August 27th, 2008


As I mentioned before, yesterday was T.R.’s first day of middle school. I worried, of course, but the worst thing that happened was also the funniest: T.R. went to P.E. twice out of confusion with changing classes for the first time. When he realized his mistake, he handled it beautifully. He went to the office to explain what he had done. They told him they’d explain to his science teacher that he’d misread his schedule and to go to the period of P.E. he was actually scheduled for. Maturity is springing up all over, to the point that T. could laugh with us about the situation.

Then at dinner we got into a conversation about deodorant and I discovered a whole new kind of maturity springing up. T.R. still has a little kid’s disregard for cleanliness. It is traditional for him to complain about taking a bath until he’s actually in there and then enjoying it so much he is in no hurry to get out. On days we swim, I don’t make him take a bath on the theory that the chlorine kills everything, but yesterday we didn’t swim. Syd, who is extra smell-sensitive and older-brother-toward-younger insensitive, opined in no uncertain terms that, yes, T.R. REALLY needed to take a bath.

Surprisingly, T.R. then asked if Syd had any normal deodorant. A deodorant, presumably originating at his dad’s house, has been sitting on T.R.’s nightstand for weeks, but apparently it is some weird smell. Syd gave him the gel deodorant that was lurking in the medicine cabinet with the comment that Syd hated the way it worked because of armpit hair. Now, as a brainwashed female, I religiously remove my armpit hair, so I have no valuable information to impart on the subject, but Syd’s dad, who doesn’t have that particular problem, at some point declared his hatred of solid deodorant on the same grounds. I said that it really wasn’t relevant to T.R. and found out that, actually, he is beginning to… well… sprout.

Being a mom and therefore not squeamish about embarrassing questions (how can I be, when doctors ask me about their stools, for God’s sake?), I asked if there were hairs emerging anywhere else. Syd was appalled. I asked T. if I had embarrassed him and he said no, but that he didn’t want to answer the question, either.

See what I mean about the maturity? He didn’t blush or freak out and he found a polite and dignified exit from an uncomfortable situation. I suppose Syd and I should pay attention. Maybe we can learn something.