Monday, December 03, 2012

The little old man that lives down the hall

Confession time: at the risk of having DES come knocking on my door, I’m pretty sure I am endangering my son.
Not in the physical sense, he’s well provided for, reasonably healthy, has shoes, that kind of thing, but I think I might be slowly robbing him of his childhood.
My son’s just shy of three, but when I watch him going about his day, it’s a lot like watching a tiny old man move around the house.
When he was born, I was well into my 40’s and his mom was…um,…younger than me.
He’s our only child and other than my wife and me, his best friend is his grandmother who’s...well…older than me.
The other day I heard someone say that parents are like wet paint- as kids spend time with their parents, a little parent rubs off on them.
So his turning into an old man? Yep, my fault.
While some of the toddlers his age that we know can name every flashy cereal on the shelf, he likes to start his day with a nice warm bowl of oatmeal while thumbing through the paper. Somehow, that just don’t seem normal.
Before he was born, I was was told by new parents we know- all at least a decade and a half younger than me- that I’d better get used to unending replays of every Disney and Pixar ‘toon ever made.
I was worried, because not being too hip (is that still a word?) on pop culture, by the time I’ve even heard about the hottest new show or sitcom out there it’s either in syndication or featured on Nick at Night.
Boy’s favorite TV show? After dinner, which is around 4:30 (early bird special), he likes curl up on the sofa and watch “his programs”- Ozzie and Harriet, Andy Griffith, and if he’s feeling really crazy, Get Smart- not the movie from a few years back but the old Don Adams version.
I’m not sure if it’s funny or sad watching a toddler try and make a phone call with a wingtip.
When it’s time to get into a good movie, you’d think Cars, Toy Story, or Finding Nemo.
Nope.
Anyone remember Hatari? The John Wayne flick from ’62? Fifty years ago?
Yep- that’s his favorite. He likes to sing along with Red Buttons.
I know 30 year olds who don’t know who Red Buttons is.
No high tech toys for this one- no robots, flashing lights, or buzzers. His favorites are his big rubber ball, Wiffle ball and bat, and his new fave- an old school wooden truck.
His one and only techno vice is a small, kid’s version lap top computer, but I’m pretty sure he’s pretending it’s an old Underwood typewriter.
I’m afraid one day I’m going to come home from work and he’ll be sitting at the table with a highball, waist band up around his rib cage, playing canasta with his cronies from down at the senior center.
And to be honest, I’m not sure I want Harvey Jones hanging around my house that much.

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