Friday, March 31, 2006

Mommy is not cool

My son loves video games. When he's particularly into one, he likes to play in the morning before school - which I let him do as long as his homework is done; he eats his breakfast; and gets dressed and out the door on time.

This morning, I put his clothes on the back of the couch for him to get dressed - and he did, but apparently didn't actually look at what he was putting on. I locked the knob on the front door and told him I was starting the car and to pull the door shut behind him (he was still putting on his shoes). So I'm sitting in my car, rolling windows down to clear the dew when he comes out the front door and closes it. He takes two steps, looks down at himself and then tries to go back in the house. I yell at him through the open window to come on - we are now running late.

He climbs into the back seat and tells me that he must change his shirt.

A little back story on the shirt. It is a red t-shirt that I got when I visited the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX back in January. It has a NASA logo and the words IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.... (oh, wait. Yes, it is!) on the front. He hated it until last week ("I love the shirt, Mommy - I just don't want to wear it!). Last week, I came home and he was wearing it and saying that it was a cool shirt and he now loved it. So you see, I wasn't really torturing him when I put it out for him this morning.

It is too late to go back in, so I tell him that it was tough, we have to leave. His face got red and tears commenced to fall in such copious numbers that they made rivers on both cheeks, gathering under his chin to form a mini-waterfall to his chest. Big sigh from me and I pull over. Being the experienced mommy that I am, I keep a spare set of clothes for Zach in the trunk, so I get the spare shirt out of the trunk and toss it to him. He's a happy guy again. Never mind that the new shirt is in far worse shape (these are meant to be emergency play clothes) than the one he had on - it was apparently much cooler.

I'm sorry - my son should not challenge me on cool. When I arrived home yesterday, I passed an amazing array of clothing on the front porch as I went inside. I commented that he must have had some outfit on for playing in the sprinkler. My husband laughed and said Zach sure did, but how did I know. Well, on my way in I passed: crumpled up muddy khaki long pants, a soaking wet winter jacket (inside out), a wet t-shirt, and a baseball helmet with swimming goggles inside. What do YOU think? I wish I had a picture of that!


Alice in Wonderbread said...

I had a shirt I loved but could not wear to schoole when I was in the second grade, from my mom.

It had the words 'Future Fox' on it, and being considered an ugly unpopular child, when I wore it to school I was teased unmercifully. It was awful. I wonder if Zach feared torment from his peers because of the 'nerdy' joke? It may not be cool to know you're smart. I know for me, it was uncool to know that I was indeed a future fox- which turned out to be as true as my parents and I expected- but sigh. Peers can be terrible as children.

Sayre said...

Yup - and going back to my previous blog Back to the Future, peers can be terrible as adults too. Ah well...

I guess I'll retire the rocket sciene shirt. Or give it to my granddaughter.

I do remember when it wasn't cool to be smart. It was cool to be tough, to be able to beat people up (not necessarily to do it, just be able); cool to smoke; cool to wear high heels that crippled you later in life; cool to drive; cool to drink... And now I realize that NONE of that was cool. Being smart and capable is the coolest thing of all, but Zach won't appreciate that for a long time to come, I'm afraid...

Alice in Wonderbread said...

You got it. Rest assured, however, Zach knows. He knows his peers are wrong, but still craves acceptance. That's why he loves the shirt in private.

Thanks for posting a picture of the little man. Tell him Auntie Chrissy thinks he is just THE MOST ADORABLE THING...and pinch his cheeks and go ooby dooby boody dooby.... Then laugh, and say Auntie Chrissy did that only to embarrass him.

Also tell the Z-man he knows better than his peers, and to be accepted is important, but the fact remains: no matter who thinks he's cool or not, he IS the most intelligent, witty, handsome little boy on the planet! And beating someone up means nothing in the Real World. So sayeth an aunt who remembers the second grade....