The “man” at the root of the conflict is only seven right now, but someday the woman he marries is going to curse my name. I think I’ve allowed a…quirk?…she’s going to play hell trying to break.
That quirk is the short kid’s secret identity: *duh duh duh…* Underwearman! (Yes, that’s what he calls himself.)
Every day when he gets home from school he takes off his backpack, coats, boots…and his pants. If he’s at home and we don’t have company, he has no pants on. (Thankfully he wears longer-length boxer briefs.)
This is due, in part, to the way he’s built. He can’t tolerate jeans and mostly wears sweats and a couple of elastic-waist pairs of loose khakis he can handle for school. And part of it is as long as they’re getting it done out in the world—top grades, reams of school citizenship awards, total strangers complimenting their manners—home is…home. We’re pretty unstructured and relaxed, with not much in the way of rules.
We probably only have a handful of rules that aren’t negotiable.
1. If Mom snaps her fingers, stop that right now.
2. No sucker-punching Dad in the peepee while he’s fending off your brother’s attack.
3. Do not even breathe in the vicinity of the new TV. (Which reminds me, I’ve got to nag the husband about getting it hung on the wall and off it’s rather inadequate stand.)
4. If Dad steps on a Lego barefooted, not even Mom can save you.
And pants are, apparently, optional. Not for the rest of us (although, if the husband comes home muddy from four-wheeling, he might leave his pants at the door and then visit with the kids while in just his boxer briefs for a few minutes before hitting the shower.) (And thank the Underwear Gods for boxer briefs, no? How awesome are they?)
But someday some poor, unsuspecting woman is going to find herself married to a guy who won’t wear pants if he’s in the house.
Sorry, Mrs. Underwearman.