Monday, June 18, 2012

ROOST: Awkward Conversations 101

Just came across an article via Pinterest called "8 Great Date Ideas for Moms and Sons," which sounded cute, even though I always think it's a little awkward to call it a "date." Besides, what constitutes a date? They're toddlers -- we hang out all the time. Is it a "date" if we stop at Panera on the way home from running errands? What about the playground? What if I only take one of them food shopping? Is there a minimum fun-quota that has to be met? If we meet up with my friend and her kids, is that a double date?

But semantics aside, I like having special hangout days with my kids, by which I mean days when we have either more fun or better food than normal. We are particularly fond of the Thomas aisle at Target, and lunch at Chipotle.

He licks the foil just like his mama!

So I figured the article might have some creative suggestions. I mean, Pinterest is the home of black-olive penguins and reindeer cupcakes -- surely these date ideas would blow my mind!

But it turns out the idea behind the article is to lure your kid with a fun activity and then trick them into a super-serious conversation. 

For example:

Head to the tennis court, the batting cages or shoot hoops.... Talk to your son about what it means to be a 'real man'....  Let him know that real men don’t have to be good at sports, or even like sports.

Holy bait and switch! "Hey, son, let's hit the batting cages. You go first. Wow, you knocked it out of the park...but that doesn't make you a man." Awkward. Then there's this one:

Take a day trip or an overnight trip.... Road trips are great for tackling heavy subjects.  While your eyes are on the road, he might feel more comfortable opening up about life topics. 

I just had a flashback to about 15 different car rides with my mom in high school. That's not a date -- it's entrapment. 

The article also suggests taking him out to his favorite restaurant and then asking him what kind of wife he sees himself having. Really?! "How's the burger and what kind of woman do you want to marry?"  That's like the person who announces on their first date that they want five kids. Sloooow doooown

Don't get me wrong, I think communication is important, but can't I just hang out with my kids sometimes? And, you know, just try to be as approachable and non-judgmental as possible, so I don't have to trick them into talking to me? If we're going to call it a date, let's at least make it fun. You know, so they want to go on a second date. 

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