On Brainwashing Parenting


A transplanted Bostonian living in enemy territory, I am faced with a major dilemma in raising my wonderful son.  The question is: how far do I go to instill a Red Sox allegiance in the fast-growing Isaac, who turned 17 months old today?  It seems patently unfair to try to coerce the peanut into rooting for my beloved Bosox, since the kid is still such an innocent.  And it pains me to think that my own selfishness might make the sweet little guy a source of ridicule from his clearly inferior and most likely intellectually lacking Yankee-rooting classmates friends. On the other hand, he can’t cook and therefore dines on Thomas Keller-esque dinners of vegetable patties, chicken nuggets, peaches, chickpeas, and milk, and if it weren’t for us he’d walk around for hours on end with a pile of crap in his pants.  He kind of owes us. So where do we draw the line?  Green Monsters hovering above his crib?  Front pages of the Boston Globe from 10/28/2004 framed right above his bathtub?  Nightly lullabies of "We love Big Papi"?  NESN as the only television he’s allowed to watch?  A "Dirty Watah" tattoo?  Where does my own dementia end, fair parenting begin? 

18 comments… add one
  • A most happy 17th (month) b-day to little Isaac, whom we will gladly welcome to YF nation, when Daddy’s pushing inevitably results in a backlash. Our guess: on his first Little League uni, he’s gonna want number 2.

    YF March 14, 2006, 8:20 pm
  • amen to that. But he might be wearing the number of CJ Henry or JJ Cox or Phillip Hughes (the future is so bright!)
    SF, don’t underestimate the importance of geography. My dad was/is a Brooklyn Dodgers-Mets fan. He despised the Yankees. Then he decided to raise me and my two brothers in Washington Heights. Needless to say this was before the time of Pedro and Manny and everyone up there liked the Yanks. And so much to the chagrin of our poor father, we became Bombers fans.
    I recommend you home-school him.

    NickYF March 14, 2006, 8:31 pm
  • FYI, I have a Mets jersey hiding in the closet, just in case the Sox don’t take.

    SF March 14, 2006, 8:34 pm
  • The Mets? Child abuse!!!

    YF March 14, 2006, 8:41 pm
  • SF,
    Somehow, I think just watching Dad watching baseball will be enough to put little Sir Isaac on the path to Red Sox Nation.
    Just remember to watch the F words when Foulke starts blowing saves this summer.

    whatever March 14, 2006, 8:44 pm
  • Then there will be the day where he comes in at 11pm, tells you he was at the library “studying” all night, and you’ll distinctly smell the undercooked ballpark franks of Yankee stadium on his breath…and in his backpack, poorly hidden beneath the schoolbooks, a throwback Derek Jeter jersey.

    walein March 14, 2006, 8:50 pm
  • A word of caution: I grew up in New Hampshire, but when I was in second grade, my father took us on a sabbatical to Santa Barbara. That year, I fell in love with basketball and thus was born a Lakers fan. After my bedtime, I’d listen as covertly as an eight-year-old can to Chick Hearn broadcasts. Annnd I was in that stage of my life when I enjoyed being stubbornly contrary to my parents, who were Celtics fans. My advice: make sure SoxToddler gets to watch you enjoy the game, and gets to fall in love with Fenway. The Yankees are a lot more soulless, and going to see a game at Fenway with his Dad and enjoying the various characters the Sox will no doubt still have when Isaac is old enough to remember any of this will probably go far in convincing him to join the good side. That and a Sox jersey and a NESN-only viewing policy.

    JoshSFinMI March 15, 2006, 1:08 am
  • My paternal great-grandfather (an old Vermonter) was a Red Sox fan. He taught me to listen to the Sox on the radio. Ask my three boys, ages 2, 5, and 7, what we say about the Yankees, and they respond with a loud “YUCK!” (Although the 5-year-old is wavering toward my maternal grandfather’s Mets.) Just as I have shared our Christian faith tradition as a pastor, I have shared our Red Sox faith tradition as a Sox Fan. They were nurtured on PawSox games, baptized with the 2004 victory parade, and are now beginning to join us on pilgrimages to Fenway. If you share your faith lovingly, and not with threats (although my wife reminds me that I told them once that Yankee fans sleep out back in the shed), explaining and not pressuring, they will come to love the Sox as we do.

    PastorSteve March 15, 2006, 7:38 am
  • If he’s anything like the rest of the “Sox fans” in NYC, he’ll probably spend more time trying to score invites to cast parties of Rent than he will watching baseball.

    Local March 15, 2006, 9:51 am
  • That’s a lot classier than the YFs, who prefer to score invites to the Junior Gotti trial.

    SF March 15, 2006, 10:01 am
  • You better keep him out of The Stadium then. Or at least wait until they create the soul-less new one.

    Nate March 15, 2006, 11:22 am
  • Well, given the toddler-y proportionally large size of BabySox’s head and what I’m guessing is for him a regular intake of some kind of juice, maybe you should just get him a Barry jersey? :) I’d outfit him in some Jeets babygear right now if I thought that you’d actually let him wear it and not, like, use it to clean up poop or as a oilrag next time you tune up your car or something.

    Spidey March 15, 2006, 11:25 am
  • Jeter shirts make perfect diapers.

    SF March 15, 2006, 11:38 am
  • Jeter shirts on babies make perfect chick magnets.

    Nate March 15, 2006, 2:01 pm
  • The real questino is, is he gonna identify with the Beastie Boys or the Mighty Might Bostones (or whatever that is)?
    A baby in a Jason Varitek uni = free beer at Irish Bar.

    walein March 15, 2006, 3:31 pm
  • Free beer for him or me?

    SF March 15, 2006, 3:48 pm
  • For me.

    walein March 15, 2006, 4:41 pm
  • He can root for the USA. It’s great baseball.

    john March 15, 2006, 11:21 pm

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