12. The Clench

One of my favorite activities is to ask my boys to show off their muscles.  Because obviously there have been gigantic improvements in their muscles since the last time I asked for a show, four days ago.  Boys do not know how to flex muscles.  Instead, they do the clench.

Ask a boy to flex, and you’ll see him clench every fiber available in his being at the same instant.  During the clench boys also grunt loudly, grind their teeth, and turn bright red from lack of breathing.  All boys believe that the harder they clench, the louder they groan, and the redder their face gets – the bigger their muscles grow.  They also contort their fists and arms into awesome crooked shapes that look nothing like a body builder, but a lot like that one-legged crane move by the Karate Kid.

At this point it is mandatory that you display profound astonishment at the boy’s strength, as if you have never before and will never again bear witness to such a phenomenal exhibit of power.  If you fail to display such wonder, be warned.  Boys will continue to clench everything, including lungs and vital organs, turning deepening shades of purple until they have sufficiently impressed their audience.

The more boys you have in the room, the more entertaining the muscle clenching because clearly they all are determined to out-clench the competition.  With three boys in my house, I should start charging admission to this event.  I usually jump in and shut it down right before I believe significant dental work is becoming imminent.

After you’ve asked to see the show a few times, boys may start reminding you it’s time for a muscle review if you haven’t requested one recently.  This is a good time to work in a little of your own agenda as well.  I usually say something like,

“Oh my GOODNESS!!  How in the world have you gotten so strong???”

Boys beam with pride, clench even more, to produce huger muscles.

“You must have been eating lots of salad when we weren’t watching!  Mommy!  Have you seen this?  Unbelievable!!!”

All three boys still determined to win, but mention of vegetables has clearly fizzled a bit of the clenching.

“Have you been sneaking broccoli from the fridge?  Keep it up, buddy.  You’re gonna be stronger than Superman!!”

No more clenching, just fake smiling with blatant concern written all over it.

Hey, the clench is a classic power move and it’s not going away any time soon.  You have to use it to your advantage.


12 thoughts on “12. The Clench

  1. LOL Love it and can’t wait to see our little boy doing such craziness (so John won’t feel so silly doing it by himself). 🙂

    • With John training him up… you may be in for a whole blog of your own! lol Which reminds me, I have the consummate college photo of him, I need to send you. It’s perfect. Will try to remember! 🙂

  2. Do you think it actually makes them eat more vegetables? This could be a whole new diet strategy. You could write a book called, “Clench This” and make a million dollars! 🙂

  3. This one is great Tony, so true. When Zach clenches he also shakes too. One trick I learned, is to test his strength against mine with an arm wrestling match. I will destroy him the first go round and point out that if he eats some of the veggie’s on his plate that it might give him more strength to beat me. After shoveling a handful of green beans into his mouth, he will slam his elbow down and challenge me. I struggle a bit but ultimate win while more green beans are on his plate. I tell him he got stronger but not strong enough. This goes on until his veggies are about gone and then he triumphantly beats me like Rocky beating the Russian dude.

  4. Pingback: 28. The Incredible Hulk Move | Stuff Boys Do

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