Blast from the past…

December 2, 2008

I was arguing with my oldest about his clothing selection for school- honestly, he looked like a homeless person.  I realize that fashion has changed a lot since the 70’s and that, at 8 years old, he is going to start expressing his own sense of style, but come on, does he have to look like a bum?  I’m positive that I’m not alone in this predicament. Most of the kids in his class dress in a similar fashion.  The trouble is that a part of me remains unwilling to let go of the little boy who not so long ago wore Spiderman t-shirts and corduroy pants.

The argument discussion that I had with Mack reminded me of some writing I had done several years ago, so I pulled it out for a trip down memory lane.  I was hoping to be transported to a simpler time- a time when my children worshiped The Wiggles and followed a similar dress code, but that wasn’t necessarily the case.  Yes, way-back-when Connie and I did control what the kids had in their dressers, but that didn’t mean we always had control of what they put on their bodies.


My oldest son has always been a bit eccentric in his clothing choices. One moment he is your average four year old wearing a Spiderman t-shirt and blue jeans, but turn around and he’s dressed like a $2.00 harlot. It wasn’t so bad at first and truth be told we encouraged his sense of imagination and adventure. As a father, I had no objections to him wearing a Browns football helmet and nothing else- although he could have picked a team with a better win/loss record. It wasn’t until my boy discovered the joys of ladies’ lingerie that I started to become a tad bit uncomfortable.  Nothing can prepare a father for the day when he walks in on his little man wearing nothing but a brassiere, pantyhose, and a pair of soccer cleats.

Some of Mack’s more memorable costumes originated from my wife’s sock and underwear drawer. Mack discovered the treasures that lie within and fell in love with the idea of surprising his old man with outlandish attire on a daily basis. Here’s an example of one of those occasions:

Whenever Mack disappeared for more than 1.5 minutes and we could not hear the distinct sound of something being destroyed, Connie and I would immediately deploy into area damage control mode. We would break off and cover different sectors of the house with emergency response gear at the ready. On one of these occasions, we entered Mack’s room together and found him outfitted in his newest superhero costume.  Mack’s creation consisted of a single article of clothing stretched across his 35 lb, three foot tall frame. I didn’t recognize what it was at first, but with the aid of a Victoria’s Secret catalog, I was able to identify it as a pair of ladies thong underwear. The way in which it was configured resembled some type of obscene wrestling singlet.  The waistband was pulled up over his shoulders performing the function of suspenders and the triangular main body looked like a gladiator breast plate similar to something found in a Cinemax soft porn  movie. The back of the thong (hence forth referred to as butt-floss) went from his tiny buttocks to the back of his neck.  The butt-floss also bisected his man-parts (completely obscene)- I am sure this was unintentional.  Aside from his cowboy boots, the only other thing Mack was wearing was a comical look of surprise- even at four I think he was aware that his ensemble was a bit over the top.

Mack’s critical error was that we had caught him in the act. More than likely he was in the operational planning phase, simply assembling his uniform. His intent was most likely to wear the ensemble under his street clothes and then unleash his outrageousness at a time of his choosing-maybe in the middle of preschool, at a friend’s birthday party, or when the girl scouts come calling for cookie money. His plans had been foiled. His mother and I laughed openly while snapping multiple photos for future use. The photos are secured at an undisclosed location.  (I would post them to prove that I’m not making this shit up but the photos would probably land me in court. Not to mention, there are just some things the human eye should just not have to view.)

In the case I outlined above we were lucky. More times than not, Mack was successful in keeping his plans under wraps until an opportunity to completely embarrass Connie and I presented itself. Clothing has become the centerpiece of many of his most creative operations. How many times has he escaped the house wearing pantyhose under his Osh Kosh overalls?  How many days has he come home from school wearing nothing but pajamas- he walked out the door completely dressed-how the hell he pulled that one off remains a mystery.  I once got home from work to find him doing pirouettes in our living room wearing a pink tutu and a matching leotard. Ahhhhhhh!  Where did he find a ballerina costume?  This was not a Daddy-approved purchase.

If Mack is not putting some type of inappropriate clothing on, then he is stripping off completely appropriate clothing at the most inappropriate time. He is my little nature boy, the kid that can be counted upon to run naked through the streets happy as a clam. Within the first week of moving into our new home in Annapolis, I found myself trying to capture his naked ass in the front yard as our new friends and neighbors observed from a safe distance. “Hi, I’m Shane and the naked kid wearing the Power Rangers mask is my boy Mack. Say ‘hi’, buddy.” Maybe some day he’ll learn humility, but for now he is rejoicing in his boyhood and enjoying the uncomfortable explanations his mother and I must give to completely clothed members of our community.

These are my words from four years ago.  How soon you forget what it was like when your kids were wee-tots.  It is rarely as easy or as calm as you remember.  Over time, parents romanticize events or at least compartmentalize the strangeness so that they don’t dwell on events which caused emotional trauma.  This may be an innate mechanism designed to lull us into believing that parenting is an easy undertaking, thus ensuring the continuation of our species. Otherwise, we would have perished long ago.

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MrsFierceShoes posted the following on December 2, 2008 at 3:25 pm.

OMG…I think two drops of pee came out as I laughed about the thong…….what a visual! hee! hee! My parents have some of those type pix under wraps too. Drat!

Pam posted the following on December 23, 2008 at 12:15 am.

I just found your blog and am laughing out loud! You are a fabulous writer! I can’t wait until I have time to read more!

admin posted the following on December 23, 2008 at 11:48 am.

Pam, so glad you enjoy my ramblings, my boys never leave me at a loss for something to say. Come back often and tell your friends. Have a great Holiday. shane

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