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Quirky Is As Quirky Does


It’s safe to say (I think) that I came from an abnormal family. Anyone who writes a blog on the Internet as “Your Aunt Becky” is not exactly someone who you’d hold up as the pinnacle of normal.

My parents, as white-collar hippies didn’t exactly promote the idea of normalcy as something to strive for.

You want to shave half your head and dye your scalp purple? Go for it!

You want to shave your legs in vertical stripes and wear mini-skirts? Why not?

Want to get your belly button pierced at age 14 by some guy in the back of a music store with instruments that were probably NOT sterilized? WHY NOT?

They did draw the line at both tattoos and visible body piercing, for which I am eternally grateful. While wearing an eyebrow ring through the hallowed halls of my high school may have made me stand out from the crowd, ten years later, that pesky hole would drive me bonkers.

Being quirky as an adult is kinda awesome. It means that people who meet you after reading your blog think that you’ll probably de-pants them while eating a hot dog, humping their now-naked leg, while yelling, “EYE OF THE TIGER BABY!” Imagine their surprise when you do neither.

My middle son, Alex, he’s always been a character. He’s the guy who you’ll find hanging out at frat parties, double-fisting cheap keg beer while breaking furniture just to make you laugh. He’s a non-coke addicted Chris Farley in toddler form. At least, I HOPE he’s not addicted to coke – he’s been told “no recreational drugs until he’s twelve,” but you know kids these days.

Anyway. Alex is the epitome of different – he’s quirky and charming.

His Halloween costume for three years running now is a butterfly costume. Why? Because the kid loves butterflies, and why the fuck not?

(no, the wings are not some weird PR stunt – the kid just likes butterflies, and why the fuck not? They’re fucking awesome.)

He’s the first in line to get his nails painted – fingers and toes – and while he’s as rough and tumble as little boys can get, he’s happily in touch with his exuberant side.

Who the shit doesn’t love silver fingernails?

This Friday, on our weekly pilgrimage to The Target, I strong-armed my daughter into picking up some new underwear (she potty trained herself, which just figures). She, being related to me and somehow sensing that my very first training bra was a Wonder Women bra, gravitated toward not Dora. Not Diego. No. BATMAN.

Because obviously.

(I’d totally wear Batman undies if I could find ’em in my size.)

While we were in the undies aisle, I grabbed a couple more packs of undies, including two packs of My Little Pony undies – one for her, one for her brother. I *knew* he’d get a kick out of them.

And he did.

But Sunday morning, he wandered over to me, and asked me in the very serious way in which a five-year old who thinks a lot can, “Mommy, will you kill me if I wear girls underwear?”

My heart dropped a little bit.

I wrapped him in my arms, and said, “No, baby, you wear what you want to wear – just look at your sister!” She stood next to him, adjusting the crotch on her Batman skivvies, the flap that normally covers the twig and crackle-berries sadly vacant, and smiled.

“Alex,” she said. “I love your My Little Ponies underwear.”

And they scampered off, hand in hand, and I sat watching them, hoping the rest of the world will be as kind.

45 Comments to

“Quirky Is As Quirky Does”

  1. On June 5th, 2012 at 1:14 pm Rachel Says:

    AWESOME! That’s all I’ve got, is just simply AWESOME!!

    ps- can you adopt me?? I’d love an awesome mom like you!!

  2. On June 5th, 2012 at 1:15 pm CycleNinja Says:

    Holy crap. What a great post. How sad he has to wonder something like that at his age.

  3. On June 5th, 2012 at 1:17 pm Becky Says:

    Cheers to you for raising your children without boundaries. I wish more parents were less concerned about labels and more concerned about happiness! Congrats to you from a fellow Mom who spends her days with a six year old daughter who will in one day go from glitter nail polish to fighting with Jedi swords….Rock ON

  4. On June 5th, 2012 at 1:29 pm Katie Says:

    i’m just sayin…

  5. On June 7th, 2012 at 7:19 am Karen Lamb Says:

    so cool, thanks Katie!

  6. On June 5th, 2012 at 1:40 pm Grace Says:

    You mean you’re NOT going to de-pants me while eating a hot dog, humping my now-naked leg, while yelling, “EYE OF THE TIGER BABY!”????? DAMMIT!!

    I’m so glad you let your kids be whoever they want to be. You’re just plain awesome.

  7. On June 5th, 2012 at 1:55 pm leanne Says:

    First things first… about this:
    “It means that people who meet you after reading your blog think that you’ll probably de-pants them while eating a hot dog, humping their now-naked leg, while yelling, “EYE OF THE TIGER BABY!” Imagine their surprise when you do neither.”
    You forgot to mention their DISAPPOINTMENT!

    Also, Alex’s question broke my heart a little. But hooray for your kindness and understanding! The world could use a little more of your attitude. And, love Mimi’s response, too.

  8. On June 5th, 2012 at 2:06 pm Pete In Az Says:

    There’s always hope, but, you might want to avoid Arizona for now.

    Shakes head and wanders out

  9. On June 5th, 2012 at 2:09 pm Ewokmama Says:

    I love your kids!!

  10. On June 5th, 2012 at 2:12 pm Jester Queen Says:

    Oh yeah. My little danseur would get along well with your butterfly. (And he’d probably steal the costume idea too, except that I think he has his heart set on being Spiderman this year.) I’m so grateful Sam has not yet noticed the funny looks he gets when he puts on his ballet tights. (And the other mothers have learned not to do it when I’m paying attention, because I’ve perfected the ‘withering glower’ of ‘how dare you?’.) To try to make ballet more acceptable to parents of boys, boys aren’t even required to wear a leotard and tights to ballet. (Sam would be devastated if I didn’t LET me wear those things.) Last time we went on vacation with my in-laws, my niece painted all four of our nails bright happy pastels, and we enjoyed the looks my husband and son got from fellow travelers. Sam keeps his hair in a bowl cut so he can have a little ponytail when he wants it. And there is no reason why a little boy should NOT enjoy these things. I’m glad your little guy loves his My Little Pony undies just as much as his sister likes Batman. Whoever taught him you might love him less for such choices should be clobbered.

  11. On June 6th, 2012 at 12:05 pm chrisinphx Says:

    Yes! You made me smile so big inside reading your comment. The “how dare you” snear is one of my favorites! I’ll stare you down until you get up and walk away with your head hung in shame, learned that one from Grandma. Keep up the awesome!

  12. On June 5th, 2012 at 2:13 pm Jester Queen Says:

    Shit. WordPress just ate my long thoughtful comment. The upshot is that my son and yours would get along well. They could compare fingernails and outfits, though Sam’s would be his leotard and tights for ballet.

  13. On June 5th, 2012 at 2:24 pm Gwen Says:

    Oooh Alex reminds me SO MUCH of my son at that age. He loved sparkles, wings, and glitter. He’s almost 14 now and just as awesome. He’s also a fan of My Little Pony 🙂 Alex and Amelia should wear what they want, their undies are their and forever 🙂

  14. On June 5th, 2012 at 2:26 pm Alex Says:

    LOVE this – your kids are fabulous! Almost as fabulous as you! Way to go, mama.

  15. On June 5th, 2012 at 2:44 pm Chooplah Says:

    I think it’s a little unfair to make them wait to use recreational drugs until age 12. Loosen up.

  16. On June 5th, 2012 at 3:24 pm Lis0r Says:

    I love, love, love your Alex posts. He’s such a happy little monkey who knows who he is and what he likes and forget what anyone else thinks. He’s obviously rubbing off on Mimi, which is awesome.

    You’re an awesome mom, Aunt Becky. Keep up the good work. 🙂

  17. On June 5th, 2012 at 4:07 pm Jace Says:

    You rock!

  18. On June 5th, 2012 at 4:07 pm justkeepinitrealfolks Says:

    YOU ROCK GIRL!!!!! I like the way you roll.

  19. On June 5th, 2012 at 5:30 pm Amy Says:

    Idk, Aunt Beckster – I have Batman and Captain America and Iron Man underwear, and i’m a double extra luxurious in the underwear department. And I got them at THE TARGET! ( I was going to write double extra special, but I didn’t want people thinking that meant small, you know, because of the s.) (And I don’t usually write about the extraordinary size of my panties, but it’s germaine to this discussion.) I never thought I’d find superhero under guchies to fit my ample backside, but I DID AND THEY ARE TEH AWESOME I also am part glitter butterfly. Me and your sweet boy are practically TWINS, except there are LOTS of us who love awesome stuff, so it’s better than that.

  20. On June 5th, 2012 at 6:14 pm JenniferB Says:

    You’re my favorite aunt. Just sayin.

  21. On June 5th, 2012 at 6:16 pm Rebecca Says:

    What about these?

  22. On June 5th, 2012 at 8:04 pm Valerie Says:


    And THAT’S how you raise well adjusted, awesome kids!!!

    Not to mention, I WEAR BATMAN UNDIES!!!

    And Ironman, Superman and the Hulk. Cuz I’m fucking awesome.

    Keep up the great work!



  23. On June 5th, 2012 at 8:13 pm Becky Mochaface Says:

    You just send anyone who even remotely hints at teasing him about his butterfly wings and My Little Ponies skivvies to us Pranksters and we’ll set them right.

  24. On June 5th, 2012 at 8:14 pm Heather Says:

    And these are kids that will turn out more well adjusted than anyone else ever will. We have to allow ourselves to just be ourselves and what we like and not conform to what we’re “supposed to be like”.

  25. On June 5th, 2012 at 9:31 pm Kickback Says:

    Damn Becky, did you paint his nails using your feet during a fit of the DTs?!? What kid wouldn’t want wings, how the hell else is a person supposed to fly? I can only hope I’m half as cool as those two when I grow up.

  26. On June 5th, 2012 at 9:32 pm The Six-Fingered Monkey Says:

    wonderful. wonderful. amazing. perfect. wonderful.

  27. On June 5th, 2012 at 10:39 pm Jaime Says:

    the adult world could definitely learn something from children…. what a GREAT story!

  28. On June 5th, 2012 at 11:05 pm Kristin Says:

    I love you and I love your kids’ style. Quirky is my favorite kind of people.

  29. On June 5th, 2012 at 11:50 pm Kate Says:

    My little boy nearly had an apoplectic fit when I dared walk down a pink-themed aisle today. I’ve been trying to get him in tutus and glitter wings for his 4 year life- how do you do it?? He’s so masculine he sweats BBQ sauce. Ah, well. Maybe I can get my daughter in batman undies when the time comes… P.S. I am so buying myself superhero underwear after all of these comments. Chuh.

  30. On June 6th, 2012 at 9:45 am Ash Says:

    I think the point is that Alex is being himself, his mother didn’t “get him in tutus”, he chose them. If your son chooses to sweat bbq sauce (lol, that was awesome) then probably you should be just as proud of him for that, since he is clearly being himself.

  31. On June 6th, 2012 at 12:26 am Amelia Says:

    I. Love. You.

  32. On June 6th, 2012 at 1:46 am Abigail Says:

    “It means that people who meet you after reading your blog think that you’ll probably de-pants them while eating a hot dog, humping their now-naked leg, while yelling, “EYE OF THE TIGER BABY!” Imagine their surprise when you do neither.”

    Truth. Mostly. I mean I didn’t REALLY expect you to hump my leg… but… I wasn’t sure either. It was still a fun visit even with no leg humping and hey, why haven’t we done that again?

  33. On June 6th, 2012 at 6:15 am mary i Says:

    You are all of the above. The world needs more mommys Just Like You!! He is so cute 🙂 Will you be my mommy too?? You Do Rock!!!

  34. On June 6th, 2012 at 7:18 am Irene Says:

    You are an awesome mom to awesome kids!

  35. On June 6th, 2012 at 7:41 am j glitter Says:

    I love you!
    Coming from a repressed version of your adult son, THANK YOU!!
    ALSO, I watched a little boy in a shoe store tackle a mannekin for her oversized purse. Then proudly parade around the store with his prize.
    While I teared up and felt his pride his mother felt embarrassed.
    You are amazing!

  36. On June 6th, 2012 at 8:01 am ELouOster Says:

    Your son and mine are kindred spirits! The Dude is 4 and his favorite toy is a busted up Bratz doll we got at the food bank. I had to make him dress the doll tho, he is far too interested in boobies at this point. We paint toenails a lot, but no finger nails bc he’s always got his hands in his mouth! You are an awesome momma and I am so happy to know that other mommas let their little boys have pretty sparkly stuff too 🙂 Keep up the fantastic job

  37. On June 6th, 2012 at 8:33 am Cindy Says:

    Go you! You are so right in providing your kids with what they like rather than what is expected of them by society. F-that!

    All 3 of my girls potty trained and picked out their own underwear – my first was all about Buzz Lightyear and Woody. My twins – one is obsessed with Thomas the Train and Spiderman and the other likes princesses and Dora. Whatever floats their boat. They don’t care that it’s “boy” underwear and neither do I. What I find funny is that my Spiderman obsessed 4 year old asked me 2 nights ago if I’d get her “panties” out of the drawer rather than her underwear. Who the hell calls them “panties” in my house – it’s all underwear. Anyway, obviously there is a difference noted in the cut/style but it doesn’t really matter as long as they are happy.
    As for the nail polish – LOVE IT! We had a b-day party for my kids on Sunday and their 5 year old boy cousin got down with the hair chalk them. It was fun and they all wore it to school/daycare the next day.

  38. On June 6th, 2012 at 9:43 am Ash Says:

    I would want to know who told him that. If he’s been fine with it so far, and suddenly thinks you’ll kill him, someone must be poisoning his sweet little mind and you should stomp the crap out of whomever it is.

  39. On June 6th, 2012 at 1:37 pm Erin Says:

    Amen! Kids have it right until some idiot tells them it’s “wrong” to be themselves!

  40. On June 6th, 2012 at 10:39 am Dylan Lin Calista Says:

    This post made me smile big 🙂

    You’re a real good Mom, I have to say. This is coming from a person who came out to her parents at 14. I come from a very conservative family so you can imagine the terror when my parents found out I had pierced my lip, gotten tattoos and I was a lesbian. It wasn’t a party, I can tell you that.

    But, what I can say is this.

    Kids learn to love themselves when YOU as a parent love and accept them for who they are. Ultimately, that’s all the love and strength they’ll need to get through in life. At least, it is to me.

  41. On June 6th, 2012 at 1:39 pm Erin Says:

    I do have to agree that it looks like you may have been hitting the sauce when you painted his nails. Unless he did them himself, which would make more sense now that I think about it…

  42. On June 6th, 2012 at 1:57 pm Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom) Says:

    i want Batman undies too. I did don a Batman mask and wings recently for a vlog.

    And you rock. That is all.

  43. On June 7th, 2012 at 6:25 am Cindy Says:

    I hope so too. There is not enough kindness or tolerance in the world.

  44. On June 8th, 2012 at 10:21 pm Kristi Says:

    Butterflies ARE awesome. When you find the Batman panties it our size, let me know. Otherwise, I’m buying some Hanes her Way and freezer pencil stenciling a Batman on my butt. Let me know your size and I’ll send them on your way.

    And everyone knows that real men are completely secure with My Little Pony.

  45. On June 12th, 2012 at 2:05 am Torie Says:

    Bawhahaha! My daughter will not wear girly underwear either. She told me she is a boy the other day. She lives in pajamas and they have to have super heros on them. Buzz Lightyear and Superman are her favorite. I told her the other day not to change out of her clothes I just put on her because we are going to be leaving and she put her pajamas over them. I gave up at that moment. WHO CARES….SHE IS TWO! Um…I was raised by a bunch of bikers who where more like hippies to and I really do have an Aunty Becky. We all affectionatly call her Crazy Aunt Becky. She has a “big foot” that visits her and she believes she has seen Cressie a local lake monster, and she believes she can predict the future. You are not as weird as you think, but you are pretty damn funny!

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