A brief glimpse into the daily happenings of a 6-year-old, his new baby brother and his family.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Actually, my name is Leonardo

Before Ben was born, I swore I would NOT, under any circumstances, EVER allow a child of mine to wear costumes in public if the date was not October 31st. I thought it was funny to see a little girl in her jeans, a tutu and fairy wings, and plastic high heels at the grocery store or a little boy with shorts, a Superman pajama top with a cape, and cowboy boots at Target. Funny, but embarrassing. Who lets their kid go out looking like that?

I also swore I wasn't going to be a "weapons" mom. While I understand that the hard-wiring on the Y chromosome clearly carried some need to pretend to shoot things, a child of mine would have to be creative enough to build a weapon out of Legos or straws. We would NOT have a house full of guns, swords, etc.

Fast-forward to the present day. Who lets their kid go out looking like that? Turns out I do. But, it's not a costume that my kid wears... it's weapons.

Thank you, dear Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for introducing my son to the weapons of a ninja. Most of all, thank you for having turtle shells (that during the mutating process that made you grow as big as people and learn to speak and eat pizza) suddenly come equipped with convenient storage for your weapons.

See how Leonardo (the blue mask) wears his swords? Turns out, poor Benjamin Charles Mayfield wasn't born with a sword holder on his back, so he had to improvise. One day, he started cramming two swords down the back of his shirt. The next thing I know, I began allowing him to wear them until he got into the van. Later, it was "into the store." Next thing I know, he's wearing swords everywhere we go except school.

The swords have made an appearance at Target, the grocery store, Costco, the library, every house we visit, and restaurants. It's become a ritual that when we go out for dinner I say, "If you take out your swords at dinner..." and Ben chimes in with, "I know. You'll take them away."

He wears them so often, I think he looks a little naked when he leaves them in the van to attend preschool (strict NO WEAPONS policy, even for turtles). Everywhere we go, people comment. Ok, they point and laugh, then they comment. We hear, "Look at that little boy with his swords." Then they say, "I like your swords." Ben looks them in the eye and says, "Hi. My name is Leonardo."

Recently, we were at a party at a friends' house. A mom I hadn't met before said, "Are you Leo's mom?" I looked totally confused. She tried again, "Leo? Little guy with blondish-brown hair? He has swords on his back?"

At our every-Friday-night dinner spot, everyone from the hostess and servers, to the manager say, "Hey! It's Leonardo! How are you?" Often, they bring over other servers who haven't had the pleasure of having us sit at their table to meet the famous Leonardo.

You'd think that this sword-wearing phase would be restricted to hours when Ben is awake. Clearly you don't know the obsessive nature of my son. Turns out those swords can be crammed down the back of a pair of pajamas just as easily as a shirt. Heck, you can even sleep with them. I think the point is that you never know when you're going to need them. That, and, that we're all really good parents BEFORE we have kids.

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