Ah, puberty – you crazy adversary.
I have an eleven year old who’s just starting to meet this crazy little thing called puberty. He’s my first child to make it to eleven, and honestly, I’m not sure we’re ready. A huge part of mastering puberty (as if anyone does this), is getting the hang of regular grooming practices. As luck would have it, my wife Beth says I get responsibility over the boys. She gets Liv. I’m struggling with this. Here’s why:
He’s not adverse to being clean, he just hates the idea of being trapped in a room where it rains on his head. Freaks him out. He’s happy to bathe, as long as we fill the tub with enough dinosaurs to keep him busy and don’t introduce enough soap or bubble bath to obscure his view of said dinos. He’s also juuuust independent enough to not want help with all those nooks and crannies. When we rinse the shampoo from what hair he has, we have to still fold a washcloth for him to put across his eyes, so he doesn’t get soap in them.
Jake gets his hair buzzed to nothing because it minimizes his need for brushing. That, and he can’t seem to sit still enough/long enough to receive a proper barber-style haircut. Thank God for small favors.
Thankfully, I’m not a very hairy guy (I mostly shave daily so my upper lip doesn’t look dirty), and it looks like Jake’s got the fair-skinned, blond coloring of his maternal grandfather. He’ll probably be that high school senior with a beard. I CANNOT imaging using an electric on HIS sensitive upper lip, and I don’t dare give him a blade razor.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that Jake enjoys Crocs. His affinity for barefoot slip-on shoes is leading to some pretty stinky feet. Beth and I were in the car the other day when I remarked, “What smells like a mix of vinegar and urine?” Turns out Jake had taken his shoes off. Ick.
As my friend Hil says, “D.O. for your B.O.!” Let’s imagine the scenario where you take a kid who can’t handle lotion or textures, and then smear some weird crayon thing under his arms every day. We’re doing this with modeling and hand-over-hand for now. I do mine, he does his. Mine’s unscented, but Jake still thinks I smell like “candles.”
He hasn’t noticed them, and I’d thank you not to point them out. He hugs people he’s comfortable with, and thankfully this behavior hasn’t spread to people he doesn’t know, or worse: random, busty girls. I can’t wait for that social story.