Thursday, August 21, 2008
Don't Tell Your Mother
Dont tell your mother-four words I heard often while growing up. My dad was always involving us in one caper or another. Nothing too felonious, but usually the kinds of things a mother wouldn't appprove of. This could range from letting my eleven year old brother drive us home from the bar to destroying a broken photocopier with a cannon. (Yes, one of my dad's friends did have a cannon. It was very cool.) There were lots of little things inbetween too. I thought it would be much longer in my parenting career before I uttered those four words to my own son, but I have actually uttered the phrase "don't tell your mother" twice, this week.
The thing is folks, there are different levels of tolerance between all human beings. Anyone who has had a roommate knows that there are different thresholds of clean for people. Some peolple can let dishes pile in the sink, but clutter bothers them, and some people are compelled to keep the kitchen clean but can let the rest of the house get piled with detritus without a second thought. This difference often causes problems. It's the same with parenting. Some things she lets him do drive me nuts and vice versa, but I am a boy so the things I have a high tolerance for are usually the kinds of things that are perceived as "naughty" or "dangerous". One thing she never lets him get away with is climbing on top of the grocery cart car, but when it's just me and the boy I encourage this behavior by calling him TJ Hooker and popping wheelies. Another time while we were waiting for his mother to come out of a store he proceeded to climb onto the roof of the car. Our actual car. I let him. She would never have tolerated that. Actually that time I wanted her to hurry so I texted her a picture of it.
The other day Kirk said to me, "Mommy hates when I climb on the cart at the green grocery store." I told him that he was right and that he shouldn't do it while she was around. I knew he was getting conflicting messages, so I just said, "When your with me you can climb on the cart all you want, just don't tell your mother." And there it was. I had become a bonafide dad.
Just this afternoon Kirk was eating cereal out of a bowl when he dropped a piece on the floor, before I could say anything he jumped down and picked it up with his mouth. I exclaimed, "did you just eat that off the floor?" He giggled in affirmation, so I just shrugged and said, "don't tell your mother." On a side note I have seen him put his mouth down on the sidewalk and eat an anthill. I told him not to. I told him it was icky, but he doesn't seem to care. Sometimes he comes in from the back yard with sand on his mouth and I'll ask him if he's been eating anthills again and he'll just say "yeah" casually.
When Kirk's sibling is born it might be good if she's a girl. I think we both need another voice of feminine reason in our lives. Then again if he has a brother, and I am the father of a pair of boys, well I can't imagine the potential danger. I wonder if you can buy a cannon on ebay?