I find myself writing about my children a lot, which is strange, because I’ve abandoned my other blog that was dedicated to kid-type stuff because I felt I didn’t have enough to write. Apparently The Universe works in mysterious ways, and enjoys taunting me.
Since they’ll likely be featured often going forward, I decided I’ll take a blog post or two to properly introduce you to the boys. I commonly refer to them as The King and The Supplanter – my oldest (The King) is named after our grandfathers, and in baby books, the meaning of his first name usually comes with some variation of “the King of the House.” My youngest was harder to name, because my family tends to have really old-school New England names that we felt were either too old-school to use, or too frequently used. The irony is that we agreed on a name, but didn’t look at the Social Security baby names data, and so blindy chose the top boy name for him. Neither did we look into the meaning of the name in the baby name books until after the fact, but found it greatly amusing to discover that one of the meanings of his name was “Supplanter.” The names suit both boys very well, and in many cases, so do the name meanings!
Today, I’ll tell you a bit about The Supplanter. He’s in Kindergarten this year, and is a little bundle of energy. At preschool graduation last year, his teachers voted him “Class Politician” which is spot on. He makes friends wherever he goes, but he has a particular knack for befriending teenage girls. I think a big part of it is his freckles and his long, fluttery eyelashes; he knows how to work the cute. He’s one of those kids who does great in a group, and usually tries to make sure no one is left out. He’s kind and caring, and loves the spotlight.
I’ve been trying to raise the boys to be open minded, and I frequently challenge their ideas about what’s a “girl” thing vs. a “boy” thing. While The King remains skeptical that boys can openly enjoy things that aren’t traditionally boy things, The Supplanter embraces nearly everything. A few days ago we were driving around town, and he saw a strip mall nail place. He’s in that phase where he reads EVERYTHING because he can, so he sounded out the word “manicure” and then had to ask what it meant. I gave him a brief explanation, and he responded “oh, so girl stuff.” He was surprised when I told him that there are plenty of men who go for manicures, too, but he was intrigued by my explanation of pedicures. “Man, I need one of those,” he told me from the back seat. “My feet are really peely.”
The next day, we attended a birthday party at a place at the mall. Afterward, Hubby wanted to buy a cupcake from the high-end bakery, but I wanted to pop into Lush, which offers specialty bath products and cosmetics. I discovered the franchise when I was in Covent Garden in the late 1990’s and have been a fan ever since. Since we don’t make it to this particular mall very often, I thought I would pop in and buy a birthday gift for my mother. At first, The Supplanter didn’t want to come with me, but then the pretty girls in the shop started talking to him. Then, I showed him the bubble bars, which look like colorful marshmallow candies. The final nail in the coffin was the bath bomb demonstration – warm water in a bucket, a bath bomb that produces first pink, then blue, and finally lavender foam, with a gorgeous scent – The Supplanter was hooked. He wanted to buy the whole store, but I convinced him that one bath bomb for the tub was enough, and that he could come back some day and buy the lip scrub he discovered at the cash register. He got back to the car smelling like neroli and lavender, and covered in glitter (in addition to the regular dirt and a blue tongue from the candy at the party.)
The King thought the bath bomb was a girly thing, until he realized that The Supplanter was going to use it in the tub, and then suddenly bath time was cool.
The Supplanter is also as sensitive as he is outgoing. He loves to explore, but he gets spooked easily. Take, for example, the day we went to Broad Meadow Brook to sign up for summer camp. He wanted to play in the nature area, but my shoes were all wrong for hiking. I told him I could see him down to the bottom of the hill, if he wanted to run down and back before we left. He took off with his usual eagerness, but was back within a few minutes; he was pale and looked very concerned. “I think I heard a fox,” he said. “Can we leave?” I knew there were other people on the path below him, and doubted that he’d really heard a fox less than 200 feet into the woods…and really, who could resist that opening, right? “What did the fox say,” I asked? The look he gave me would have turned Medusa to stone. “It’s not funny,” he replied. “I’m really feeling nervous. Can we go, please? I’ll be fine if I have a camp counselor with me this summer, but I really want to leave right now.” By the time we were back at the car, he was singing, and I bet you can guess which song.
So, that’s The Supplanter in a nutshell – adventurous, sensitive, outgoing, loves to shop, enjoys the finer things in life, and full of equal parts humor and love.