Wednesday, March 08, 2006

These are the Days

Funny fact of the week: when Son the Younger gets ready for bed, he takes off his shirt like that hunk in the Diet Pepsi ad (I think) from several years ago. You know, the one where all these professional women are ogling the well-built contruction worker who happens to be too hot for his white t-shirt? My son, like said beefcake, pulls it off by grabbing it at the back of his neck and pulling it over his head. Neither I nor his father, nor his older brother, taught him this. So I'm asking, what is this? An inner hunk-instinct? Should I start worrying now? Today he pulls off the t-shirt thusly, tomorrow I'm answering the phone every five minutes and it's a different girl, always for him?

You really have to have amazing powers of Projection to stay neurotic like me.

Speaking of inner hunk-instincts, I witnessed an amazing interaction between Son the Older and a girl at his school the other week ("she rides my bus" he tells me after, by way of explanation). I say amazing mainly because, keep in mind as you read this, he is five and a half, and she was probably 13. We are walking to the music center for his piano lesson -- admittedly not a very hunky after-school activity, but he can pick up guitar later, after he can read music and practice regularly for the lessons we're paying our good money for! -- and the girl is leaving the music center. In typical cheery preteen girl fashion, she chirps "Hi, [she knew his name]!" and flashes him a bright smile. So how does normally garrulously talkative, like-me-like-me-notice-me-notice-me, friendly in a puppy-dog sort of way Son the Older respond? He tips his head kinda sideways at her and shrugs one shoulder up a bit as he says, with a totally straight face, "Hey." So cool, you woulda thought he had a new set of fronts and was suckin' on gin and juice (actually, he only has one wiggly tooth and his beverage of choice was blue Powerade; maybe that's how it starts). She waltzes off, glossy young hair bouncing, and he, reaching the parent lounge area, sets his backpack down and skips down the hall to his practice session with a slight blue moustache.

As long as they both get similar numbers of girls calling later on, I guess I probably won't end up worrying too much.

And so we have two chapters in the book of parenthood entitled, "Where Did You Learn This?" I never know what to say when we have one of these moments. I usually fall mute, looking on with a "what being is this that I have wrought" puzzlement, and let it pass. I suppose they will slowly increase in frequency, and then one day I'll have to buy them deodorant, then razors and shaving cream, and I shall wither and pass on into the West with all the others that have gone before me, chatting of my children's doings over coffee with "done" hair and calm sweater sets, and annoying my daughters-in-law.

Which is why I always say moms of boys have to get to know each other now, while we're raising them, and keep in touch. If we do this right, we're gonna need each other as shopping/coffee companions later. Just wait. Once they get to the age where I can send them golfing with Dad, it's just gonna be a perpetual Girls' Nite Out! Woo-hoo!

So that's when I'll have to savor memories such as one from two nights ago, when, whilst watching a movie together as a family, neither one of them would sit with Daddy, who is normally The Coolest Parent and in perpetual demand. "Hey, [Son the Younger], sit with me!" he tried, but received an emphatic "No, I want Mommy!" He then climbed onto my right thigh, joining Son the Older, who had already planted himself on my left thigh for the duration. And so it was that I enjoyed most of The Chronicles of Narnia with a (now-diminishing) lap full of Squirming Boy, having the dialogue drowned out by observations like "I'm Peter." "No, I'm Peter." "No, you can be Aslan."; "Mommy, that's you!" (fortunately not while indicating the Witch); "I'm Peter" (yes again, and repeated endlessly);"That's a real sword, it's not a toy."; "He broke her ice stick!"; and "Where did Aslan go?" Between all that and many cautions to them to 'ow, watch the tummy!', I got the impression that it must have been a very nice movie.

And as for the experience of them both singing in unison the "Chicken Little" version of Queen's "We Are the Champions" (which goes, "I am the champion") most of the way to our friends' house the other night, I'm afraid I just can't do it justice in writing. See the movie and then imagine a three- and a five and a half-year old singing it, with all the right notes and inflections but slurring the "r" sounds. Priceless.