Bonding

Wildebeest considers me the enemy.  The Man.
His friends are nervous around me as a result of
the Wildbeest rants they’ve heard over the years.
I’m strict.  I’m controlling.  I’m a hippie freak.  I don’t
like video games about killing.  I make him take vitamins.

Friday night Wildebeest had his two best friends over for a sleepover.
One friend, D, is on the wrestling team.  D’s coaches told him
he needed to cut his Shaggy-do before the next day’s tourney or
they’d cut it afterward using the tape scissors.

After much consultation including me reminding everyone what
Wildebeest’s bangs looked like in sixth grade when I accidentally
chopped them off WAY too high on his forehead, we came up with a plan.

Wildebeest did the early work as he used the clipper’s #5 attachment
to remove inches of hair.  J snipped rogue strands. I offered suggestions
and swept the floor.  When it got to the final shaping stage, I took over
the clippers.

Two hours after we started the consultation, D had a new haircut.  And you
know what he said?

“My mom was right.  She kept telling me I’d look better with short hair.”

Did Wildebeest immediately ask for his haircut?
No.
Is that okay by me?
Hell, yes.  We choose our battles around here and hair ain’t one of them.

D looks good.  Wildebeest is actually proud of my help with D’s hair.
And yesterday when J overheard Wildebeest giving me some mild-mannered lip,
he admonished Wildebeest about being sassy.

Wow.

23 thoughts on “Bonding

  1. I love it! (Someday, Wildebeest is going to realize how wonderful you are, and then you’ll get a daily call apologizing for these years, you know, hehe.)

    • Can you come live with us and start the chant when the going gets rough? (And loud and ever-so-slightly dysfunctional?) Be warned, though, I am a hippie freak.

  2. Maybe you and D’s mom could trade kids for a while.
    Seriously, I agree with Robin. I bet W will realize, if he doesn’t know already, that you’re pretty cool.

    • I doubt D would go for that. The good news is Wildebeest’s friends’ parents all love him. I just talked to one today and she said “…something something BUT we love him.”
      It helps you think I’m cool, Jennifer. Thank you.
      (When do you start your new job?)

  3. Maybe you and D’s mom could trade kids for a while.

    Seriously, I agree with Robin. I bet W will realize, if he doesn’t know already, that you’re pretty cool.

  4. I doubt D would go for that. The good news is Wildebeest’s friends’ parents all love him. I just talked to one today and she said “…something something BUT we love him.”

    It helps you think I’m cool, Jennifer. Thank you.

    (When do you start your new job?)

  5. You control freak, you! We don’t fight over hair here either. My brother was an original 1968 summer-of-love, ran off to San Francisco model hippie. My parents fought and lost the long-hair battle. I won’t go there.
    You’re a good mom. Whether Wildebeest knows it or not (but I bet he does).

    • That’s quite cool about your brother. Sorry your parents chose that battle, though. Wildebeest’s hair isn’t an issue except that I know it would look so much more awesome after a little trim. But he thinks long and scraggly beats slightly shorter and healthier. I remember thinking the same way.
      Thanks for thinking I’m a good mom. I know you know what it’s like to doubt that in every way.

  6. You control freak, you! We don’t fight over hair here either. My brother was an original 1968 summer-of-love, ran off to San Francisco model hippie. My parents fought and lost the long-hair battle. I won’t go there.

    You’re a good mom. Whether Wildebeest knows it or not (but I bet he does).

    • It really is, isn’t it? He told me today the girls think D’s new haircut makes him look older but that some boys want to tease him about it. But then when they realize D doesn’t care, they let it go.
      I keep waiting for my phone to ring with requests for new hairstyles but it hasn’t happened yet…..

    • I sure hope you’re right. I look at it as money in the bank and maybe the next time he’s ready to go off on me, he’ll remember that night of laughter and team work.

      • Or not. He is a teen, after all.
        I went to an author event last night with my schoolteacher friend, Lisa, whose son just turned 16. She’s been finding 15 & 16 hard to deal with, and I can assure you that her son is a peach (at least as far as I can tell). She said, “Well, as long as he’s behaving well outside the house, I guess I can’t complain if he needs to blow off steam at home.”
        Which reminded me of something I read when my kids were little, which I share with you. Teenagers are overgrown toddlers – they have the same issues: a desire for independence, but a need for lots of loving support. (When my kids were little, I flipped that analysis, to “toddlers are miniature teenagers”, and it really helped me deal with them – I can remember being a teen, after all.) Anyway, wanted to say that you’re not the only mom I know who’s having issues with a Wildebeest boy, which makes me believe that the whole “boys are easier to deal with than girls” thing so often parroted is, in fact, a myth.

      • Yep, I totally understand the preference for a son to blow off steam at home rather than outside the house. That’s been our attitude Wildebeest’s whole life. We know we’re the safe place to vent and we try hard to remember that. Sometimes it’s harder than others, though.
        You’re right about the toddler/teen connection. My child development studies have been coming back in waves the past couple years! HA. We try to remember his brain is literally rewiring right now and it helps us not take things so personally.
        I appreciate you sharing your friend’s experiences. It does help to know we’re not alone in all this. And I am really sick of people thinking girls are harder or boys are harder. It’s a rough time for most all kids (and their parents). Period.

  7. That’s quite cool about your brother. Sorry your parents chose that battle, though. Wildebeest’s hair isn’t an issue except that I know it would look so much more awesome after a little trim. But he thinks long and scraggly beats slightly shorter and healthier. I remember thinking the same way.

    Thanks for thinking I’m a good mom. I know you know what it’s like to doubt that in every way.

  8. It really is, isn’t it? He told me today the girls think D’s new haircut makes him look older but that some boys want to tease him about it. But then when they realize D doesn’t care, they let it go.

    I keep waiting for my phone to ring with requests for new hairstyles but it hasn’t happened yet…..

  9. Or not. He is a teen, after all.

    I went to an author event last night with my schoolteacher friend, Lisa, whose son just turned 16. She’s been finding 15 & 16 hard to deal with, and I can assure you that her son is a peach (at least as far as I can tell). She said, “Well, as long as he’s behaving well outside the house, I guess I can’t complain if he needs to blow off steam at home.”

    Which reminded me of something I read when my kids were little, which I share with you. Teenagers are overgrown toddlers – they have the same issues: a desire for independence, but a need for lots of loving support. (When my kids were little, I flipped that analysis, to “toddlers are miniature teenagers”, and it really helped me deal with them – I can remember being a teen, after all.) Anyway, wanted to say that you’re not the only mom I know who’s having issues with a Wildebeest boy, which makes me believe that the whole “boys are easier to deal with than girls” thing so often parroted is, in fact, a myth.

  10. Yep, I totally understand the preference for a son to blow off steam at home rather than outside the house. That’s been our attitude Wildebeest’s whole life. We know we’re the safe place to vent and we try hard to remember that. Sometimes it’s harder than others, though.

    You’re right about the toddler/teen connection. My child development studies have been coming back in waves the past couple years! HA. We try to remember his brain is literally rewiring right now and it helps us not take things so personally.

    I appreciate you sharing your friend’s experiences. It does help to know we’re not alone in all this. And I am really sick of people thinking girls are harder or boys are harder. It’s a rough time for most all kids (and their parents). Period.

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