Don’s take on being a dad

I must say my stratiegery of brainwashing is (so far) going as scheduled. I’ll be honest, I am trying to influence my boys? lives to my way of thinking.
Publicly, some dads say they plan to let their boys be boys, to let nature and the environment take their courses. Publicly, they say they don’t care. I say they are pretending. Deep down they care how their boys dress, what they listen to or watch, who their friends are and how they wear their hair.
Dads everywhere put up their arms in surrender without an attempt at fighting. Why should they, they surmise, they have little weight in how boys grow up. But, deep down inside their hairy chests, they care. Dare I say, they cringe (albeit inside) when Junior comes home wearing black clothes, black lipstick, and black eye shadow with loud piercings and tatoos.
At least I am honest when I say that kind of getup makes my eyes hurt. (Hey, give me some bonus points for being honest.) I never really got that whole ‘Gothic? thing, and I even read Bram Stoker’s Dracula when I was in seventh grade. To me it is one thing to read about vampires or watch them on TV or in the movie theater — it is completely another thing to want to ‘look? like one.
I am not saying dark-everythinged folks are freaks of nature. Oh no. A person can be kind, gentle, compassionate and loving with spikes and things protruding from his or her body. There’s nothing wrong with that look, but let’s just say it’s better when it’s somebody else’s kid.
I am also old enough to fully understand the ever-changing ebb and flow of fashion. It is a given that when the tide comes in, you never know what will be washed ashore. I also know the scope of my influence, as a dad, starts out big and continually diminishes over time. Just like Kryptonite weakens Superman, friends, fads and fashion will surely lesson the iron grip I try to hold over Shamus and Sean. I dread the day when, God forbid, they start feeling their oats and actually want to express their individuality by being like everybody else. Diversity-schmirshity. I want conformity, dang-it!
So I am acting now. Swiftly and decisively. I am planting the seeds of being ‘nice boys.? I want them to have respect for themselves and how they look. And, as I started, I think my strategy of brainwashing is working.
Why just the other day, Sean looked in the mirror at himself and his hair that I had slicked down and brushed.
‘Perfect,? the four year old said. ‘It looks like Elvis? hair.?
And, he was right, aside from being blond and not dyed black, it looked like Elvis hair. Let me further say, it was not the big, bush Elvis hair of the early-to-mid 1970s (No mutton-chop side burns and no, Sean doesn’t own a rhinestoned jump suit, thank you, thank you very much). Our boy Sean likes the cool Elvis hair pre-1960 — slicked back, short cropped with a big swoop of a curl up front on his forehead.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the creators of the first Shrek movie for introducing the boys to the Monkee’s song, I’m a Believer. This have given me carte blanch to play the Monkee’s Greatest Hits compact disc. Shamus,6, and Sean now routinely ask for the disc to be played and request other Monkees? ‘hits? like, I’m Not Your Steppin Stone, Pleasant Valley Sunday, Last Train to Clarksville and my personal favorite, Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkees.
As far as their clothing goes, well, their mother has taken that from me. She just doesn’t believe that socks should be expressive. She’s from the school where dark colored socks are worn with dark shoes and dark slacks and light colored socks with light colored shoes and light colored slacks. Jennie also doesn’t hold dear to the belief Hawaiian shirts match any pattern and can be worn for any occasion.
Imagine that.
Oh, and what do they like to watch? Besides science fiction, this year while at the Renaissance Festival, Shamus and Sean couldn’t take their eyes off the belly dancers. Them’s my boys!
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