Dude Hour

Posted by: , March 27, 2009 in 12:14 am

The First Inaugural Dude Hour commenced sometime in late 2006.  I was invited to a baby shower—or was it a purse party—or maybe a bridal shower?  Either way, I was invited to some sort of all-female gathering that was being hosted by a family member.

Not being a “Mom’s Night Out” mommy, the idea of leaving my then two-year-old was relatively devastating for both of us.  I explained that Mom was going to an all-girls party to celebrate a baby—or was it purses—or a wedding?  Either way, I was leaving my precious Sweet Pea and I wanted him to understand it was only because he is a boy and the event was an all-girls sort of shindig.

Dad and I offered our dramatic interpretation of how boring and lame a baby shower—or purse party—or bridal shower really is.  “It’s just a bunch of silly ladies sitting around talking about babies (or purses, or married life).”  “They probably talk about jewelry and pretty dresses and make-up,” my husband added.  We were really workin’ the gender bias to sell the idea.   “You guys can have Dude Hour,” I announced, “You and Dad can do boy stuff.  You can play with trucks!” 

This was the birth of Dude Hour. 

When I arrived home from that initial event, carrying the candle I won for guessing which baby food is which—or was I carrying the purse I bought for $20 despite its Gucci label—maybe I was carrying the potted geranium I won for knowing the most about the soon-to-be bride…either way, when I arrived home I realized Dude Hour was a success.  There were stories about what toys they’d played with, what snack foods they’d enjoyed and what overall fun they’d had in my absence. 

Since that day, instances of Dude Hour have increased.  As my Sweet Pea gets older he enjoys Dude Hour more and more.  In fact, the other day I planned to run a quick errand—no hour long errand, mind you…a quick errand—and I heard Ben say to his Dad, “I like when we have Dude Hour.  We eat meat sandwiches and we go down in the basement…”

The meat sandwiches to which he refers are, “Ham and Cheese.”  And, going down into the basement means he gets to goof around at his craft table or his woodworking bench while Dad paints in the studio.

When I arrived home from my errands that day, I realized Dad tossed in a little bit of impromptu school—he and Ben investigated sawdust with the magnifying glass.  Nice!  Way to take advantage of a teachable moment, Dad. 

Here’s to meat sandwiches and sawdust!  Dude Hour rocks!



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