with someone he kind of knows, and the other guy comes in with the full-on hug. Whoa dude, that was awkward.
Josh was very patient with K-Man though. He curled up Kee’s fingers to make a tiny, Kiwi-sized fist and then gently tapped his fist to Kee’s. Then the lesson continued. Kee kept trying to high five Josh’s fist. And each time, Josh would patiently ball up Kee’s hand and show him again. It didn’t look like Keegan was catching on. So I gave Kee a sip of his lemonade, and the table conversation moved on. Then seemingly out of nowhere, Keegan held out his fist to Josh. And Josh responded in kind. Then Kee held out his fist to me. I pounded back. Then he extended the fist across the table. Methodically moving around until everyone had the chance to pound it out (as the kids like to say). Then he started over. And around and around we went. I took a picture of one of the many fist pounds with my cell phone. Here’s the result of that:
It was great to watch Keegan figure out what was going on. To process what Josh was teaching him and what his response was supposed to be. To learn that what he knew (the high five) was not what was needed here. There was something else to use in this situation. Fist = fist. Open hand = high five. Got it. Not only had he learned what to do in the situation, but he figured out that he could initiate this ritual. So the next time you see this 20-month-old boy, pound it out.