It’s famously said in my all-time favorite movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, that “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” I’ve come to learn the same can be said for parenting.
If you’ve been around here a while, you’ve clearly picked up that I (nick)named my kid after the main character from said movie. Growing up, I always wanted to be Ferris Bueller. I loved everything about the character; his wit, his style, his comedic timing, and everything just worked in his favor. I did everything I could to emulate that character, and swore that if I ever had kids one day, I would raise them to the same way.
5 years ago, when we found out we were going to be welcoming a little boy into the world, I was so excited about having a mini-version of how I was as a kid…my own mini Ferris. But, one thing they never teach pre-parenting is that things don’t always turn out the way you think.
Much of the past year or so, it feels like Ferris and I are like oil and water. I feel like he never listens to me, and I’m always getting on him for one thing or another. But the most disappointing thing is it feels like we have nothing in common. I feel like every time I suggest something we should do, he would rather do something else, or play by himself.
But the more and more I hung out with my son, I started to realize, I was putting way too much pressure on our relationship. I had set some lofty expectations in my mind for a 4yo, and it just wasn’t fair to him. Sure, every guy wants their son to be into the same sort of activities they like, enjoy the same kind of tv shows they like, or root for the same sports teams. I think we tend to forget, even though they’re only 4 or 5 years old, our kids are still their own people, with their own interests and like/dislikes.
The more I started letting go and just enjoying Ferris for who he is now, the more ridiculous I began to feel about my expectations. I really enjoy watching football; my kid doesn’t. Sports don’t really peak his interest right now. They certainly didn’t for me when I was his age. Just like me, Ferris prefers to escape into a world of his own imagination. Instead of sitting and watch organized sports he doesn’t even understand, he would rather draw something, or play with cars and act out some adventure that has nothing to do with cars.
While we both love to watch cartoons on the weekends; Ferris doesn’t really watch the kind of cartoons I liked as a kid. I grew up watching cartoons like Transformers and GI Joe. It was all about the action. Ferris is really into educational stuff like Wild Kratts and Super Y. And while he’s just now getting into super heroes and Star Wars, the action still gives him a little bit of anxiety, so instead we zone out on things like Thomas and Friends or Curious George.
I would have to say the one thing my son and I share in common that I truly love, is our sense of humor. Ferris is easily one of he funniest people I know. He’s already so witty, and such a ham when he’s the center of attention; like when the camera is on. Just look at our video here:
The kid can just brighten a room a with his laughter and silliness. And if he sees you’re down, he’ll do anything to make you laugh so you forget about being sad; he just wants to see everyone smile. A trait my wife pointed out that he clearly gets from me, because I hate seeing people down in the dumps. I mean, just look at this fool:
That’s why when I had the opportunity to partnered with Cheerios to try out their brand new Very Berry Cheerios, I knew I wanted to share with Ferris. Breakfast is another thing the kid and I bond over. Not so much the eating aspect, but sitting at the table and enjoying each other. Most mornings the wife is feeding Skully, and Ferris and start the morning routine together; just the two of us.
We have a great time getting breakfast ready (mainly for him). I’ve taught him how to spread peanut butter on his toast, how to properly hold a knife, and he can now get things out of the fridge to assist in making his breakfast. It’s become daily routine, and I really love it. When I broke out the Very Berry Cheerios, Ferris was super excited to not only try them, but learn about selecting a bowl, pouring in cereal then milk. It was like a whole new chapter to our morning adventure.
My son loves berries; it doesn’t matter the kind, strawberry, blueberry, rasberry, the messier the better. Just like berries, bonding with your kid can be a messy experience, but it can also be pretty sweet.
Check out this other hilarious video from Life of Dad and Cheerios