Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Growing Up

Overheard the other day, while the Dotytron was running point on getting the Big Yam set for the day (which involves feeding him a pre-daycare-breakfast breakfast of whatever he's currently fixated on, which right now is PC Organics shredded wheat squares and milk), the Big Yam told the Dotytron, "I don't want my Thomas placemat any more."  The Dotytron inquired whether he still liked Thomas, and the Big Yam replied, "No.  I don't like Thomas any more.  I like all sorts of movies.  Like, like, movies about meatballs." (we had forced him to branch out beyond Frozen on Friday night and we watched Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs together).  He wanted a "lallo" placemat like the ones that the Dotytron and I use.

Guys, if you had told me a year ago (when the Thomas obsession began in earnest) that I would be brought to tears at the notion that I wouldn't have to countenance Thomas' stupid perpetually smiling face and that of all his poncey British friends again, I would have laughed you out of the room.  I hate Thomas (and Friends!)  I think it's the worst programming ever!  I hate the books, the lack of narrative in the episodes, the movies and misadventures brought upon by the trains' lack of judgement.  But the thought of him outgrowing something, made me cry like a baby yesterday.


It was exacerbated by an incident I witnessed while with the Wonder Twins at the drop-in centre yesterday.  One of the drop-ins on our circuit is housed in the school where the Big Yam will be starting JK.  I saw two junior kindies, or possibly full kindie kids (white, with that obnoxious bowl cut/Dorothy Hamill hair that some moms love to do with their sons when they have full heads of hair), making fun of this little Indian kid in their class who was sucking on a plastic toothpick.  The boys were like, "Ew! We don't do that!  That's a GIRL thing."  "We do BOY stuff.  Like, like Spiderman!" Thankfully, the little Indian kid was oblivious (which made him SO. MUCH. CUTER), but it took considerable will power to not lay into those little s**ts.  I recognized one of the kids from the Big Yam's ballet class (the boy shows up to ballet in a full Superman bodysuit with the fake muscles) and the past two lessons the Big Yam hasn't wanted to wear his tutu in ballet class and I immediately thought that it might be because that little a-hole said something to him, the very thought of it put me into a murderous rage.

I was so mad/sad at what I witnessed that when the Dotytron came home, I was in sad/angry tears.  People are the worst!  Like, it's no secret that I'm a general misanthrope.  Love humanity, tend to hate individual humans, unless I know you and deign to like you, in which case, you're golden forever.  The idea of the Big Yam being bullied or being made to feel like his interests aren't cool, or being shunned for stupid gender conforming stuff makes me just want to scoop him up and home school him.  As the Dotytron correctly identified, I just don't want him to have his innocence stripped from him.  I think the think that makes those "awkward tween/teen years" so awkward and repellent (to me) is the inbetween-ness of it all.  Not a girl, not yet a woman, etc.  Not innocent, but not an adult.  I guess, in the long run, it's better that the Big Yam be bullied than be the bullier.  But at least if he's the bully, I can do something about it (harangue him into submission).  It's hard to take away the sting of being made fun of as a kid.  Kids are vicious.  I just want to protect him from that, and from the stupidity of their parents' poor decisions.

Last week I went to the Science Centre with the kids with my neighbour and her kids.  We ate in the food court area and I sat across from this like, 8 year old Indian kid, who was clearly pretty fresh-off-the-boat.  He was the CUTEST.  Super-chubby, wearing classic FOB gear, mangled teeth, super-articulate.  We chatted about his lunch (egg curry!) and he was so sweet and kind and oblivious.  Nerdy FOBs are the best kids in the world.  I wish I could turn my kids into nerdy FOBs but you can't recreate that fresh-off-the-boat naivetĂ© in North American-ized, urban kids.

The Big Yam is so oblivious to so many things.  Tonight (this post has been composed over 3 days), as we were coming in from playing outside, I told him to say goodnight to his friends.  "GOODNIGHT!" he shouted, and then just before the screen door slammed shut, "AND GOODNIGHT, WORLD!"  LOL!  So good.  An unprompted "goodnight, world!" with gusto is just about the best thing ever.  I can't do anything about it, but I want to protect him from butting up against people's expectations.  I want him to be able to wear a tutu and it not to be a big deal.  I want him to get into Harry Potter and want to dress up as Professor McGonagall or as Hermione for Halloween and for no one to bat an eye.  I came up with a pretty solid family Halloween costume which hits all the marks - something we're into, not fantastically labour intensive, intrinsically funny, and we were telling Momma D at dinner the other night and she was a little put out by the fact that it would require the Quincess to dress up as a woman.  But here's the thing, if the Quincess was a girl and wanted to dress up as Harry Potter, NO ONE WOULD BAT AN EYE.  It's only when guys want to wear girl stuff that people get all side-eye about it.  ON HALLOWEEN!  A NIGHT WHEN YOU'RE GIVEN LICENSE TO PLAY WITH IDENTITY!  THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT OF THE NIGHT.

Using "devil's night" as a segue, allow me to share a video of the Quincess' particular style of getting around:

He is SO FAST like this.  It's so funny, especially when he's all excited as above and basically skittering around like a deranged inchworm, in and out of rooms and your line of sight.  The video above is also notable because you'll see at the 20 second mark, when Quincess makes his way over to Lindsay Lou-Lou and Lindsay does one of his classic, overly dramatic, super-sensitive wailing jags.  It's also funny when the Quincess comes up against a flooring that provides resistance (like thick carpeting), and he can't leverage the helmet-on-hardwood mechanics.  He plants his feet and does a bridge that would make a moksha yogi envious, in his attempt to slide.  

Long story short: kids are the worst.  Don't give your kid a Dorothy Hamill bowl cut, and let your kids be kids as long as possible.


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