Shopping For Birthday And Christmas Presents: Done And Done

3 years, 10 months.

Shopping For Birthday And Christmas Presents: Done And Done

Dear Jack,

Your birthday (November 16th) and Christmas are just a little more than a month apart. So all year, Mommy and I have been preparing by secretly scouting out the clearance section at Target, as well as and for ridiculously good deals.

Over all, we only paid a fraction of the cost of what your birthday and Christmas gifts should have amounted to.

For the past several months, these mysterious brown boxes have been waiting for us on our doorstep when we get home…

This week, Mommy and I finally laid all your upcoming gifts out on the floor to evaluate the situation, officially verifying that we are now finished with buying both your birthday and Christmas gifts.

I am so excited about you opening these! I can’t wait to be able to sit down with you and play.

Let’s talk about that anteater…

As I recently mentioned, you have a peculiar fascination with anteaters; as seen in your picture of the anteater who ate a monster. (I love how the monster who was eaten by the anteater is just as happy as the anteater who ate the monster!)

Shopping For Birthday And Christmas Presents: Done And Done

You have been asking for an anteater stuffed animal for quite a while now. So Mommy special ordered one of the Internet. It looks so bizarre!

But I’m confident to believe you will love it. Mommy and I wondered if your anteater will end up in the same privileged category as Ellie the Elephant and Pandy the Panda Bear, who get to ride in the car with you and wear your underwear to school.

These Are The Days Of Stuffed Animals Wearing Underwear

We also wonder what you will name him/her. My guess is “Anty.” I guess we’ll see in about two months for your 4th birthday.

Anty very well could be wearing your underwear to school.



These Are The Days Of Stuffed Animals Wearing Underwear (And Funny Drawings Of Anteaters!)

3 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

These Are The Days Of Stuffed Animals Wearing Underwear

I just want to bookmark which stage of childhood you are in right now. These are the days of you dressing your stuffed animals in your own “big boy underwear.”

It would be one thing if these specially dressed animals stayed indoors where only Mommy and I knew about them.

But… nope.

Each morning you choose an underwear-wearing stuffed animal to ride in the car with you on the ride to school. Then the privileged creature gets to be placed in your cubby all day while you learn.

At the end of each school day, with much pride, you remove your animal from the cubby for the ride home.

Let me just say it again:

Your animals are wearing your own underwear. And you are the one who picks out which pair of your underwear they wear, then you put the underwear on them.

These Are The Days Of Stuffed Animals Wearing Underwear

That’s hilarious!

But part of what makes this so funny is that you don’t appear to be trying to be funny or ironic, in the least bit.

It’s as if you are treating Ellie (your much worn-out purple elephant) and Pandy (your panda bear, who like Ellie, is also a $5 Kohl’s purchase from the check-out counter) as peers who are legitimately encountering the transition to “big boy underwear” as you are.

I don’t know how many other 4 year-old boys in America are doing the same thing right now, but I know that I did the same thing was I was about your age.

These Are The Days Of Stuffed Animals Wearing Underwear

Something else you’re doing these days that I feel is definitely defining you is your funny and creative drawings you do at school each day.

I think I might need to start up a special folder to start saving them in the Facebook page for Family Friendly Daddy Blog in a photo album simply called “Jack’s Art.”

These Are The Days Of Stuffed Animals Wearing Underwear

As for now, I’ll leave you with my current personal favorite; this picture you drew of “an anteater that ate a monster.”



These Are The Days Of Stuffed Animals Wearing Underwear

Manspeak, Volume -1: Boyspeak

During the summer of 2000 I was a camp counselor in Florida. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing but I had to make my campers think that I did. Each week I teamed up with a different co-counselor and ruled over a new cabin full of 16 boys, ready for action and trouble. Every group of boys had a natural leader, a natural rebel, followers of both, and occasionally, what I call the Boy Wonder.

He was the most misunderstood. He had the hardest time fitting in with the rest. He was in his own world. And he really didn’t mind. Because I am convinced he didn’t realize any of this.

Of course most boys encounter these traits at some point in their boyhood; some just take longer to grow out of it, if ever.

It was camp policy that every counselor had at least one of his campers with him at all times (like Sonic the Hedgehog and his rings). The Boy Wonder of the group usually ended up being the one I spent the most time with. There was something in it for both of us: I would be his faithful friend and he would be my camper-at-all-times.

The most memorable Boy Wonder was an 8 year-old named Daniel, complete with a pasty white complexion and perfectly straight bangs running across his forehead. Everyone learned his name on the second day of camp, when he threw up his corndog and tater tots inside the cabin after lunch. As the other counselor cleaned up the mess, I watched all the boys outside.

The easier job would to have been to clean up the puke. Because outside the cabin as I tried to stabilize the situation, Daniel chased all the other boys. They were afraid to get near him because of the vomit all over his clothes and face.

But ultimately, Daniel wanted to be the comedian of the group. And in a way he was: There were times he made the other boys laugh, but they were always laughing at him, not with him. His jokes were too familiar and too predictable (knock-knock’s and chickens crossing the street). It’s like he began realizing that by the end of the week, so he decided to start making up his own jokes:

Q: “What did the anteater say to the ant?”
A: “May I eat you or may I lick you?”

I remember what happened as soon as that joke was delivered. A few seconds of silence passed as this non-logical riddle fell flat. Then, it hit us all at once. The entire cabin roared up in a session of uncontrollable laughter. The joke made no sense: Why would a talking anteater politely ask his victim if he would prefer to be eaten (and die) or licked (and survive)? And why would being licked even be an option anyway? And that’s why it was inevitably hilarious.

Somewhere out in central Florida today is a high school senior named Daniel. Maybe his jokes got better. Maybe he started fitting in with the other boys. But if I know Daniel, he still hasn’t grown out of his Boy Wonder phase.

He would be far from the first. Classically, I’m referring to Gary Busey. But more recently, any man featured on a “celebrity” reality show on VH1.  And even it weren’t for the recent MTV Video Music Awards incident, I would still say it.

Kayne West.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography: