01 April 2009

I am the hero I've been waiting for

Though he may be a whole 5 years old now, my son D- is more importantly a man in training, and following that storied tradition, he constantly asserts his superiority in every way over almost everything he looks at, hears of, or thinks of, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

So I walk a fine line every time I'm challenged on strength, speed, intelligence, agility, or proficiency in many of the world's most inane activities.

I don't think it's healthy to completely disillusion and demoralize him, but I think it's equally unhealthy for me to set him up for any harder of a fall than he's already due when released into the wilds of full-time school next year.

I mean, a kid needs all the confidence, whether completely off base or not, that he can get in this world. So if he starts out thinking HE'S the strongest man in the world, instead of me, then that just gives him a leg up over all the other boys, right?

Here's a conversation snippet, issued out of the blue while walking through the library, from the kid who's told me (verbatim) more than once, "I know Everything. Not everything-everything, but I know Everything," just minutes before and after asking me entries in that day's long list of questions about how the world works at the most fundamental of levels:

D-: I'm even stronger than you.

Me: Yeah?

D-: I'm so strong, that if there was a robot, up in space, and I was up in space? One punch, and he'd be dead. If I punched a big robot one time, he'd be dead.

...I'm thinking that "leg up" just may land him upside down in a cafeteria garbage can one day. Maybe I should grab his ankles and wrists with one hand and hoist him helplessly into the air like a safari prize more often while I still can.

We all know this world is nothing if not humbling, and I've always found a steady diet much easier to take than the sudden compulsory feast days that are one's only alternative. So I suppose I'll have to take it upon myself to begin a campaign of careful destruction and reconstruction of his ego, via the most fun, ridiculously lopsided competitions I can think of.

And once he turns 10? Then, my friend, we move on to a crash course in Trash Talk 101 delivered by the one true master greater than Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Jordan, and your mom combined.*

* I mean me.


unmitigated me said...

Very important to be able to conquer the world when you are 5.

Mama Dawg said...

So thankful I have a daughter.

Ali said...

But what if he CAN destroy the robots for us, huh? What will you say then Dad?!

Mrs. B. Roth said...

No matter how many times my husband takes our 6 year old boy down, my kid is STILL convinced he is stronger, faster, better. As if those 14,672 other times, dad just got lucky.

Besides, for the first time in history, geeks are the cool kids.

Chris M. said...

Nothing a good whack with a nerf bat wouldn't care.

That or this a few times.

Weather Moose

beth said...

Hate to spoil the "one-punch" confidence anytime soon. That's wonderful.

TerriRainer said...

Yeah...if you don't teach em, somebody bigger and badder will!

My son used to have the "when I turn 16, I'm gonna beat up my Dad" syndrome. I think he was about 12 when he realized that was not likely to take place (Dad being 6'5" and 300 pounds), but my husband won't let him live it down.

Your's will learn soon enough, trust me.

It's really your daughter that's gonna have you pulling out your hair though, not your son.

:) Terri

Mary said...

Love how he speculates on a robot in space. Is he also a match for rampaging robots here on earth? And robots are always in need of being punched? Many issues here. But mostly I know that D- is so strong.

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

As the "playground mom" at my daughter's kindergarten, let me tell you that ALL those 5 year old boys are convinced that they are the strongest, smartest, etc... and if they are proven to be otherwise, well, they don't mind too much. They just come back with, "Well, my DAD's stronger, smarter, etc. etc. than yours".

Then they pick their boogers and chase the girls.