This is Blue. He's my boy. Blue just completed 5K which means he's now enjoying his first ever summer vacation. Since I'm also on summer break - I have dad duty this summer. This means if you see me before August, you'll likely see Blue too.
It's an interesting time. There are so many things that he's seeing and doing for the first time right now. Sleeping late is a good example. This is a child who previously considered 7:00 am sleeping in. The second week he was out of school he stopped waking me up and I started waking him up before I went out to run. Last week he woke up a good while after my run was over. I'm so proud of him.
He's also learning to do things for himself right now. This is especially noteworthy to me since I had hoped to spend a significant amount of time this summer making sculptures. It should not surprise you that I work best in complete solitude and I strongly dislike interruptions of any kind. The idea of trying to weld and grind in the basement while being asked to make drinks and snacks every couple of minutes was not a happy one. But Blue has mastered the laptop computer, the internet (only to nickjr.com), the TV remote, and the water dispenser on the fridge. Now that I type that out it sounds like he's running loose for hours at a time doing as he pleases, but that's not the case at all.
As soon as parents learn that children can do things, children get chores and assignments. Blue has a few things he must do just after breakfast and he has a daily "smart assignment" as well. The "smart assignment" involves reading a book, writing a story, or some other school related activity. We hope this will help him remember all he learned in 5K and we hope it will keep his brain from turning to mush.
I'm told that many boys are their mother's children until they reach double digit ages. This is the case here for sure. But Blue is smart and he was quick to realize that dad must be buttered up if there's going to be any secret ice cream treats and other such fun activities during the summer. I don't want to use the word "manipulate" here, but children learn quickly how to use their charm to get their way. And parents learn quickly how to use ice cream and Bojangles to get their way.
Blue accompanied me to a recent school function where we helped orient a few incoming freshmen ladies. As he was in other meetings and school talks, he was well behaved while he quietly played the old iPhone games. When we walked to the truck to go home he asked who the young ladies were and then promptly told me which one he thought was the prettiest. This led to a brief discussion of aesthetics. No surprise, he picked the one that looked most like his mother.
That was also the day I noticed his pants were on backwards after his mother pointed it out to me when she arrived home from work. Looks like I won't be getting that Father of the Year trophy this time either.
He's also taken to whistling at girls. Now, before you go blaming me for his sudden summer interest in the ladies, let me remind you that Blue has been the Ladies Man since way back in preschool. Believe me, if I could postpone his interest the girls, I would put that off for a long time. We have uncle Daniel to blame for the new "whistle language" that Blue has learned. At the beach he whistled at a few girls his age and then almost got his dad beat up when he decided to whistle at a group of freshly graduated high school girls. Thanks again uncle Daniel. I've told him that the rule is that if you whistle at someone they are supposed to come kiss you. So if he happens to whistle at you, plant a big one on him and maybe he'll stop.
Ladies, Nickelodeon and Super Mario are not his only summer interests. He spends a considerable amount of time doing cool stuff like using his imagination and drawing. We stay stocked up on sidewalk chalk because he likes to draw big. The image above shows him working on his latest masterpiece featuring 3 pirate ships. He went to a lot of trouble to bring out his toy pirate ship so he could draw from direct observation. He did this without any encouragement or suggesting from me. Again, very proud.
He does and says the funniest things. There's no such thing as context or transitions for him. If it comes to mind, he says it and the juxtaposition of ideas is great for getting my mind thinking creatively.
Saturday night we all went to a juried exhibit reception. The gallery was filled with very diverse and really interesting works of art. Blue was excited we were going to see art and when we got there I asked him to look at everything and pick out his favorite piece. When I asked him which one he chose he grabbed my hand and led me through all the people before stopping in front of a sculpture. He looked up at me and smiled and pointed at my own sculpture. Then he asked if we could go get some ice cream now.
I'm no fool. I knew his game.
But yes, we got some ice cream.