My son Henry has this navy blue Superman bathrobe that he likes to wear around with nothing else on but his underwear. We took to calling him Little Hugh Hefner a while ago, but of course the significance is lost on him. It’s just so darn cute when he comes down fresh from a shower with his hair combed over and his little bare chest showing through the open part on his robe. I mean, of course I think it’s cute–I’m his mother.
Then a few weeks ago, my kids came home from someone else’s house* claiming that they had found some “secret” magazines hidden in a closet and that upon discovering them, the homeowner had promptly thrown the magazines away. (Sure, Sure, you are saying. But I swear it wasn’t our house. That is not the kind of contraband we keep around. Kidding.)
Oddly I was not upset by this. I think in everyone’s repertoire of memories, there is that time during childhood that you found the forbidden materials. It’s like a right of passage. Plus, I didn’t see what they found, but based on their accounts, it seemed very tame. very mild. The kids made a few jokes about people being naked (I think Cate said “butt” about 200 times; honestly, she’s the one we worry about) and then I told them to drop it and they did. End of story.
Or so I thought.
This morning when I got in the car, Henry announced that he had found my “girly” magazine. He then produced an old copy of Oprah and began laughing uncontrollably.
H: “Why do you like to read girly magazines?”
Me: “um, because I’m a girl. duh.”
H: “Well why do some boys like to read girly magazines?” Followed by profuse giggling by Henry & Cate. Thomas has covered his face with his hands at this point, whether to laugh or cry I am not sure. Probably cry.
Me: “What do you mean?”
H: “You know. Some boys like to read about girls with their clothes off.”
Uh-Oh. And sidenote: what the hell does Oprah have to do with all this?
I think I said something like, “We’ll talk about that later,” because at that point the girl we take to school had opened the door and I didn’t want to educate the whole neighborhood on the merits of Playboy or whatever he had seen. (Otherwise I might have said: “The articles are really good, honey. Seriously.”)
And then, the real truth, and the confirmation I’ve been dreading that my son is indeed channeling Hugh Hefner in that bathrobe — the next thing I hear is:
H: “I just can’t get it out of my mind! It’s all I can think about!”
It seems he has established his preferences early.
*location has been changed to protect myself from the harm to my own body that would surely result if I outed this person