Tag Archives: 18 Years

Ook, Ook To The Monkey Boy

by Richard

Look out, world. Today is the day Zippy the Monkey Boy turns 18.

It’s the day he’s been looking forward to for a long, long time. He likes to think that, just because the law considers him an adult now, that he’ll be treated like an adult here at Casa de Dude.

His mom and I don’t like to disillusion him* about stuff like this, but he’s really not going to be treated as if he’s a house guest. Okay, we’ll probably not cut up his food and wipe his mouth for him, but he’s still a kid in our hearts.

At least until he’s the one who pays for dinner when we go out, but that’s a separate thing entirely.

Today, we come to praise Zippy the Monkey Boy, not to bury him.

With a name like Zippy the Monkey Boy, you’d think he was the one who was always running around, knocking things over and flinging poop all over the walls. He was. But that wasn’t why he got the name. He got the name because he took to climbing like greased-up pigs take to sliding.

He never did learn to crawl. Instead, he kept low crawling until he could stand up and walk. He wanted the extra height, you see.

Once he got up on two feet, it was only a matter of time until he started seeing the fences and stuff we’d put up around the play area, not as a thing blocking his way so he’d better turn around, but as another toy, something we put there so he could have fun climbing and dropping.

That was what we listened to when he was a baby. That thump. We’d hear it and know he’d found his way over another obstacle and we should be expecting his arrival any moment. Diapers were a wonderful thing for Zippy the Monkey Boy. Great cushion. Of course, if it were already a full diaper before he climbed and dropped, we got to clean a lot of flung stuff after.

He’s kept it up. One of my favorite pictures of him shows him high up in a tree, screaming out his triumph for having climbed that high. He was 15 when we took that picture. He likes to climb is what I’m saying.

His other most distinguishing feature through the years has been his love of animals. This is a little dude that has wanted to be a zoologist since he knew someone could actually tell people he was going to study animals all his life and people would be okay with it. Now he’s going off to one of the best marine science schools in the country so he can make the study of sharks his life work. If nothing else, it shows he’s able to find a goal and stick with it.

Zippy the Monkey Boy is getting ready to head off to Wilmington to try his act out down there, along the beaches, among the co-eds and out on his (metaphorical) own. Sure I’m worried.

But only a little. I have the feeling Zippy the Monkey Boy is going to keep on climbing, always reaching for something just out of his reach and finding a way to get it and then seeing the next thing just a little higher up.

It’s been an adventurous 18 years. I can’t wait to see what the next 18 bring.

Ook, Ook, Zip.

*no, that’s a lie. We love disillusioning him. It’s such fun.

Share on Facebook

Tattoo You

by Richard

Yesterday, I talked about an embarrassing time in my past when I asserted my manly manhood and independence by getting my ear pierced and then hiding that fact from my grandparents.

That raised the question, though, as to what age was too young for someone to get his or her ear pierced, another body area pierced, a tattoo?

That, dudes, is a knotty question and a lot of it depends on the parent. Actually, I’d say almost all of it depends on the parent. And the rest depends on just how rebellious the young dude or dudette really is.

In a lot of states, the legal limit for people deciding for themselves if they want a tattoo, piercing or other permanent body modification is the age of majority: 18 years. Something that was touched upon in a CNN story that went out last weekend.

Child development experts contacted by CNN agree with this age of majority for permanent body modification in young adults, but also assert age is but a number; maturity level is a much better parameter to go by.

Psychiatrist Daniel Bober, an assistant clinical professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University, says it helps to look at a child’s functioning in other areas of their life, such as school and peer relationships.

“The brain of a young person is still developing and they are less risk averse, more impulsive, and more likely to engage in risky behaviors,” says Bober. “This is because the last part of the brain to develop is the part that tells them to ‘put the brakes on’ before they do something potentially harmful and dangerous.”

Of course, that doesn’t count the parents. Some parents go ahead and pierce the ears of their just-born infants (some boys, but mostly girls) and think nothing of it. It’s just the way they do things. Which can get people into trouble, especially when they start talking about tattoos.

In June, Jerry Garrison, a Florida grandfather, lost custody of his 10-year-old grandson after allowing him to get a tattoo of his initials on his right leg. A “family tradition,” according to Garrison.

Under Florida law, a person younger than 16 years old cannot be tattooed except “for medical or dental reasons,” and anyone age 16 to 18 can be tattooed only with the consent of a parent or guardian.

That law was changed in January 2012; it had previously allowed tattooing under the age of 16 so long as the minor had parental consent.

To me, that’s the issue. Not whether or not the parents or the young dude or dudette want this procedure, but that it’s permanent. A tattoo just isn’t going to go away as you get older. It’s going to still be there, stretched out and faded, as you get older. Unless you pony up the big bucks for tattoo removal surgery, and that’s costly and not always successful.

Personally, I think folks should wait. Ear piercings I can see allowing before someone is 18 because you can always take the earring out. Body piercing and tattoos I’d say should wait until the person getting the procedure is at least 18. Sure they’re still too young to really make that decision because they are, after all, young and dumb. However, I think if they’re old enough to be asked to fight and die for our country, they’re old enough to decide if they want to look stupid as an old person because they’ve got a faded and stretched dragon tattoo bumping along on their stomach.

If it’s not possible to walk the procedure back, or at least make it disappear, I say you should have to wait. I know it’s horribly nanny statish of me, but it’s not like the tattoo parlor won’t be there when they turn 18. Let them wait. They’ve got the rest of their lives to regret it, so why start early?

Share on Facebook

What’s That Sound?

by Richard

It’s been 18 years since it happened, but I still remember the awe and sense of wonder cascading through my stuttering brain when I saw the face of my not-yet-first-born dude. And he was still safely ensconced in his mother’s womb at the time.

To me, this was the miracle. Not so much that there was a baby growing inside there, but that we could actually look through the belly, through the womb and see what the Sarcasmo-to-be-named-later actually looked like.

There were his chubby cheeks, the nose and lips, the eyes and the ears. We could see them all. And the amazing thing was that, when he finally came out into the world, he looked exactly like he did on the ultrasound monitor.

Well, except for the fact that he was in color instead of black and white and there weren’t all those strange lines all over his face. It was more, you know, the shape of the little dude’s face. It was all there.

I bring this up because a friend of ours and his wife are having their second baby and they’re off for the ultrasound appointment this week. They can’t wait to see the face of their newest addition either. And the strange thing is that they take this as the normal course of events. They think it’s what’s supposed to happen, that they can get a nice sneak preview of what their little dude or dudette will look like before he or she is born.

It’s stuff like this that really makes me realize that — despite the appalling lack of flying cars and jetpacks — we’re really living in the future here. We can see inside people and watch the growth of our children and we can think nothing of it.

The future is here and it’s bringing something wonderful with it.

Share on Facebook