Yesterday I went looking for a pair of sneakers for myself. I invited Ry to join me and promised I’d find him a pair too. Needless to say, most of the time was spent on him. I focused on price and familiar brands,like Nike, New Balance, or Adiddas. He immediately gravitated towards these black sneakers with puffy tongues, red soles, and skeletons on the side. It was an interesting moment in our relationships.
On one hand, I didn’t like the way the shoes looked and I was clear about that. And he was able to pretend like he was going to vomit when I pointed him towards traditional brands. I challenged him, “are you going to really wear those things or complain about them when we get home?” “I love them. I will wear them.” “Well lets run across the street and see what other choices DSW had. I was hoping to distract him.
I diverted him with shoes at Marshalls. For a moment, he considered Ben 10 shoes and then nixed the idea. So we looked for a pair for me. He seemed to enjoy playing shoe salesman and carrying boxes of shoes in my size. He used his persuasive powers to get me to buy the adult version of his skull shoes and a host of other shoes I’d never wear.
I was most impressed that he identified a pair of shoes that he liked, not ones that we wanted him to wear. The last time I did this, we bought him a pair of Vans slip-ons with flames running through them. In the end, we didn’t find shoes for me and bought the World shoes for him. Despite our differences, I really enjoy seeing how excited he is to show everyone we know his shoes.
My wife has made it a point to tell everyone that “his father let him buy those.”
J is two months away from being 4. He is constantly talking about his upcoming birthday. He has decided who will come. If he is mad at you, he threatens to remove you from his birthday party. Honestly, I can’t wait for him to be past anything resembling toddler like behavior. We were spoiled by Ry and for the most part by J. We had very few classic toddler moments. But recently, he has been on a toddler roll.
Before putting him to bed, I noticed there were crayon drawings all over his wall. I honestly can’t remember dealing with that issue before today. When I asked him about it, he looked puzzled and denied it was him. He went so far as to blame his coveted stuffed animal. I remarked, “dog-dog did it?” This happened by the way when he and his brother were expected to stay in their rooms for some quiet time, since things had gotten pretty rowdy between them.
Last night, during a time out, he took all his books and clothes and spread them all over the room. This morning, he spent the day putting back all his books and clothes and lost some TV time. When I suggested I take away his “Ready Freddy Shark Tales” CD, he seemed shocked that I would even consider that. Intellectually, I know he is not connecting the consequence with the behavior, but I want him to…..now. ……..RIGHT NOW!!!!!
Oh yeah, Yes, DW-40 is the answer to removing crayon drawings off the wall. Just spray and wipe.
Barack Obama is the democratic nominee for President. Hillary Clinton is the first woman to get a record number of votes and come this far for the nomination. So how do I talk about this with the boys?
I debated telling Ry about the significance of this today. On one hand, I wondered how weird that would sound to a six year old to hear that it is such a big deal that an African American and a woman are at this point for the first time in the history of the United States. Quite honestly, it made me sad to have to say it. Here he is entering a world where a diverse group of kids interact regularly, so why couldn’t any of them be president. It’s easy to see how closed minded and limited we had been as a nation when you try to tell your kid why this day is significant. It was clear he just didn’t get it. His associations to Obama date back to Obama’s run for senator of Illinois.
We went as a family to a rally for Obama at a local auditorium. Even J was with us in, albeit in a “Snuggly.” Obama buzz was in the air. He electrified the partisan crowd. Every Democratic elected official was there, hoping some of the good feelings for Obama would translate to votes for them. At the time, Stevie Wonder’s song, “higher ground,” was the theme song. The crowd danced and cheered knowing something special was happening.
When Ry was still in the womb, September 11 happened. We wondered what kind of world he would be living in. I can honestly say that neither my wife nor I considered the possibility of a world where an African American man could be the nominee of the Democratic Party and a woman could be a very significant runner up. I am starting to believe the possibilities are endless for these boys.