Friday, February 19, 2010
King for the day
I always tell my youngest that he is my favorite son. He used to beam with pride until one day it dawned on him, "Hey, wait a minute, I'm your only son!"
Now I hear a lot of jokes about how I'm his favorite mom.
I read somewhere that if every child thinks the other is the favorite, then you've done a good job as a parent. So far, so good at my house. There's been many a time my son has asked why his older sister gets to do so and so. There's only one answer to the question, by the way: "Because she's older!"
Yes, most of the time, I pride myself on keeping the checks and balances in order, but, occasionally, even I find myself shaking my head at something my favorite son has talked me into doing.
And no matter what it is, his big sister (not to mention his daddy) will call me on it every time. Like yesterday, for example:
"You mean to tell me you are going to buy him an Elvis wig just because he doesn't have any hair to comb?" asked my daughter, incredulously, from the back seat.
"Why, yes, I am," I said, shaking my head in wonderment and thinking, how did this happen?
Then I remembered. It all started with a note from his school.
"You have 1950s day at school on Friday," I said.
"Yippee! I get to wear an afro."
"No, that's 1960s; this is 1950s."
"Oh, I thought you said Hippies day," he said. "What's 1950s?"
"You know, like Elvis."
"Oh, what did he look like?"
"Well, he always had his hair slicked back," I said. "You know, like Uncle Bill."
"The tall one?"
"I need some hair gel then," he said.
"You don't have any hair," pointed out my daughter.
I think it was then that I started feeling guilty. I've been giving my son a crew cut since he was 2, and every time he says he wants it to grow out. And every time I try to explain the definition of a cow lick to him. Not to mention, during his last haircut, I was multi-tasking, left the guard off and scalped the poor kid. As a result, somewhere around this time I MAY have mentioned buying a wig. The next thing I know we are at Party City looking at a wall of hair.
"Do you see an Elvis wig that you want?" I asked my son.
"Do you?" he said.
It was at this point I realized he had no idea what Elvis' hair looked like.
"I see hairy chest hair," he giggled.
"I don't think that will be necessary," I said, and $29 later, Elvis Jr. had left the building.
The next day, after a stern warning not to share it with anyone, my son left for school wearing his new wig along with an old pair of blue jeans, a white T-shirt and some sunglasses. As he was brushing his teeth, I told him to make sure he didn't let anyone step on his blue suede shoes.
"Ma'am?" he said.
"That's an Elvis song," I explained.
"Do I need those kind of shoes to go with my hair?" he asked.
"Oh, no, son, I think the hair and sideburns are plenty," I said.
"Thank you, thank you, very much," he said in character and happily went to school.
He reported back later that his hand hurt from signing autographs, and he had to employ several bodyguards to keep the groupie girls away. His teacher wrote me that he entered the classroom and said, "I have a comb, and I'm not afraid to use it!"
Perhaps my daughter and husband were right. Perhaps the wig was silly for me to buy, but after all, doesn't everyone deserve to be a king for the day -- especially when you are 8 years old?