Tag Archives: Lad

Sunday Serenade: Herman The Worm

Hyper Lad came home yesterday from two weeks at camp. He’s filthy, exhausted and completely tired of singing camp or camp-related songs.

Which is why, of course, I present to you today a version of the perennial camp song, “Herman the Worm.” Yes, dudes, you really can find anything on the intarweebs. The Tubes are filled with data.

And odd videos.

Speaking of which. . .


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Binky Bucks

The concept of money, superficially at least, is an easy one for most adults to grasp.

You’ve got these little slips of paper with different numbers written on them. You give these slips of paper to someone and that person will give you, well, stuff.

Easy, right? Until you start getting into just what — exactly — that slip of paper is worth. Because, when you get down to it, that slip of paper is only worth something because we — all of us — choose to continue to believe that it’s worth something. The same goes for almost every single currency. If we suddenly believed that the Beanie Baby was the preferred currency. . . It could work.

Still, this abstract sort of thing is difficult for a lot of young dudes and dudettes to grasp.

I don’t think I or my wife, known to me then as She Who Must Be Making Deals, made things any easier for our middle little dude, known to us now as Zippy the College Boy, when we let him pay for something using his binky. For those of you who don’t know, a binky is what we called a pacifier.

So here’s the deal: Zippy the Binky Boy loved his binky. And when I say loved, I mean LLLLOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEEEDDDDD his binky. He’d pop it in when he got angry. He’d pop it in when he was contemplative. He’d pop it in when he was sleepy. And, you know the opposite of all those things? Also occasion for him to pop the binky into his mouth and start sucking.

Unfortunately for him, it was time for him to give it up. Mostly because we were getting tired of the sound. Slurp, slurp, slurp. It gets old. And, when he’d lose it in his sleep that led to a lot of loud late-night screams. For his older brother, the proto-Sarcasmo, giving up the binky was easy. He had a horrible cold at 6 months and couldn’t breathe through his nose. So he gave up the binky.

Zippy the Binky Boy? Not so easy.

After more unsuccessful attempts than I care to remember at renaming Zippy the Binky Boy, his mom and I finally hit on a solution. We figured that, since he loved animals, possibly more than he loved his binky, we could use that love to leverage the binky away. If we worked it right, we could actually get him to give away his binky and like it.

So we went for a walk down near a nice bunch of shops, one of which sold toys. We took Zippy the Binky Boy by the place, pointed out the really cool clear plastic tube of animal figures, got him really interested and then forced him to keep walking. He was livid. He wanted that tube of animals.

At that point, his mom snuck away and went back to the store. She went in and found out how much the tube of animals was and then paid for it. Then she put back the tube and told the guy that we’d be coming back and asked if he would pretend to accept the binky as currency to pay for the animals.

He said sure. As long as he didn’t have to actually touch the slimy thing. The binky, not the boy. Not that I could blame him.

And so we took Zippy the Binky Boy back into the store, him sniffling and rubbing away snot and tears on his arm. He saw the tube of animals and clutched them to his chest.

“Mine,” he said.

Then we told him he had to pay for them. He managed to say he didn’t have any money. The store owner played his part perfectly. He leaned down and said that he’d gladly take a binky in payment for the tube of animals.


Out came the binky and Zippy the Animal Boy clutched his tube even closer. He stayed happy all the way home until it was time for bed. Then he climbed into bed with his tube of animals and asked for his binky. He needed it to sleep, you see.

We reminded him about how he paid for the tube of animals with his binky.

“Oh, yeah.”

Then he snuggled up to his tube of animals and went right to sleep.

He never looked back, but he did have a habit for several years after of hauling out an old binky he’d found and trying to pay for things with it. We had to tell him it had been a special binky or a special store.

So, why did I go through all this trouble to tell you the story?

No real reason. It’s just that I found the tube of animals in the attic the other day and I couldn’t stop smiling for a long while after so I thought I’d share it with you dudes.

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Atomic Batteries To Power, Engage Hyper Speed

Happy birthday, Hyper Lad!

Today’s the big day for him, the day he moves deeper into the teens. Even though he’s only been a teenager for a year, he’s already moving well along the Path To Puberty! His voice keeps cracking every time he speaks, mostly trending deeper and deeper, but still hilariously high on occasion.

He’s learned to sleep late. Well, later.

For the first twelve years of his life, Hyper Lad would get up with the sun so he could get out and get moving. He didn’t want to miss anything. He figured all the really great stuff was happening only after he’d been asleep for a while. He wasn’t wrong. Still, it was annoying to want to sleep late, but find a somewhat bored Hyper Lad shaking my shoulder and wondering if I wanted to go do something now that it was light.

That was, however, for the first twelve years of his life. I kid you dudes not, but the first day that he was thirteen, his first day as a teenager, he slept until noon. He’s been like that ever since, for the past year. Not sure why he suddenly decided it would be fun to get dynamited out of bed by an increasingly irate father every single morning, but he did. And, of course, like every other new teen, he’s now advocating for a much later bedtime.

So far, he’s had it pretty easy. But he’s about to run into the bedtime buzz saw that his older brother, Zippy the College Boy, did. Zippy the Monkey Boy loved to sleep late and would constantly slip back to bed on school mornings and have to be yelled out of bed. Constantly. And he would constantly say he was too old to have a bed time. Constantly. And I got to tell him the same thing over and over and over: If you can’t get up on time, on your own, then you’re probably too tired so you’re going to bed early.

Eventually, after more than a year and a half, Zippy the Monkey Boy finally got the message and, for his senior year, actually got up on his own the entire time. Except for one or two accidental overslept mornings. Now it’s Hyper Lad’s turn.

Won’t that be fun?

I’m not really looking forward to this seemingly inevitable confrontation. For some reason, he and I have always had a relatively easygoing relationship. He’s done what he’s supposed to do, I haven’t had to yell. I’ve let him get away with with a few things when it wasn’t all that important. It’s worked out rather well.

Not this sleep thing, though. I can feel this one is going to lead to some harsh feelings, dudes.

I just have to remember, this is the little dude who I dragged from his womb. I was the first person to see him, standing between his mother’s knees, my own shaking; gowned and gloved and realizing that I was nowhere near prepared for what was about to happen.

But it worked. I pulled him free, smiled into his shocked face, wiped a bit of the gunk away and then handed him to his mother. Mine was the first face he saw. Poor little dude. At least the rest of his life couldn’t help but go up from there.

Things certainly have changed since then. For one thing, he likes to go out and shoot people on his birthday now, as opposed to playing with toy trucks in the back yard. By that, I mean he has gone to paint ball for the last two birthdays. I always get shot at close ranger during those events. Small price to pay, I guess.

One other thing that’s changed lately is that we can’t actually call his birthday buddy today. He was born on the same day as my maternal grandmother. They were birthday buddies and it always tickled his great-grandmother to share that special day. Now that she’s passed, the day belongs to Hyper Lad alone. Sensitive young dude that he is, he always lets me and my dad know that he misses talking to that great lady on her birthday.

So, yeah, there are bound to be some changes and some conflicts as Hyper Lad moves deeper into the teen years. But, all in all, he’s a pretty spectacularly good kid. It’s going to be worth the effort. He’s going to be worth the effort.

Happy birthday, Hyper Lad. Here’s to you. We’ll cheer as you rocket into the future.

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