Posts Tagged ‘ boys ’

It’s A Good Thing For Little Boys To Get Their Clothes Dirty

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

Yesterday morning as we were hanging out at the park, waiting for the Monster Jam truck show to begin, you got your clothes pretty dirty.

As Mommy put it, “Jack, you smell like a boy.”

That’s what she says after you’ve had a lot of fun outside, doing what little boys should be doing:

Running around, crashing your toy monster trucks into each other, rolling in the leaves, lying on the ground, touching random people’s pet ferrets…

Yeah, you managed to do all those things in a 45 minute time span.

In essence, all the clothes you wear are “play clothes.”

Because honestly, when are you not playing and getting dirty?

I know these days there are so many rules and expectations about boys “behaving” in a classroom setting.

That’s why when you’re not in school, I encourage you to let loose.

You’re a boy.

I want you to feel like one. I want you to feel like you can be one.

It’s important to me that you can be yourself and express your energy in a harmless way… by getting your clothes dirty.

Granted, our family is very into hygiene.

But there’s definitely a difference between germs and dirt.

I don’t like germs.

However, dirt I don’t have a problem with. Hey, it’s natural. It’s the Earth itself, right?

So sure, you washed your hands after petting the ferret… only to get them dirty again by lying down on the sidewalk.

Like riding on the front of a grocery shopping cart or running around aimlessly in open-ended public spaces, it’s just one more thing that little boys are supposed to do: Get dirty.

I want you to be disciplined and respectful and kind.

But I also want you to enjoy the fresh air, the green grass, and the brown dirt.

It’s only natural. Literally.




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Boys Don’t Cry… To Get What They Want From Daddy

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

I mentioned yesterday how logic is beginning to play a more important role in your life. This doesn’t just apply to how you play with your toys.

It also has to do with learning which strategies work to get what you want from me.

Whether it’s a certain snack, or toy, or route home from school, you are learning that shouting and crying no longer work on me.

I have learned that you understand me when I tell you there’s a better (and easier) way to get what you want.

There’s no getting away with pretending you don’t speak the language. You totally understand what I’m saying now. And if you didn’t, you would make it clear to me.

Yesterday on the way home, you screamed, “Bridge! I want to go over the bridge! Turn right! Bridge.

I spelled it out for you:

“Jack, if you want something from Daddy, you’ll need to ask please first, and not be crying when you ask for it. You’ll need to stop crying right now before it’s too late for me to cross the bridge. Otherwise, I’m going to turn left because it’s the quicker way home.”

You only hesitated for a second, as you realized your way wasn’t going to get you the results you were hoping for.

Like magic, the crying stopped and you asked please. We crossed the bridge, both literally and metaphorically.

(It’s funny how it’s sort of hard to use the word “please” when you’re screaming at someone, anyway.)

You knew from past experiences (and experiments) with me that when I say I’m going to do something, or not do it, I’m holding true to my word.

Had you not stopped crying, and not asked please, I wouldn’t have driven home the way you wanted. Perhaps that would have meant you would have cried and been upset the whole hour drive home.

Lucky for both of us, you learned the importance of how Daddy operates. With Daddy, there’s always a formula.

Get what you want by following the formula.

I’m about as stubborn as a computer, which doesn’t cave based on emotional responses. And I imagine, you will learn to become just as stubborn as I am, like that.





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My Pal Scout: The 2013 Version Of My Buddy

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

2 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

You’ve had My Pal Scout (by LeapFrog) since you were a newborn. He’s a toy you’ve literally grown up with. However, it’s now at age 2 and a half that Scout is truly relevant to your life more than ever.

Now that you can talk, it’s like Scout has truly come to life! He’s a real talking puppy… at least, I think that’s what you think.

Sometimes to stall going to bed, you’ll ask for socks from the closet, then see a toy you haven’t played with in the past 4 months; ever since you became obsessed with monster trucks, that is.

That happened to be the case with Scout.

“Jack, let me show you how to play with him. If you want to play games, just press this red ball of yarn on his paw,” I explained.

Scout began talking to you:

“Hi Jack, wanna play?”

In a half-second’s time of confusion, astonishment, and wonder, I saw your eyebrows go up as you excitedly and hesitantly replied with a smile, “Yeah!”

Then Scout continued to engage you: “My favorite animal is a giraffe. Jack, is that your favorite animal too?”

How could it be that this green puppy who has been hanging out in the closet has the same interests as you? He even likes bananas, as you do, and sang about them to you.

Granted, Mommy customized Scout online a couple years ago to say your name and interests. But to you, he’s a cool dog who can talk.

And so the bromance began. All last weekend, Scout was your buddy. You were sort of bummed that I wouldn’t let you take him to the zoo.

At least I let you eat dinner with him.

I think Mommy just needs to program Scout to say he likes monster trucks… then you’ll really be all set!





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Stereotype: Boys Like Playing With Sticks And Mud

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

2 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

You should know: There’s this stereotype that little boys like playing with sticks and playing in the mud.

As if you really are so magnetically drawn to finding ways to get dirty and make messes; whether indoors or outdoors…

As if every time I take you to the park during my lunch break, you bypass the actual playground so you can collect sticks to throw them into the water and “make soup…”

As if you were predestined, and even hard-wired in your DNA as a little boy, to be so predictable like that…

Oh, snap.

Actually, all those things are true about you.

In fact, you sort of slipped on that rock and fell in the water; getting your whole left foot wet.

That’ll be our little secret. I cleaned you up good enough that no one seemed to notice by the time I took you back to school.

I also won’t mention the part about (or show the pictures of) you running from one end of the park to the other with your stick raised in the air like it was helping you fly.

After all, you had your cool skull-and-crossbones sunglasses on. Or, as I considered them in that moment, your “safety goggles.”

It’s funny to me that during our Friday afternoon tradition of going to the park, you never really look happy: You look pretty serious most of the time we’re there.

But I know the value of “serious” Daddy/son play time. You and I need regular time together in which words are not necessary; just primitive caveman stuff.

Yes, technically, you’re playing; but specifically, you exploring and experimenting with nature.

I guess your theory is this: If the good Lord intended for us to play with toys, He wouldn’t have given us sticks and mud.









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It’s Easier To Ask Forgiveness Than To Ask Permission

Monday, May 13th, 2013

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

You have officially learned to spit. That’s both a good and a dangerous thing.

It’s good because it’s an important part of brushing your teeth. It’s a dangerous thing because I have to trust that you’re not going to spit at an inappropriate time or place.

I guess I make it more alluring for you to want to spit because over the past couple of months, I have taken up the Indian folk remedy of “oil pulling.”

Yes, I know it sounds weird. But two or three times a week on the drive to school, I swish coconut oil around my mouth for 20 minutes (it helps serve as a natural mouthwash and preventative of headaches for me) and then at the Nippers Corner crossing, I spit the coconut oil out my car window.

I always feel bad for whoever’s in the car behind me, especially if it’s a woman. I’m sure they assume I just got sick.

Each morning as you and I are getting ready to leave the house, you always ask me, “You gonna put that stuff in yo’ mouth?”

Watching me do my oil pulling is normal to you by now. However, I don’t think you’re totally clear on when it’s okay to spit.

With that being said, this past weekend on Mother’s Day, when Mommy told you that you couldn’t have a 2nd granola bar, but  instead that you’d have to eat more of the main lunch she prepared for you, you acted like you were about to spit at her.

After I put you in a time-out session providing me with enough time for finish my own lunch, I had you apologize to Mommy:

“I sorry, Mommy.”

You saw how important it was for you to apologize, so then about 10 minutes later, you apologized to Mommy again.

Within the hour, you had begun using “I sorry, Mommy” as a new way to ask for things.

“I play with Play-Doh? I sorry, Mommy.”

I guess it’s an interesting spin on the saying, “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.”





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