I used to worry most about my son Duncan because he is the closest to becoming an adult. My concern stemmed from the fact that for the first twelve years of his life (he is 13 now), instead of teaching him how to be a “guy”, I frittered away my time whining about how tired I was, how busy I was or how it wasn’t fair that his mother paid more attention to him than to me.
But somehow I think that the boy will make out okay. All the tell-tale signs are there: He is great at making fart noises with his armpit, he writes songs about boogers and he loves lighting fire crackers off in the back yard. These are things that make a father proud!
Another thing I love about the boy is this thought that constantly runs through his head: “I bet I could…”
Case in point: He gets bored easily. I mean, if there is not a screen somewhere flashing music, video (or just plain flashing), he doesn’t know what to do with himself.
The other night my wife was on the phone and Duncan had used up his screen time so he had “nothing” to do. We set a limit on the amount of time our kids spend in front of a screen so that they don’t starve to death. Duncan decided that, in order to escape boredom he must attract his mother’s attention (he gets that from me).
“I bet I could make her laugh if I tied my knees up to my chest,” he thought to himself.
So he grabbed his belt, wrapped it around himself and tied a knot.
“No problem,” he thought to himself, “I bet I could waddle around on my bum bones and make her laugh.”
After a few minutes, she did notice but he didn’t quite get the laughs he was looking for.
Then, in true “guy” fashion, he decided to raise the stakes: “Mom! Watch me! I bet I can walk down the stairs like this!”
So my son, the one I’m depending on to carry the family name forward, bum-waddled over to the top of our basement stairway and stood on the ledge.
“Mom!” He called. “He-e-ere I go-o-o!”
The most priceless moment was the next half second where Duncan realized that gravity was about to play the bully. His eyes lit up like spotlights and he tried to suck all the living room air into his lungs!
Then he bounced. Down all seven steps. Striking each one with a different part of his scrawny, no-fat-for-protection body. Then he landed at the bottom with a busted foot.
The next week was spent recounting the story to all his friends. Lots of hugs from the girls and dares to the boys to do better.
He’ll make a perfect guy!
Mark Thrice is our nationally-syndicated humor columnist and the award-winning author to Halfway To Crazy.