Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Joys of Raising Boys

Have I mentioned that I have four boys?   Well, just incase I haven't, here it is - I have four boys.  One on the cusp of becoming a teen, and one that I can't wait until he starts kindergarden, with 2 sandwiched between them.

They are all 100% BOY.

Boys don't come with manuals.  No one tells you that they will at some point do things like try on mom's makeup.  Wear high heals.   Dress in drag.   All before they reach that ripe old age of 2.

Then potty training.

No matter what advice anyone gives you, nothing can prepare you for potty training each individual boy.  They all learn it differently.  At their own pace.  My boys were all between the ages of 2.5 and 3 before they potty trained, with just the occassional accident at night.  My oldest son wanted to "pee just like Daddy does" and he literally trained himself over night.   The next son didn't "train" until he began pre-school, and saw how other kids went.  That really helped him.  The third just didn't want to, but we finally made him, and the fourth we used M&M ultimatums, which almost backfired.

Boys are loud, destructive, rambunctious, and wrestle by instincts even if they've never seen one single episode of that fake wrestling garbage. 

This morning, my boys started the day off in rare form. 

First, I took an rc track car from my oldest son.  I had spent 3 days telling him to NOT run it on my cracking linoleum in the kitchen, to keep it on the track.  Today, the conversation went like this:

Me:  What are you doing?
Him: Running my car on the linoleum
Me: and what did I tell you?
Him: Not to.
Me: Give me the car.
Him: But the box said I could drive it on the track OR a hard floor.
Me:  The box is not your mother.

Roughly 20 minutes after this, my third son comes running out and said that my second and fourth son are wishing him dead.  Wait, what?!   This is how THAT conversation went:

Me: What did they say?
Son 3:  L said he hoped he got a pet crocodile and that it would come out and eat me.  (Ok, so maybe less Jake and the Neverland Pirates is needed...) and then E said 'thanks for saying that'.  
Me: Ok, go tell them I want to talk to them.

The other two boys come out, and I ask for their side of things.  It turns out, Son #3 had been antagonizing them with his new Buzz Lightyear he had been given for Christmas.  So the crocodile comments were in retaliation. 

But it gets better.

What son 3 had failed to tell me, other than that he was antagonizing them to start, is what he said to Son 2 after the Son 4 wished for a pet croc.

Son 3 to Son 2:  I'm going to pee and make you lick it up.


Omg REALLY?!  REALLY?!   Do you know how hard it was for me to keep a straight face?  After somehow administering appropriate discipline, I ordered them to go play nicely, and then I fell on the floor laughing.

Seriously, where do these boys get this stuff?   And furthermore, I don't believe Son 3 will make anyone do anything, because he is absolutely my laziest child.  He has a hard time even getting himself dressed in the moring, the idea that he's going to "make" anyone else do anything is flipping crazy.  This is the child that is the last one dressed for school. Every. Morning.  When you ask him why, his reply is "No one will help me get my clothes".   You know, because he can't lift his arms over his head to take his own shirt and pants out of the closet.    When he doesn't have socks on, and you ask him why, his reply is always "no one got me any".  My reply is always the same, too, "Go get them yourself."  

So with the ridiculousness of the morning and these boys,  I decided it was a good "cleaning of their room" day. 

Who know that attempting to scrub down barely year old wooden bunkbeds could reduce you to tears?  It shouldn't, but it did.  There I was, with my big blue mop bucket hosting a mix of murphy's oil and soap and water, neon green cleaning gloves, and black magic marker on wood.   It didn't come off.  

I asked a few trusty friends for their suggestions, which I haven't tried yet but will on the morrow, when the majority of my boys are in school cracking open books and portraying themselves as perfect angels to their teachers.  Yes, their teachers believe this about them.  I've asked them if the boys do this or that at school. The answer is always, "no, they've never. They're one of the best behaved kids I have."  I think everyone of those teachers could star on Pretty Little Liars.

After the storm had passed, and I dumped my dirty bucket of water and stripped off my gloves, my DH suggested some shopping therapy.  I was quick to accept!!  Came home with a new white bookcase for Squeakers baskets of toys and stuffed animals,  and feeling much more relaxed.   We picked up pizza from Pizza Hut for dinner, and the kids wholeheartedly approved when their dad suggested it.  

Now our day is drawing to a close, and I'm ready for the morrow so I can see what other shenanagins we can get into around here. 

Note: No matter how crazy it gets around here, no matter what new stunts my kids come up with, no matter what they break, nor what they write/draw on, tear up, or unappreciate, I wouldn't change it and I'm thankful.  There are parents today who, not only would they happily welcome the chance to correct their child, they are still grieving the loss of their child.  It is not far from my mind that my Son 3 is around the age of the Sandy Hook students who lost their lives last month.  I do not take these crazy antics for granted, and even though they may be frustrating, trying, and frazzling to my mommy brain, I embrace it, welcome it, and so thankful that we are living it.  Be thankful for every small thing your child adds to your life, even the frustrations, for we know not what tomorrow brings, and today's misbehavior may turn into fond memories.  Treasure them.  Hold them close.  Love them.  Hug them.  Correct them when necessary, vent to friends when you feel it's more than you can bear, but also, appreciate this crazy moment. It's a blink. 

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