Monday, January 13, 2014

The Philosophy of a 10 year old

     Why?  That is the question.  The word "Philosophy" literally means:  love of wisdom.  I don't know about you, but I love me some wisdom.  Wish I had more of it, to be completely honest.  However, my 10 year old son has created a philosophy of life all his own.  You would think that his young philosophy would be modeled after my years of success, and commitment to excellence, but that would be an incorrect assumption.  I'm like the Rodney Dangerfield of Mount Olive, Alabama.  No respect.  Even my darling bride has questioned my philosophy.  She asked a few "Why?" questions herself.  Why does it take you so long to wash dishes and do laundry?  She performed her own research, and discovered that in addition to being Mr. Excitement around here, I like to dance.  In fact, I like to dance while doing the dishes and the laundry.  She caught me.  Prince was playing, I think.  Might have been Madonna.  Nonetheless, that's just how I roll.  I'll cut a rug and channel my inner Fred Astaire at the drop of a hat.  Anyway, back to the main point of this post.  Jesse and his 10 year old boy philosophy.  You see, Jesse knows everything.  Heck, he'll even tell you how much he knows about everything.  He's a very lucky young man, because it took me till I was 16 years old before I knew everything.  Of course, Frank Perry Sr. let me know just exactly how much I didn't know on several occasions.  Einstein, I wasn't.  So it is my duty as a father to keep good ole J-Jam the genius in check.  In addition to discussing the "Philosophy of Jesse," I'm also going to share a story with Maddie in it, just to keep things fair and balanced.  Maddie and the smell of snacks.  Now, on to my rational argument about the philosophy of a ten year old.  If there is a such thing.
     What is the Philosophy of Jesse?  I like to call it the "But Dad" philosophy, because no matter what I tell the boy, he says "but, dad..."  Like I said, he's a genius.  Actually, he is very smart.  He's in the advanced classes at school, and he solves problems really well, reads at a very high level, and is almost as skilled at the ancient art of rhetoric as dear old dad.  However, and let me be crystal clear on this.....He's 10.  A little over ten years ago he didn't exist.  I'm of the belief that true wisdom comes with the passage of time, and not enough time has passed for young Jesse to claim his desired level of wisdom.  That being said he has plenty of theories on things.  For example, he asked me once, "Dad, do you know why Death Valley is so hot?"  My normal response was, "What? Did you say something."  Then after a slap from the wife I said, "No son I sure don't.  Could you please tell me, why."  He went on to say, "It is a unique set of environmental factors, and the differences in elevation.  Plus,  it's right under the sun."  Sounded good to me.  Never thought about it before, but obviously Jesse had.  He also has a knack of trying to call offensive plays while watching football, and he's pretty good at it.  In fact, when he was 7 he constructed an entire playbook of offense and tried to get his coach (me) to implement his system.  Maybe one day he will revolutionize the game, but I figured at 7 he needed to learn how to tackle first.  He did, and he's pretty dang good at that too.  When I was 7, I was trying to play hooky to stay home and watch Bozo the Clown and the Grand Prize Game, and he's all of a sudden Bill Walsh or something.  Definitely an improvement on the original.  He can be quite argumentative at times, and that draws the ire of the original.  He may make a great lawyer one day, because he appears to have well thought out, organized, and concise arguments.  There have been times where he made valid enough points where a reversal in the original ruling was in order.  This is the same boy that's not much of a grass cutter, and in fact avoids manual labor at all costs.  He also is deathly afraid of wasps and bees, and literally runs like a bat out of hades when threatened by these creatures.  He doesn't do scary movies very well either, and is not crazy about roller coasters.  He can be tricked too, and I got him good once a couple years ago.  Maddie, was still in an toddler car seat, and I always brought her with me to pick him up from school.  However, on this particular day Maddie stayed at home with Cheryl (who had come home from work early.)  When I picked Jesse up, and he got in the car he immediately noticed that Maddie wasn't there.  He said, "Dad, where is Maddie?"  I sprang the trap, and I did my best scared as heck/shocked by her absence look.  I turned around and said, "Jesse!!  I must have left her at home!!  Oh no!"  He believed me, and kinda freaked out.  Of course, not to be too bad of a parent I told him I was having a little fun with him.  He was pretty ticked, but it was a bit amusing.  I'm sure Jesse's "But Dad" philosophy will evolve into something even better as he gets older, and I get the feeling he's gonna be all-right.  President Perry does have a ring to it.
     We can't leave the lovely Madison Leigh Perry out of this post now can we....No, of course not.  Maddie has plenty of talents of her own.  One in particular is an uncanny sixth snack sense.  She knows when you open up that bag of Doritos.  She can smell the sugar from a mile away when it comes to Whoppers brand malted milk balls.  It's like a cat when you open a can of cat food or a dog when you shake the treat jar.  I'm not comparing Maddie to a domesticated animal, but she does seem to have the nose of a well bred canine and the stealth of a Siamese cat.  I spent the entire day Sunday working on Math homework (I've got three classes left, and I will be a 42 year old college senior no more!  I'll probably be a 42 year old grad student!), and I actually have an A in math so far this semester.  I just thought I would share that, because chances are that will change.  I took a break for lunch, and I was sitting at the dining room table.  Maddie was at the other end of the house in her room with her mother.  I opened a bag of chips to eat with my lunch salad, and I was totally unaware the events that I had set into motion.  In the back of the house Maddie immediately sensed the presence of the Nacho Cheese goodness.  Cheryl said that Maddie instantly sprang to her feet away from the dollhouse that she was playing with, and looked curiously around the room.  She appeared like a lioness that just got the scent of her prey.  She took several steps toward the door of her room and turned around facing her mother and said, "I smell chips.  I have to go."  Go she did, right into my peaceful lunch, and just like a lioness with her prey identified....she retrieved the desired Doritos.  Chalk one up for the little girl with the strong nose, and a sixth sense for snacks.
     Philosophy and snacks.  That's a pretty good combination.  My philosophy is to work every day to dominate whatever opponent you have in life, and don't forget to find some sunshine and put it on your face.  Just living life, loving my family, learning stuff, and writing about it.  My favorite snacks include the above mentioned Doritos, SweetTarts, Skittles, and Lays dip style chips with Barbers French Onion dip.  Too much information, but sharing is caring.  That's all I got.