Tag Archives: Paranoia

The Luckiest Unluckiest Day Ever

It wasn’t until later that I realized he was born on Friday the 13th.

Unluckiest of unlucky days in Western culture, Friday the 13th is a triskaidekaphobics worst nightmare. It rarely comes about, but when it does, it’s usually wielding a machete and wearing a hockey goalie mask.

But not this month. On June 13, Casa de Dude celebrates! We kick up our heels and dance and sing (although not as much these days for reasons that should become apparent in only a few moments) and just generally enjoy life because June 13, this year falling on a Friday, is the day our family became complete.

Friday the 13th of June is Hyper Lad’s birthday. This is the year he’s turning 15, which means he’s already got his grubby little paws held out and ready to take the car keys and go for a little spin. The fact that he has no learner’s permit because his driver education teacher still hasn’t gotten around to him yet. . . Well, that means little.

He’s fifteen. He’s ready to drive. At least in his mind.

I say our family became complete because Hyper Lad is the youngest of our three young dudes. He’s six years younger than our oldest and five years younger than our middle son. In fact, we weren’t supposed to have Hyper Lad at all.

My wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Getting Her Way, and I thought we were finished procreating (although not practicing) after Zippy the Travelin’ Boy. Eventually, though, she began to yearn for another female in the house. Once she said that, it became apparent that I really needed a daughter as well since I look darn good on the dance floor wearing a tux at a wedding.

Instead, we got lucky and didn’t get our wish. Instead of a girl, we got a Hyper Lad and we couldn’t be happier.

Our oldest son, Sarcasmo, had to suffer through first-child paranoia as his mom and I freaked out about anything and everything related to our darling. Our middle son, Zippy the Travelin’ Boy, stayed sheltered in the harbor of our good graces and had vigilant parents every on guard. Relaxed, but on guard.

By the time Hyper Lad came along, we were pretty much okay with him doing just about anything short of juggling the razor-sharp blades we kept in the open, unlocked drawers in the kitchen. And even that, provided he had a good reason for it.

Having older brothers, Hyper Lad has benefited from being around (slightly) more mature age cohorts for most of his life. He’s probably more emotionally mature at 15 than his brothers were when they were his age.

Since he was smaller than everyone around whom he wanted to hang, he had to develop a quick left and an even quicker wit to survive. And he has.

His teachers see the same things that we do: one of the sharpest minds, with one of the most wicked senses of humor to have come around in a long while. He’ll frequently make an offhand joke about current affairs we happen to be discussing that’s amazingly quick, amazingly on-target and blisteringly funny.

His mom and I will just turn and look at each other — once the laughter finally dies down — and trade astonished gazes.

While Hyper Lad lives up to his name (and his blog name here), he’s not constantly rushing around and ignoring everyone else. The young dude is consistently polite (to non-dad people) in almost every situation and looks for ways to help everyone he can.

Not to say he’s perfect, of course. I mean, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve come thiiiiiiisssssss close to popping an aneurysm in my brain from the crap he will drop — literally drop — wherever it is he happens to be done with it. If that means he’s finished with a band-aid wrapper six inches from a trashcan. . . Then he drops the wrapper to the floor six inches from the trashcan.

And, being a teenager, he’s now discovered the joys of sleeping in until the sun warms up. . . say, sometime around 3 pm.

So, yeah, he’s got a lot of things to work on. But, here’s the deal about that: We’re just so glad we get a chance to watch as he does. It’s going to be an interesting experience.

Here’s to you, Hyper Lad! Have a happy birthday and know we love you. And we dearly want to live through you learning to drive, so please work on that.

 

We also take a moment to remember Hyper Lad’s Great Grandmother, my Grandmother, Irene Jones. A wonderful woman, my grandmother died three years ago. She and Hyper Lad were both born on June 13 and called each other Birthday Buddies. So here’s to you as well, Mama. You’re missed and loved.

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What Do You Mean Crazy?

by Richard

You dudes are making me look crazy(er).

Well, I mean, it’s not that you’re doing it intentionally or, really, doing anything at all. I mean, you‘re not doing it. And, I don’t think I’m crazy and that’s pretty much a guarantee that you’re not crazy, yeah? But I stand by that lede.

Because, really, you dudes are making me look crazy.

It’s because I talk to myself too much. That’s not the problem. I mean, there’s tons of dudes and dudettes walking the streets of our fair planet talking to the air, gesturing like there’s someone there. We all know they’re wearing a bluetooth headset and actually talking on their phone. They’re not crazy.

No, my problem comes in that I’m clearly not wearing a headset when I’m arguing with myself or sketching out the pros and cons of something.

It’s you dudes, all right? I learned it from writing for you!

What? I can’t quote an obscure drug-paranoia public service ad every once in a while?

Seriously, though, I’m more of a verbal or kinesthetic learner. What that means is that if I have an idea and want to remember it, other than by writing it down somewhere I won’t lose the note, I have a better chance of remembering it if I hear it out loud and if I perform some sort of movement while I’m saying what I want to remember. For me, the best way I know to remember something is to mumble it to myself while I’m writing it down.

Learning styles are a hotly debated subject in the field of education. One of the cornerstones of education plans for students with learning disabilities, styles also are opposed by more traditional-minded educators.

Having had some experience with education on both sides of the desk, I’ve got to say that I do think there is something to this learning style jazz. I know I’m better at remembering stuff some ways and worse at others. I’ve seen the same thing happen with my young dudes. Tell them something and it’s like it never happened. Have them repeat it back, or read it on a note and it’s as good as done.

Different actions help to trigger the reactions in your brain that are associated with the formation and recall of memories.

All of which has absolutely nothing to do with seeming crazy for talking too much, but I did want to remember how I was going to get into this subject. Which I have.

Now I suggest you parents, especially the parents of a not-yet-in-kindergarten young dude or dudette and younger-grade kids, go out there and do a little reading on the subject of learning styles. I think what you’ll find will be a lot of help.

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Back Up To Speed

by Richard

It’s tough, returning from a vacation and trying to get back up to speed on just what’s been going on in your absence.

It’s even more of a challenge to keep a happy face on while you’re doing so.

For instance, Hyper Lad has an iPod Touch, which is basically an iPhone but without the ability to make telephone calls. The problem I have with it is that it also has a lot of games on it. Games which Hyper Lad will play for hours and hours and hours and hours until I or another adult tell the little dude to knock it off.

He knows that he’s not supposed to take the iPod Touch to bed with him because I want him to sleep. While I wasn’t here, though, he was able to sweet talk his grandmother and mom into letting him take it to bed. Most likely he just didn’t tell them about it and took it to bed without them knowing.

When I got home, he tried to tell me how he’d taken the iPod Touch to bed with him, but still got up on time and wasn’t sleepy. The problem for the little dude was that this meant he had been disobeying the house rules, which is what got focused on more than the fact that he got up.

He’s not the only slacker around Casa Dude. Not that I’m calling them all slackers, but I did find that things that I normally do when I’m here didn’t get done when I was gone. So I have to ease them and me back into the groove we’d established before the vacation.

It was different when I was working outside the house. Then I hated to take vacations because I’d always be afraid the bosses would discover that they really didn’t need me and I wouldn’t have a job when I got back. It’s not paranoia. Well, okay, maybe it was.

Anyway, it’s something to remember when you’re planning on going away. Always budget some time when you get back for getting back into the swing of life at home without a mai tai.

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