I should be packing. If you were to ask Dylan, he’d say I should be helping him find Raoul Caroule, Carla Veloso and Francesco (from “Cars 2”) who are lost in the sea of toys covering the family room floor. Instead I’m deep in thought about Bossypants. I’m still reading Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” and enjoying it. It’s coming with me Legoland just in case there’s a spare minute or two during the trip to leisurely read a book. Ha! But right now I’m referring to a different Bossypants. I’m talking about Dylan.
Something has shifted in him since he became a big kid on campus, an almost Kindergartener, and a member of the elite “boys cabin” under the leadership of a male “Coach” instead of a female “Miss” camp counselor. It’s mostly good. My sensitive, timid Dylan could use some more guy influence in his life (besides Dad, of course.) From me, he mostly gets hugs, kisses, and anxiety.
He’s learning new games. “Mommy, ‘Shark in the Middle’ is a boy game,” he said. “Um, girls can play that game, too,” I said. “Sure they can,” he replied. “They can play whenever they want. But it’s still a boy game.”
He’s learning about music. In the car yesterday, Dylan said, “Mommy, that’s rock and roll music. Rock and roll music is boy music.” (It was Matchbox Twenty’s new single, “She’s So Mean.”) “Girls like rock and roll music, too,” I said. “Sure they do,” he said. “It’s so break dancing music. Boys break dance.”
Here’s the best worst one I’ve heard. “Mommy, boys are smarter than girls.” Record scratch. Hold up! WTF! “Who told you that?” I asked. “No one,” he said. After that, Dylan and I had a talk about how f—kin’ smart girls are and how boys and girls can do anything they f—kin’ want. (Our talk didn’t include actual “f” words, but thought about them as I spoke. I also thought about the consequences of this new guy influence and wondered if I could counteract his new misguided chauvinism with extra hugs, kisses, and anxiety.
Here’s the Bossypants part. We often go swimming at home after camp. This is a lot of what I hear at the pool. Dylan does most of the talking.
Dylan: This is the “Straight and Turn” game.
Dylan: This is the “Zig Zag” game.
Dylan: You go there. I go here. No, there. Riley, you’re not supposed to go there. It’s my turn. I’m on this side and you’re on that side.
Dylan: Stand there. Face me. I learned this at camp. Riley, not like that!
Dylan: Now I’m the bad guy and you’re not.
Riley: I won! (He did.)
Dylan: No, this is not a winning game. We’re not playing games anymore.
Yeah, that’s my sweet, precious, and newly chauvinistic Bossypants. Does it really begin this young? We worry so much about how to raise our girls to believe they can do anything they want (they can), and I’m quickly realizing how important it is to also raise our boys to believe it, too.
Back to packing.
Have you read Tina Fey’s “Bossypants?” Do you have a Bossypants in your brood?