Nov. 2, 2004

I bought my son breath-strips today

How's that for exciting? My eleven year old son likes the taste of them. He's also experimenting with the concept of deodorant and tooth-whitening gum. I think he realises that it's easier than having a shower. Not quite the same result though... If he starts dousing himself in cologne it will be time to intervene. Still, it's entertaining watching him come to grips with the concept of grooming and hygene.

I was in the drug store picking up some swimmer's shampoo and the breath strips reminded me of him. He was with me last week so we got to do halloween together. Well, really he was out racing around the neighbourhood with a friend while I sat on the porch "shelling out" to the kids and trying to flirt with their mothers (this was not productive). It was a pretty good night for halloween, dry and not too cold. I shelled out to eighty children between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM. It was surprising how abruptly it started and stopped. Here's my son's costume:

This is his version of The Gunslinger character from Stephen King's Dark Tower series. They're his first "grown up" novels, and he's charging through them.

Now he's at his Mom's for a week. It's a different life without him in the house. I stay late at the office, go to the gym or pool more and try to get out on a date or two. With him at home I'm back by six cooking a nice dinner, helping with homework, relaxing a bit together, and then doing the bed-time stuff. Pretty domestic but very important to me, and I know I'll miss it in a few short years.


  1. My son is 10 and he got into those breath strips, too. They're all the rage at school. He also started wearing deodorant a couple months ago. It's so odd but the tired cliche holds true: they grow up fast.
    Do you have joint custody? I have week on/week off and its funny because as much as I enjoy my freedom, I always get so sad when he leaves. Because its the same for me as far as routine goes... Okay long comment. Thanks for stopping by my place.
    P.S. Cute boy.

  2. Thanks Mary, he is cute. I see that you refer to your son as The Tyrant on your weblog! I see lots of defiance over bed times and home work, but at the same time he's very compliant when I make a decision. It always makes me laugh! How was The Tyrant's Halloween? Ninjas always do well.

    I have week on/week off custody as well, which I like and dislike for the same reasons you mention... How long have you been separated/divorced? Have you introduced any companions to your son? I brought two women into my sons life that had boys of a similar age. Sadly (for both of us) those relationships didn't work and my son struggled with losing his new friends. Well you posted a long comment and I've responded with an even longer one! Sorry. I'll follow your blog with interest.

  3. I forgot to mention how cool it is for your boy to be taking on Stephen King.

    As much as I joke, because my son has a funny way of "declaring" things, he's a very good kid and like you, my biggest power struggle is over bed time.

    I have been divorced for 8 years. What about you? We've been doing the 1/2 month thing for about half that. At first it helped tremendously because it cut down on communication. (as funny as that may sound) But I never have gotten over having a long stretch of having him here ... then nothing. Although I will say it would be a lot harder if he did not look so forward to being at both places. I think in the long run, taking the liberty to speak for your situation, our kids will benefit from spending so much time with both parents.

    I don't normally introduce him to people I date not only for the reasons you talked about but also, I'm very aware of me being a woman raising a man, I want him to have the utmost respect for women. Trust me, if he met even a small portion of the men I've dated in the past 8 years... Whoa. I've slowed down now though. lol Take care.

  4. Mary, thanks for sharing so much with me/us. I've been separated for five years, and we're starting to work through the divorce stuff now that certain financial impediments have resolved themselves. I proposed the week on/week off routine right off the bat because I wanted to have real time with my son and I didn't want to be apart from him for too long. Two weeks is too long for me... My house isn't a home without him. He does seem to be happy with his time at both houses though, so that makes me think I'm doing the right thing.

    I understand the "cutting down on communication" issue though! My Ex and I get along, but I'm adamant about maintaining separation. In most cases I'm sure the interaction is more emotional, but the issue is still the same. New lives, get on with them! Glad to hear that you are insulating your boy from your dating. That seems best until it gets serious (this is a lesson that I'm still trying to learn).

  5. Egad Ben. You are an extremely attractive man in all areas. If I were single you'd be in a heap of trouble. ;)

    Mrs. Seattle

  6. You're an awesome guy. My dad wasn't ever around (parents divorced when I was 4) and I envy what your son has. You seem like a great dad. I salute you.

  7. Thanks for the kind words, Wilson. My own father was absent from early in my life too, although we maintained a relationship. I guess I wanted to make sure that I am always there for my boy. Dad is coming to visit for two weeks starting tomorrow. Perhaps there'll be post about that!