I am so, so glad I have a son. It is such a useful window into how the male mind works. Even at age 9, Calvin is providing me with pretty astounding evidence that I have been all wrong about the way I have communicated with the opposite sex for my entire life.
Earlier this week, my mom and I took my older two kids, Calvin and Clara, on a big adventure downtown Chicago. I knew Clara would love anything we did, but I had to really think to figure out what her big brother would most enjoy.
The first thing we did was EAT. Cal loved the giant cheeseburger he ordered at 50’s-themed diner Ed Debevic’s, along with the sassy-talking waitress and the huge plastic cow hanging overhead. Can’t go wrong with beef.
I loved watching both kids gawk with open jaws at the view of the city from the top of the John Hancock building. “It just keeps going on and on and on…” Calvin said. But within about 5 or 10 minutes, he was ready to move on. Actually, ready to go home. We had done quite a bit of walking already, and he felt he had been there, done that. I could tell he was craving a couch and a baseball game. He barely tolerated one more stop so Clara and I could take a ride on the famous Navy Pier Ferris Wheel.
When we returned to Indy, I had one more day off from my work at Riley Children’s Foundation, and my moonlighting gig in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s Wizard of Oz production. I decided Cal and I needed a night out – just the two of us. He was ecstatic when I told him the plan: a night watching the Indians at Victory Field!!
I tried getting conversations going with my baseball fanatic as we watched the game. “So – why do you think people love baseball so much? What goes through your mind when you’re on the pitcher’s mound? What would be your dream team to play for?”
Finally, he cut me off. Not rudely, just matter-of-fact Calvin. “How about less questions, Mom. Can we just watch the game?”
So we sat and watched. We talked only about the plays in the game. We ate popcorn and nachos. We sent my husband texts about the score. And when it was all over, he crawled straight into bed and slept like a hibernating bear.
I think I may finally have the formula figured out for interacting with males: Beef + adventure + something cool to look at + a little less conversation + a little more action….plus plenty of down time afterwards.
Care to comment? I’m all ears.