One of the lesser publicized perks of being the father of a 5 year old is to get to see their unabashed discretionary carte blanche to basically say whatever they want, whenever they want to whomever they want without repercussion or fallout. It’s a perk, that is until it’s directed at you and for some reason I have been in the cross hairs of Jack’s brash unfiltered painfully honest observations for the past couple days.
While he was helping me select mortifying pictures for my 80’s time capsule post on Wednesday, one of the photographs I didn’t use was of me at the kitchen table on my 16th birthday flashing the Benjamins (somewhere around $25) I’d received in a card from Nana and Pops.When I asked Jack if he thought I should include it with the post he said, “I don’t think so Daddy. Look at your eyebrows. They go all the way to your feet.” Now, granted I used to be severely eyebrow challenged and even looked into eyebrow reduction surgery due to extreme lower neck pain, but at no time did my eyebrows every go all the way to my feet. My waist, maybe, but never to my feet.
The next picture in the stack was the now legendary Chippendale picture that did make the cut for the post. I wish I could tell you that there was a story behind that picture, a costume party, a high school Hunk and Chick Auction, underage cocktail waitress at the hottest gay night club in town, but I have no recollection of having this picture taken or of owning a bow tie. If you look closely at the picture though you can see I’m wearing a fingerless leather glove on my left hand. For me not to remember this, the boys at the club must have been buying me shots during my shifts. So, I showed this picture to Jack and his response was, “Daddy, you look like a girl.” I asked what he meant and he clarified by saying, “A girl Daddy. Not a boy. You look like a girl.”
When I was bartending last year I brought my stereo into work because the one there was, to put it lightly, a piece of shit but then the bar suddenly went out of business and I never got the stereo back. Now the only radio we have is about 10 years old, decorated with plaster dust and Nickelodeon stickers and sits atop our refrigerator. Since mid-November we’ve been playing holiday music non-stop on that radio because honestly, I think we could play holiday music year round and never tire of it. Sometimes during the more upbeat songs, Jingle-Bell Rock, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, Run-Run Rudolph, O Holy Night, we’ll all run into the kitchen and dance. The last time we were dancing Jack commented, “Daddy you dance funny.” This coming from a kid who dances by thrusting his groin back and forth and waggling his two index fingers towards the ceiling like he’s doing a spasmodic Charleston. His critique only made me shake my groove thang even harder to which he countered, “Daddy you got a big butt.” I didn’t feel like doing much with my groove thang after that.
Then, today, while were playing with some of his Ben10 action figures he did something that made me laugh and he gawked at me and stated, “Daddy your teeth are huge.” If I were to list my Achilles Heels when it comes to features of my personal appearance and how dramatically they impact my self-esteem I would rank them in this order 1) My Teeth 2) My Nose 3) My everything else.
I hope he focuses his cross hairs elsewhere and soon because I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Every father wants to be a hero in his son’s eyes, it’s few who want to be a fat-assed horse-toothed hermaphrodite wearing an eyebrow headband dancing alone to Christmas Carols in the kitchen.