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Jan-21-2009 08:44printcomments

They're Growing Up

The first disappointing moment occurred when the boys ganged up on me and refused to call me “Daddy” anymore.

Father and son
Image courtesy: timthefoolman.com

(AGOURA, Calif.) - There are so many passages for parents, with their kids, as they grow up. I remember the “big ones” like first words, first steps, and first poops.

I remember smaller ones, like throwing away the wet wipes, once and for all, when my second son was “done” with his toilet training (sometime prior to starting 4th grade, I think).

Seriously, I still get occasionally whiffs of those wipey smells, from where I don’t know, and don’t miss them for a moment. But, some of these passages are harder to take than others.

The first disappointing one occurred when the boys ganged up on me and refused to call me “Daddy” anymore.

“Dad” was it, regardless of my pathetic pleas. My older one was first to stop asking to occasionally sleep in my bed every time there was a storm or wayward noise.


Both still say “goodnight” and my younger one still consents to a hug or kiss, while my older one graciously gives me a wave or such, when he says “goodnight.” I’ve also gotten pretty good at stopping the “honey,” “sweetie”, and other saccharine salutations.

But, I must admit I’m struggling with letting go of my songs. I’ve been singing rhyming songs to the boys, to various popular melodies, for years.

Presently, I’m addicted to singing one to the tune of the Indiana Jones Theme music.

I come up with extremely clever plays-on-words, like “Aaron David is my boo, and I love him, yes I do do do.”

Try that to Indiana Jones and tell Rodgers and Hart they’ve now got competition.

But, Aaron is now done rolling his eyes at my singing, as he’s made it clear he’s thoroughly disgusted and waaaaayyyyy tooooo oooollllddd for that sort of childishness.

So, I guess I’ll have to pack it in and just get used to all those puberty things that are beginning to spring up, like buying deodorant and pimple creams for my emerging teenager.


Please visit brucesallan.com to contact Bruce and to enjoy the various features his new Web site offers, including a unique Ask Bruce For Advice section, an archive of his columns, contact info, links to his published work, photo galleries, and reader comments, plus much more.

Bruce Sallan gave up his showbiz career a decade ago to raise his two boys, full-time, now 12 and 15. His nationally syndicated column, A Dad’s Point-of-View, is his take on the challenges of parenthood and male/female issues, both as a single dad and now, newly remarried, in a blended family. In addition to Salem-News.com, his column is available in over 50 newspapers and Web sites in the U.S. and internationally. He can be reached at: brucesallan@gmail.com.




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Henry Ruark January 22, 2009 8:17 am (Pacific time)

D-c: Friend, thank you for that fine and heart-warming addition here. Still works that way with my four sons, one daughter, all now "grown up". You repeat happening here, with same result for this old heart.


Dencouch January 21, 2009 9:03 pm (Pacific time)

Don't stay the course! Always let them know they are loved,and they have a Dad. The fragrance is oh so sweet when you hang up the phone after chatting, (only to have the phone ring again when you have just stepped away)and it is your son telling you he forgot to say "I love you, Dad". Priceless!


Henry Ruark January 21, 2009 10:15 am (Pacific time)

Tempted to tell Bruce to wait until his kids reach working years for multiplied manners he now experiencing. My No. 4 son is 40 years into "the media" as camera-toter; all three others have even more working time there and elsewhere, too. Does that soften sentiments and sensitivities ? Absolutely NOT --especially the latter ! Friend Bruce, don't expect it to get any better, enjoy it while you can...love your stuff, and seek it rapidly whenever available: It helps !

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.