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Friday, September 16, 2011

The Diplomatic Air Head

Well, he did it again - the six-year old broke his fall with his face. He tripped because he wasn't watching where he was going and SPLAT! He didn't throw his hands forward like most people, he just hit the sidewalk like Wile E Coyote (Super Genius) hits the bottom of the canyon. It sounds dangerous and yes, I was concerned but all he did was scratch up his nose because he fell the way he does everything else; very slowly.

I wish I could say he's flighty and easily distracted because he's an air sign - Libra (like John Lennon). But he's actually very dense. If he were a planet, he'd be Pluto. Small and solid. When he was a baby, people were often drawn by his smaller than average size and generous smile - they would attempt to pick him up. It was like watching someone pick up an anvil. I was afraid his armpits would be permanently wedged into his shoulders.

He is a certified air head, though. He'll ask me why birds can fly and I'll explain for five minutes how birds have feathers and hallow bones, etc. until I'm blue in the face and now hankering for rotisserie chicken and at the end he'll say, "So, why can birds fly?"

At first I used to chalk it up to him being a kid. Now, I just say, "Are you serious?"

I've toyed with the selective hearing theory. Like in the morning when I clearly - and let me restate - CLEARLY say, "Put on your socks." He'll say, "Okay."

I run upstairs, forget why I went up there and putz around until I remember and when I come back down, what do I see. The Air Head lying down on the sofa - with bare feet.

If I remind him that he should have his socks on, he'll say, "Huh?"

At least when the four-year old ignores my orders, he'll say something smart-ass like, "I'm doing something."

And he is doing something. He's turning over the toy chest to look for a tiny piece of plastic that's supposed to be Bumble Bee's arm. But the Air Head is in dream land where nothing is happening. I know this because when I ask him what he was thinking about he'll say, "Oh, nothing."

Air. That's what he was thinking about.

It's a good thing I had some insight to my own father's antics as a boy. I'm sure if my aunts, uncles and grandmother met my little Air Head, they'd say my dad and him are a lot alike. My aunt once reminisced how the community notebook (my father's family had seven children sharing five notebooks for school) would be laden with doodles whenever my father had it. My grandmother used to tell me my father was very "particular," which in her terms meant pain-in-the-ass.

I should know they spoke the truth - my dad was very "particular" as my dad, too. But he was a Diplomat. People loved him. There were a lot of things he couldn't manage like typewriters and ATM's but people - all people - would be eating out his hands almost immediately.

In many ways, my little Air Head has those diplomatic qualities. People remember him. Everywhere I go with him, some kid passes by and says, "Hi, Zuki!"

The air head that he is, he turns in the completely opposite direction to locate who greeted him. Sheesh. 90 degrees later he says, "Oh. Hi."

"Who is that?" I'll ask.

"He's my friend."

"Oh, what's his name?"

"I dunno."


Lookin' Smart!


  1. At my job, kids who do this are almost always exhibiting selective behavior, just like Reagan used to. If they don't see it, hear it, or think about it, they don't have to do it.

  2. Makes sense. I still do that with my own mother.

  3. Jackson has selective listening/seeing. If I say, "Pick up the sock" he will stare directly at it and say, "what sock?" We usually do this 10 or 12 times before I just pick up the damn sock myself. He wins I guess...

  4. I never did thought/associate an airhead with the male species. Now, I realize there are really airheads of the male kind. It is really endearing/cute in a way for kids but with grownup males? Frustrating.

  5. It really is a perfect strategy, playing dumb. I'm sure that's why we no longer have astronauts and the Russians do.

    And yes, male air heads are frustrating. But at least they're slapping age.