I Know What Boys Like

Gizmos, Gadgets and Innocence Not Lost

Last Christmas, we purchased Guitar Hero III, Legends of Rock for our 9 year-old son. We felt like Parental Heros as he shouted with joy while unwrapping the gift.

Legends of Parenthood

Later in the kitchen, I was setting the table for Christmas dinner, lighting candles, creating an ambiance of peace and comfort when my son slides in and belts out, “Talk dirty to meeeeeeeeee. Yah, Mommy, talk dirty…”
Great. Parental heroes turned parental zeros.
He obviously didn’t know what it really meant, but I did. And so would any other parent who heard it.

My husband and I dropped everything and ran to check the toy out more closely (which we should have done in the store).
We selected “Slow Ride” for our next song to sing as a family. Sounds like a nice ride through a park on a Sunday, right? In the back of my mind I knew what that song was really about, I just never paid much attention until my sweet 9 year-old sang it — top volume.

And what’s up with those Guitar Rock personas? They seem a mixture of 1980’s Punk meets homeless-man chic with a sprinkling of unwashed Grunge thrown in. Guitar Hero has no clean-cut setting. At least not one we could find.

“So,” I asked my husband. “Now, what do you think that T-for-Teen rating means?”

“I think that means we got our kid an age inappropriate gift,” he said.

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Boys live in a world of action, sports and all things breakable, spill-able and loud. They live in the modern world where gadgets are a fact of life. I handed my son my new iPhone one day.
Within minutes, he was playing Pocket Tanks, no explanation necessary. (And luckily no download charge.) Boys also live in a world of possibilities and imagination.
We recently checked out the world-famous IKEA store. I was struck by the massive amounts of pompous flags flapping in the breeze. My husband commented that they seem to think they are a state, a country or at the very least a minor principality.
So jokingly I asked my son, “What’s the capital of IKEA?” (Trick question I know.)

“Arizona, I think” he replied. Could be.

Don’t Look Now

Earlier this year, we watched the Super Bowl together as a family. It seems the American family thing to do. I’m not a stuffy parent (see Guitar Hero story above), but the “CSI: Miami” ads with bloody bodies were too much for children. What idiot places these ads with a national-event family show?
We kept our fingers on the remote, but a lot of the fun of the Super Bowl is the ads. So we tried to watch as many as possible.

We were in the middle of what we thought was a safe ad for a show “Chuck” when it took a turn for the worse. A woman in a black negligee crawled across a bed toward Chuck. Too late. We all saw it. To diffuse the awkwardness, my husband said in a dismissive voice, “Who would watch that silly Chuck?”

“I want to watch Chuck,” my son said. My husband told him in no uncertain terms that he really, really didn’t. And he really, really wouldn’t.

Boys Will Be

Last night, my son and I were sitting out back eating the cookies he’d won in our family kickball game. Eventually, my shoulder-high nine-year-old wanted to sit in my lap. My lap.
So I let him and I held him tight, my sweet little boy. Someday this will be out, plus holding hands on walks, and goodnight kisses.

But right now and always, no matter how big they get or tough they look, I know one thing that boys will always like — and that’s their moms.
I’m glad to be his.

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