My three year old son has so much natural energy it would make a wind farmer weep. I put it down to the simple fact that he is three and male. Speaking with a few friends who have multiple kids, (and whose family name was dishonoured by not bearing a male as their firstborn) they are surprised at the difference in intensity between little girls and boys. Right now my guy is obsessed with two things- nightly wrestling matches and pretending he’s a lion. The lion thing comes from watching too much Lion King and I put the wrestling down to a combination of testosterone release and being inspired by the Mexican wrestling mask he was given as a present. El Kido (as he likes to be known) is full-on, coming at me like a young lion cub taking on the older lion. The dual combination is apt. Young boys are just little lions wanting, and sometimes waiting, to roar. We shouldn't cage them- life will do that for us eventually. The role of a father is like that of Siegfried and Roy- we are to tame the lions. To control their natural, raw expression into something that can be focused...and maybe sold-off like thousands of showbiz parents before us.
The example of a lion isn't just a convenient analogy allowing me to craft a few hundred words around some witty gags. My kid is a pseudo Simba!
Just this afternoon I had de-claw him with clippers after he scratched up my face like Michelle Pfeiffer auditioning for her role in ‘Batman Returns’. The child has taken to roaring when he is angry, which can be hard to explain when buying cured meats from the Deli. My wife is frustrated with a lack of progress regarding toilet training but I suspect he is just marking his skinny jeans as his territory, so other style-deprived children in his day-care don’t try and take them. When it comes to day-care, he has been bitten a few times by another pesky cub but that was probably part of a struggle for leadership of the playground. When it comes to hunting, he has recently joined in with his father, helping take down a wild and large capricciosa (no anchovies), even stealing the last piece from his old man.
Eventually this cub will grow a mane,probably still in primary school if he’s like his Dad, and go off and start a pride of his own. My job is to teach and protect him until then, keep him away from poachers and Broadway productions of Disney classics.
I know that society is not too fond of wild lions, big or small, roaming around. I just hope that the schools and offices he finds himself in don’t end up caging the pure, expressive energy of that Little Lion Man.