Posts Tagged ‘The Boy’

Timely Advice

April 21, 2009

As mentioned earlier, The Boy is a good communicator with a great vocabulary. As such, I fully expected him to become a lawyer or some such. I was surprised, then, when he told me that he decided to join the Air Force. Family tradition and all, but it still surprised me.

After graduation from university, he was assigned to train to be a missile officer… yes, the fruit of MY loins—with half of my chromosomes running rampant, controlling his thought processes—was going to be one of the guys with his finger on the key of our nuclear arsenal. Scared yet? Well I am. Now are you scared? *

On arrival at his training, they (you know [mysterious music plays]…”THEY”) gave him a stack of technical manuals big enough to fill a small suitcase. No, he didn’t have to memorize them. But he did have to become familiar enough with them to be able to find any section quickly. And, being a focused student, dove into that task and started reading.

Early into his training, The Boy sent me an e-mail with an important safety tip we all should read and heed:

Per the Manual: “Do NOT use nuclear weapons to troubleshoot equipment faults”.

The Boy writes further: “In case you were considering it, you should know that it is officially forbidden. You can tell they are serious because they capitalized ‘NOT.'”

I thanked The Boy profusely for this advice and told him it was quite timely as I was *just* about to troubleshoot a broken water heater with a spare nuclear warhead I have laying about in my basement. [Whew!] That was close.

So, I pass along this information in hopes that you take that safety tip to heart the next time your toaster acts up.

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*Okay, that was typed for the giggle effect. Yeah, I’m his Father, very biased in his favor, and proud of him. But, besides that, I feel very secure that he is the right guy—attitude, brains, and, especially, ethics—for this job.

The Boy’s Cookie

July 2, 2008

Having been a bit intense recently, i felt the need, for the moment, to indulge in the whimsical- – –

Seeing my nephew playing in a swimming pool recently brought back a memory and a smile.  We were on a visit up to a cottage on a lake.  The Boy was only three at the time and, not having yet learned to swim, was being suited up in his ‘swimming armor’* – – a pint sized life jacket and those inflatable arm flotation things**.

The kind old neighbor lady stopped by just then to offer some cookies to the kids (What?  None for me? [pout]).  TheBoy’s eyes grew wide in anticipation of sugar-enhanced culinary bliss.  Neighbor lady handed one to The Boy who immediately swung the cookie to his gaping and drooling maw… only to be stopped inches from his quivering lips by the air pillow of the already-inflated arm floats. 

Mild chuckles soon become outright laughter as we watched him try and find a way to get that cookie within reach of his mouth.***

In the mood for laughing, but not in the mood for further child abuse, I released him from his arm floats and watched with still bemused joy at his enjoyment of the cookie.

…maybe those arm floats can be sold as diet aids…

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*For those of you mentally picturing me putting iron underwear on The Boy and throwing him into the water – – Shame on you!  (And shame on me for thinking the same thing [chuckle].

**When did we become so paranoid?  Do you remember having to be armored up to swim?  I don’t.  I considered myself lucky to just have someone within 50 feet of me whether they were watching me or not.

***It is likely becoming readily apparent to some of you, based on this and prior posts, that one of the primary reasons for having kids—besides the outright fun of having lots of sex to make the little moppets—is to provide me with an endless source of humor.

Where’s The Boy?

May 27, 2008

The Boy was a bit precocious in his language skills. He started talking at 8 months and seemed to keep a steady conversation going. When he was 3 years old, he used the word ‘dilapidated’ in a sentence…correctly. It was that moment I knew I was going to have trouble keeping up with this one.

The Girl followed 2 years later and I expected the same thing from her. Besides being unfair, I was also wrong. She didn’t talk until she was about 14 months old. She only spoke when absolutely necessary and then with a great economy of words. Instead of talking, she seemed to hang on every word spoken by The Boy.

There was a transition event which changed all that.

When The Boy was 5 and The Girl 3, a trip was planned to visit a so-so great aunt who had a house on a river. On the trip there, The Boy kept up a non-stop discussion of all the things he was going to do when he got there. The Girl, in consistent fashion, listened attentively.

And it was a great trip, with both kids running, exploring, and playing to their hearts content. Mid-afternoon, The Girl collapsed for an afternoon nap, but The Boy continued to run amuck.

On the trip home, as night fell, the seemingly endless energy of The Boy was finally depleted. The Girl, perched high in her car seat and refreshed by a nap, looked out the window. In the darkness of the back seat, The Boy slumped over in his car booster seat in exhaustion and fell asleep. Without him talking, the silence was surreal.

And in the midst of that silence, The Girl found her voice. She started talking about her day, continuing for 5 minutes using words and phrases I never thought she knew. Finally, she took a breath and, intently looking left and right, inquired:

“Where’s The Boy?”

With him slumped down in the seat and the darkness now complete, she couldn’t see him. I told her that The Boy was asleep next to her and she found his shadowed form in the dark. So she continued her monologue on the day’s adventures. Another 5 minutes of near endless talk, a quick look left and right, and the question again:

“Where’s The Boy?”

Now quite bemused, I again assured her The Boy was sleeping in the back seat with her. She found him and, satisfied we didn’t leave him back on the river, picked up her discussion and talked quite a bit longer. And, yes, there was at least one more

“Where’s The Boy?”

I was just too amazed that this previously quiet, reserved child could carry on such a rich and long discourse. Made for a great smile for me.

Post Script: Not unremarkably, today it is The Girl who does most of the talking while The Boy has become the quiet one. Oh, he’ll still talk, but now he’s the one exercising economy of words.