Monday, August 3, 2009

Father-son talks .. OR .. One fish, two fish the new one's a pink fish

There are 35 days or so to go before the genital scales of our home are balanced at Castle Horton.

My wife has sat alone on her side of the scales for 13+ years, enduring the task of being the only female in the house. I’m sure she’s glad she’ll no longer have to listen to my lame excuses that some of our pets are female so that technically “counts” as girl-company.

From my dad-point-of-view this new girl (Thing 2) coming along brings a new set of challenges to the realm of Daddom (new word right, there … THAT just happened, trademarked, copyrighted, I called it, my germs, no take backs, etc).


Some of those challenges are already occurring. Thing 1 has some concerns about not being the only child anymore, not to mention that Thing 2 is a girl, bringing with her parade of things that aren’t manly.

I see where he’s coming from, I really do. And he and I have been talking about it. We’ve been having lots of discussions. From mustache care, to protecting the peas, to driving, to moving, to .. just him getting older. All that stuff. Like any young man, he has some concerns and worries.

There IS a side benefit to worry.

Particularly if you live in an open-communication household as we do. See in our house, you get to talk about it all and everyone’s opinion is valid. Sure you might still get some ribbing and you might get to give some ribbing but I listen to Thing 2’s opinion with equal weight as my wife’s.

Shocker? Well it’s my approach and it’s working out great so far.

A recent conversation of mine and Thing 1’s went just like this …

Me: So with Isabella coming along, I wanted your advice on something. Do you mind?
Thing 1: Nope (but he looks apprehensive as though this might somehow cost him video game time).
Me: Well what I was wondering was this. When you think back about it, are there things that you think me and mom were too strict on with you, or areas in which we need to lighten up when it comes Isabellas’s turn?
Thing 1: [he pauses for thought and just for that alone I’m proud] I think you should get her out to see as many people as possible by the time she’s 2 years old. You should have done that with me. It’s why I’m so shy.

Well don’t ask if you don’t want an answer right?

I have to say, he’s totally dead-on-balls-accurate with his assessment of the situation. And I dig that kind of directness. I respect that. Oddly enough, Heather and I had been talking about that very thing, socialization, when she and I took our trip to Iowa. We had some alone time to talk then and that had come up.

So I really dug his advice. Told him so.

And we are going to put that into play. It was a brilliant call on his part to recognize that. Of all the things, both mature and immature that he could have said, I’m so glad he chose that one.

Thing 1 is a very bright lad. He’s typical in a lot of ways and not so typical in others. I’m sure some folks would look down their noses at us on the “not so typical” things. I won’t get into all of what that means here. That’s for another post.

But lately as it comes closer to baby-time, he and I are having more and more of these types of conversations. I asked him also over the weekend, if I could come to him from time to time to get another guys’ perspective on things. He solemnly nodded and said “I totally understand; that makes perfect sense to do that”.

I love that guy. He’s getting cooler every day.

I had this thought earlier this morning too. As he’s hitting puberty square in the face .. or rather as it hits him square in the hormones .. we’ll be going through the 2 year old phase with Thing 2. This should be quite a ride. But I view it differently than some may. I view it as a time to strengthen the foundations of our relationship as we work through stuff.

If you’re out there laughing about that last part, then clearly you don’t know how tenacious I can be about making sure things are ok in a relationship.

Thing 1 is growing up fast. He’s becoming more and more help around the house. It’s gonna be just me and him as the men of the house. Soon he’ll be even more help on yardwork, lifting things, etc – and he’s taking an interest in it. I’m glad we didn’t force that stuff down his throat. He’s coming along at his own pace and as I write this I get a little misty thinking about it.

But more importantly than the physical help over these next years, I’m going to have just another dude to talk to from time to time. These are the years coming up for which I’ve been in extreme anticipation.

I’m excited. :)


Dawn Weekley said...

I nearly stopped reading when I found out about the "genital scales" in the household. Hopefully there's an ointment for that soon.

As to the rest, AAAWWWWWWW! So neat! What a fantastic family you have! I am so impressed by the relationship you are building. You KNOW the payoff will be tremendous in the long run. (He may not put you straight into THE HOME as you age.) He sounds like a person I would like to know. And I can't say that about alot of the kids I see these days.
Good on ya, mate!
I'd like to know Heather's thoughts on the balance of power in the house. Does she blog?

Shaddy said...

Bless you, Rob. I'm proud of the way you and Heather have raised your son and envy cute little Isabella for the unique trip her life is going to be with Mommy, Daddy and big brother.

Enjoy every minute of just the three of you and then blast off for the next stage of your life, when Isabella steps into the midst of your wonderful world.

You make me happy.

Rob said...

Dawn .. wow, you nearly bailed after my first sentence? You'll have to be of stronger stock than that missy, in order to walk the virtual halls of Castle Horton, nestled deep in Horton Hollow.

And yeppers Heather is also a budding blogger over at Methinks her blog will become a general family blog after Thing 2 arrives.

Rob said...

Shaddy, thanks for your kind comments as always. I will take your advice to heart and enjoy the times now as well as the times that are a comin'!

Annie said...

In my household, I am the only female thing amidst a sea of testosterone. Even our pets are male! I no longer enjoy chick flicks but love shoot em up, make my day, fast and furious kind of movies! Last movie I watched was the lastest Fast and Furious. The first scene was AWESOME!!! For my birthday one year, my boys bought me Live Free or Die Hard. I LOVE IT!!! The biggest compliment I have received was when my son, who was about 8 years old at the time, told me, after I cast out a line to fish, 'Mom, you are not a mom. You're a tomboy!" Well, do I miss having another female? Not really and I know my boys and hubby don't either when PMS strikes!!!!! Anyway, enjoy the new little one! Life is about to get more interesting and fun!!!

Rob said...

Annie, thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comment too! It's good to meet ya! P.S. - We're big action movie buffs too. Probably not a big surprise. I think over the years I've slowly corrupted my bride there :)

Fred said...

Make sure Thing 1 knows to make loud, grunting noises when doing manual labor and lifting heavy things. It goes a long way in getting some attention or sympathy. :)