Posts Tagged ‘ 1990 ’

Little Boys Live in Their Own Little World

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Nine months.

Have you found me yet? Yes, this really is my 4th grade class picture from the 1990-1991 school year, which was truly one of my favorite years of childhood. Why? I’ll tell you why.

First of all, I was in the same class as my “special friend”/crush since Kindergarden, Sara Shaw, in the plaid red dress on the front row. Secondly, that was the year that slap bracelets were the rage.

Thirdly, I was the perfect age to truly appreciate the Ninja Turtles in their prime; on the playground I always pretended to be “Nickelangelo.” Fourthly, though a lot of my friends’ parents banned The Simpsons in their households, my parents were cool with it.  In fact, I think I acquired literally a dozen Simpsons t-shirts that year.

And lastly, one of my favorite sitcoms was Family Matters- mainly because of Steve Urkel. You would think that Steve Urkel, America’s favorite nerd of the ’90′s, would not be someone I would aspire to look like in any way. But sure enough, I begged my mom for a pair of suspenders. And because this was a time when neon colors were quite fashionable, I was able to obtain a pair of neon green suspenders.

I wore them at least once a week to school. Unsurprisingly, I deliberately wore my green suspenders for Picture Day.

As it’s plain to see in that picture, I was 100% comfortable with my goofiness; mostly unaware and apathetic when it came to whether other kids thought I looked cool or not.

I was in my own little world, where daydreams and reality collided and I barely knew the difference.  (I guess not much has changed there for me…).

Based on my experience working with boys at summer camp for two summers in 2000 and 2001, then two summers teaching in Thailand in 2003 and 2004, something I learned was that pretty much all little boys are goofy in their own creative ways.

They are confident in being ridiculously weird, random, and off the wall.  If their clothes don’t match or they get a funny haircut like a mohawk, it’s considered “cute.”

This concept easily shows up in my nine month old son. Pretty much everything he does is hilarious. I’m so thankful for ” the necktie picture” we have of him. Because even though he sort of has a serious look on his face, he’s wearing only a pastel colored necktie and a diaper. It’s like he’s trying to be as sophisticated as he can, but ultimately, he’s like, “Joke’s on you, people”.

He may live in his own little world, but I like to visit that weird planet of his any chance I get.

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Good Conversations with Jack through Ongoing Bit Routines

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Seven months.

Chicco car seat for babies

How does a thirty year-old man carry on a conversation with his seven month-old son?  “So Jack, tell me about your day.  What did you have for lunch, son?”  Or I could say traditional fatherly phrases that make me think of TV sitcom dads from the 1960’s, like, “How’s my little man? Give your Pop a kiss on the cheek.”

Sorry, that’s just not my style.  Without realizing it, since Jack was a newborn, I have been creating bit routines with Jack to communicate with him.  I wasn’t aware of these ongoing conversations based on fictional characters I had made up until weeks after continuing to do them.

Here are a few examples:

“Are you Baby Sanchez?” This phrase is spoken in the same tone as the Boost Mobile’s “Is That the Talking Dog?” commercial.  The assumed plot line here is that Jack is being mistaken for a distant Mexican cousin.  Yesterday when I called my wife on my lunch break she suggested that I “do the Baby Sanchez” thing so check could hear it.  Sure enough, he smiled right away and laughed. Maybe he really is Baby Sanchez.

“Hello son-n-n-n-n-n-n-n… You are my son-n-n-n-n-n…” In this bit, I pretend to be a wise, old, bearded man sitting at the top of mountain.  Assuming Jack journeyed quite a ways to reach me, I get right to the point and announce to him that I am his father.  It’s similar to the concept behind Darth Vader’s “Luke, I am your father.”  But the voice I use is similar to Splinter in the original 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie.  When I say the catch phrase, I get right in Jack’s face and press my lips on his cheek, in an effort to gain some sort of response.  Usually, all I get is, “Errrghhmmrrr…”

“…For babies.  Babies like (name relevant conversation topic) too, ya know…” This one comes into play the most when I come home from work and hold Jack while my wife prepares dinner.  If she says, “We’re almost out of Ricotta cheese.” Then I reply, evidently speaking from the perspective of Jack, “Ricotta cheese for babies.  Babies like Ricotta cheese too, ya know.” This helps me empathize with my son’s feelings and perspective on life.

“Ya wanna give ya Daddy-Waddy a kissy-wissy on da wippy-wippy-wippies?” This translates into English as “Do you want to give your Daddy a kiss on the lips?”  I pucker up my lips as big as I can and start zooming in towards his face, until I ultimately slightly turn away and kiss him on the cheek instead.  I love annoying my son in the name of entertainment.

It’s my norm to accidentally create these goofy characters for Jack and then reuse them on a daily basis.  As Jack learns to actually communicate back to me with legitimate words, he can start getting to know the real me.  Until then, I’m about as real as Roger Rabbit.

Baby Herman

Unnecessary Bonus:

The picture of Jack at the top of this post made me think of the album cover for The New Radicals’ only album, Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too.  They were that one hit wonder band that did the 1999 song, “You Get What You Give.”  Some of the song’s most memorable lyrics were at the closing:

“Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson, Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson. You’re all fakes, run to your mansions…”

You Get What You Give

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