Category Archives: The Boy

All about the boy

Working

For many years, the boy has said that he wants to be a chef and/or an architect when he grows up. Lately, though, he’s been saying that he wants to be an engineer. I asked him why he wants to be an engineer instead of a chef or an architect, and he said it’s because he wants to 1) build things, 2) experiment with things, and 3) make lots of money.

I told him that an engineer doesn’t necessarily make more money than a chef or an architect, but he said he doesn’t really care. The driving force behind his current career aspiration is the ability to make things, opposed to having to talk or write about things, like what I do for a living.

It’s a funny feeling to realize that my kid isn’t going to be a writer (thank the goddess) or an artist (which is kinda sorta sad and stuff). I guess our brains are just wired differently, and despite the fact that the boy has two artsy-fartsy-ish dads who aren’t scientifically minded, the boy seems to be.

 

screentimeBefore I became a dad, I told myself that any of my future kid(s) would be able to consume as much electronic media as he or she wanted. Now that I’m actually a dad, and I have a son who is obsessed with electronic media, I’m starting to have second thoughts. I mean, it was fine when the boy was little, like, before he was in school and stuff, but I think his consumption of electronic media is starting to get in the way of him being a productive member of second-grade society. Plus, I’m starting to have visions of my son at age 20, and he’s living in my basement playing Minecraft all-day-long.

So I’m trying out this new parenting technique that I like to call “limited screen time after dinner.” Here’s how it works:

  • After homework and dinner, the boy is allowed a set amount of screen time before bedtime.
  • I’ll set a timer, say, for 15 minutes, and when the timer goes off, the boy’s screen time is done.
  • Once the timer goes off after 15 minutes, the boy will renegotiate for additional screen time, at which point I’ll add 10 minutes to the clock.
  • After 10 minutes, I’ll tell the boy that he’s done with screen time, and he’ll invariably ask for five more minutes of time.
  • I’ll concede and give him five more minutes of screen time.
  • Once five minutes have passed, and the boy has used a total of 30 minutes of screen time for the evening, I’ll turn off all of the lights in the house and hide in my bedroom while the boy begrudgingly brushes his teeth and gets ready for bed.

I’ll readily admit that it’s not a very well-thought-out technique. So sue me, sheesh!

sleddingI dunno what it is about boys, but they seem to be impervious to cold weather. If my kid complains about anything, 9 times out of 10, he’s probably complaining about being too hot. Even in the dead of winter. Like, it could be 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and he’ll say that he’s too hot to wear a coat outside. I’m sympathetic to my son’s feels, really, I am.

As a boy, I would rather be freezing cold than even slightly warm. I never understood peeps who were always cold cuz to me the world was always running about 10 degrees too hot for my liking. But then something weird happened when I turned 35. Suddenly, hot weather didn’t bother me so much, and just as suddenly, even the slightest breeze would make me, goddess forbid, cold. I suppose it’s a function of aging, but nowadays, I am more often cold (even when it’s technically kinda sorta hot) than I am not.

When I took the boy sledding, his chief complaint was being too hot. It was 26 degrees Fahrenheit. So while I was freezing in my overcoat, hat, and gloves, I practically had to force the boy to wear his outerwear. I told the boy that one day when he’s my age, he’ll probably realize the difference between hot and cold, but he said, “Dad, when I’m your age, there will be machines that keep the weather the same all of the time so we won’t need to worry about that.” And I said, What would be the ideal temperature for you in this climate-controlled future? And the boy said, “I dunno, maybe 40 degrees?”

I told the boy that we’d reconvene this conversation in 30 years.

 

 

snowdayThe weather forecast calls for another few inches of snow later this afternoon, which sounds like a joy. And by joy, I mean, we already have at least two feet of snow accumulated in our front and back yards, so what’s an additional two or three inches gonna do, amirite? I dunno about you, but I’m done with winter, officially. I know peeps always complain about cold weather during the winter as if it’s a surprise, but I’m pretty sure this winter will go down in the annals of bad weather as one of the worst. Couple the bad weather with the excessive amounts of travel I’ve had to do for work lately and it’s basically a recipe for a really ticked off lazy dad.

Meanwhile, busy daddy and the boy can’t seem to get enough of the snow. They decided to burrow a few snow tunnels in our front yard because of course they did. Just watching them play outside in the snow made me tired, sheesh.

movienight

It’s been awhile since I’ve actually been at home on a Friday night, so it was nice to have an honest-to-goodness Friday movie night with busy daddy and the boy. Actually, we saw a matinée of the LEGO Movie cuz I’m still feeling like kaka-doodie and I’m planning to be in bed by 8:00 PM, so whatevs. I guess our entire town also decided to see the matinée of the LEGO Movie cuz the theater was a cluster fudge of peeps and we ended up getting terrible seats in the very front row.

But no matter. The LEGO Movie was fantastic and highly recommended! For the past week, the boy has been singing this kinda sorta insipid song, but it turns out that the song is supposed to be insipid. And totes catchy. It’s like an ear worm that burrows into your brain once you hear it. I’m actually singing that shizz right now!

Somewhere between the LEGO store and the mall parking lot, I apparently lost my glasses. I only noticed cuz when we got into the car, I was checking my phone to see what the weather was gonna be later this afternoon and I realized that I couldn’t see what was going on.

If anyone happened to be trolling the mall (you know, the one with the LEGO store?) and found an errant pair of brown Warby Parker “Wilkie” frames this afternoon, lemme know? I dunno, they were cheap, so whatevs.

I figured that it would probably be useful to be able to read and/or see shizz at work this week, so the boy and I went back to the local eyeglass emporium at the mall so that I could pick up a pair of quik-e glasses. I’ll tell you what, when they said my glasses would be ready in an hour or so, they weren’t kidding!

As a bonus, the boy got his hurr did while we were waiting for my glasses to be finished. Turns out those eyeglass jockeys are pretty good a cutting hair, too. Who knew?

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I’m pretty sure that the mall is one of the Saddest Places on Earth. It’s actually surprisingly empty today, which is mostly what makes the place so sad. There are a hundred stores here and nothin’ to buy.

Apparently the most popular stores at the mall are the LEGO store and Hot Topic. The new LEGO Movie sets are pretty awesome, so we picked up a few. Meanwhile, they ran out of the black mesh leggings that I had my eye on at Hot Topic, so I bought a studded black faux-leather mini-skirt instead. It’s awight.

The boy said, “Shopping at the mall sux. We should just shop online.” I couldn’t disagree with him.

EDIT: I realize that some humorless, self-righteous trolls might take what I say literally. Cuz trolls are stoopid. I didn’t buy a studded black faux-leather mini-skirt at Hot Topic. It’s real leather, obvs.

Our lunch at the Factory consisted of their World Famous plain bowtie pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese for the boy, and a Mexican-ish egg scramble with carnitas and a spicy green chili sauce for me. It was pretty good!

We’re on the hunt for a birthday present for the boy’s friend Eli, whose birthday party is next weekend. I guess that means we’ll have to pay a visit to the LEGO store, which is killing the both of us. And by killing the both of us, I mean we’ll probably end up buying a birthday present for Eli and buy a bunch of other things for ourselves.

Even though the boy can (sometimes) express a surly attitude with his family and loved ones, in public, at least, the boy’s good manners are impeccable. I credit the nanny for instilling in the boy a strong sense of propriety and common courtesy, as well as give props to Santa Claus and God for always keeping tabs on what the boy is doing, even when no one is looking.

Since the boy was big enough and strong enough to hold a door for others, he has insisted on doing so whenever we’re out. The boy says it’s nice to be nice, and I can’t disagree with him.

Few things irk me more than when the boy is keeping the door open for peeps, like at the gym this morning, and they provide nary a look of acknowledgment nor a simple thank you. In my completely unscientific, totally anecdotal observations, it seems as if 90 percent of men will at least give a “thanks, bud,” or a smile to the boy, while 90 percent of women will ignore my son and walk right past him.

I understand if you are an Uppityville yoga mama, and you’re busy wrangling a child or packages, but if you’re simply walking to your yoga class in your see-through Lululemon pants and holding a yoga mat while fiddling on your iPhone, the least you can do is smile or say thanks.

I am keenly aware of the race and class politics at play. These Uppityville yoga mamas probably don’t even see my little Asian son or think of him as a servant there to please them. I am aware of these politics because I experience them Every Single Day.

The boy said, “No one said thanks or noticed that I was holding the door.” And I said, Yeah, those people are jerks. And the boy said, “That’s OK because it doesn’t matter if people are rude to me, as long as they don’t hurt me and I’m still nice to them.”

I bit my tongue so hard, but I wanted to tell my son that being a girl doesn’t automatically give you free license to act like an entitled douchbag, despite what so many of the asshats in Uppityville might think. I guess that’s a lesson the boy will learn over time.