Thursday, January 21, 2010

A monologue on boys

I never spent a lot of time around boys as a child. I had boy cousins, but I also had a LOT of cousins, and the ones closest to my age were girls (there were three of us born within five weeks of each other), so even when I did get to see my cousins, I hung out with the girls. I had boy friends in elementary school, but mostly I just chased them or vice versa. I had lots of guy friends as teens (and several boyfriends of the more romantic variety), but by then, no proper teen considers his- or herself a "kid" any more, and conversations are so much "deeper."

Deeper. In hindsight, I laugh.

So I always just knew that I was going to have two boys and raise them to be wonderful little T-ball players... and that thought caused God to get a good chuckle, yell, "SMITE!" and send me a science-oriented Aspie boy and the Diva you've met previously. Clearly, I didn't really know what I was thinking. I certainly wasn't thinking of toy guns and sound effects and roughhousing.

And drawings of people being shot. But that's another post.

I've dealt with a lot of BOY today.

After I picked M2 up from school, she and M1 and I headed over to my friend The Preacher's Wife's house. TPW (The Preacher's Wife, lest I get carried away with acronyms here and forget to explain myself) has three kids. She has E, who is 5, in kindergarten, and the quietEST of the TPW's kids. I say quietEST because I've never seen him go into thoughtful mode. I know he does it. His mom wouldn't lie, and she says he does it. I've just never seen it. But I'm sure he does it.

Then there's J, who is 4, dying to be in kindergarten just to keep up with big brother, happy-go-lucky and always up for action of any sort as long as there's lots of action. Did I mention he likes action? 'Cause he does. If I didn't already know his middle name, I'd think it was Action.

Finally, there's L, the girl of the bunch, who is a very cute curly-topped 2 and who has recently discovered her Inner Diva, which mostly meant that she and M2 discovered their mutual love of all things pink and princess-y today and spent a good amount of time hauling shoes, hairbrushes, stools, and radios through the house to amuse themselves, No Boys Allowed. There would have been a Cinderella dress involved save for an incident which had caused said dress to be forcibly removed and placed in the laundry pile.

But I digress.

The boys saw M1 walking up the stairs to the house when we arrived, and Chaos reigned supreme. Every time these boys get together, you'd seriously think they hadn't seen each other in several years and absolutely MUST make up for it in the first 15 minutes after shrieking, "HE'S HERE!!!!!" while yanking open the front door with a force that should have removed hinges from drywall without a second thought. I am amazed that TPW's house still stands. There's rampaging, screaming, shouting, running, shooting of Nerf guns, swordplay, pistols, cowboy hats, and maybe the occasional mattress involved in all of this, and I realize that I never, ever, EVER in a million years had pictured myself in the scenario of asking another mom, "Um, is he allowed to stand ON the dresser?"

(The answer, by the way, was no.)

Or, perhaps, saying, "Don't aim the guns at people. Shoot the door [TV, wall, floor, ceiling, any conceivable inanimate stable object] instead."

I had no idea that trying to get a boy - any boy - to listen to you over the din of a highly involved sword/lightsaber fight would entail a bullhorn on full blast in their left ear, and even then the answer will be a fairly detached, "Whuht?"


"Whaddaya mean, WHAT?? I've been yelling at you for the last five minutes! Do you want a cookie?"

"Oh. No."

*resume fighting*


Thankfully, TPW and I got to have a nice long chat while the boys were repeatedly capturing, mauling, and otherwise killing bad guys (and once in a while each other), and the house and all the boys survived. We keep thinking that if we get them together often enough, the volume will go down.

Maybe this is what we get for thinking.

After I left TPW's house, the kids and I hurried home, grabbed some dinner, and then prepped for Scouts. I have three little Cub Scouts in my Tiger den, M1 and his best friends, J and F, who are identical twins. For some reason, when you put two twin brothers plus my boy together, the trouble quadruples. The math doesn't add up. Maybe it's government math and I need new lessons.

Herding three first-grade boys through the motions of a "meeting" is much, much harder than herding cats. I should know. But J and F, for whatever reason, actually seem to like me as a den leader and are really good for as long as the meeting lasts. The minute we say our promise and dismiss, though, they vanish down the hall to M1 or M2's room like they've been launched by NASA.

(Children? What children? Ohhhhh that noise down the hall... THOSEchildren... Oh, you want me to deal with them? We may have a problem here...)

I would like you to imagine my herding cats scenario now, picturing their mother and I trying to finagle two protesting boys back down the hall, into their shoes, and out the door with as little escapage as possible, all while M1 is luring them back as stealthily as possible with promises of seeing his anole or playing with the new actual tools and actual blocks of wood residing in a bin in his room.

It takes two semi-experienced moms multiple attempts to achieve our goal. You'd think we would know their tricks by now, but they're slippery little buggers!

However, for all the scenarios I never imagined, for all the tomfoolery and shenanigans and lollygagging and hijinks, I couldn't imagine mom-life without a boy in it.

I'm really not sure how I survived until now.

I now propose a toast, because moms of boys often deserve a good stiff drink to get through it all: Long live boys and those who deal with them!

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