My seven-year-old son was complaining about school assemblies to me last week. Of course I sympathised with him.
I’ve been to a couple and they drag on and on, as every kid in the entire school makes their way up to the stage to get an award for “walking safely in the playground” or “listening respectfully to other students” or whatever.
I’m sitting up on the back on a chair, on Facebook the entire time, and I still find it excruciatingly boring. But then I realised my son was complaining about something else: how much his legs hurt by the end of assembly.
I understood what he was saying. Maybe I have unusually poor circulation or something, but I get pins and needles after sitting with my legs crossed for anything more than a few minutes.
It quickly progresses from that to a completely numb leg. I can remember, in primary school, standing up after an assembly to find out that there was no feeling in my leg anymore… and then when feeling returned, it hurt.
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“Oh, just keep crossing and uncrossing your legs,” I told my son. “Just don’t sit in the one position for too long. That should do it.”
“But I can’t move my legs,” he told me.
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
It turns out that my son’s school gives an award to the best-behaved class at assembly every week. My son told me that it’s not just about keeping silent, it’s about sitting still and not wriggling around.
Apparently it’s a highly coveted award. There’s a trophy, and the winning class gets to keep it for a week.
“I can’t move my legs because I want to help my class win the award,” he told me.
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