Learning from the Boys

floppingJon writes our “When a Toddler Turns Teen” posts here on the blog because believe it or not, your adorable bundle of joy will grow up….

I caught this entertaining post on DC Metro Moms, where Andrea writes about what she’s learned from raising three little boys. I’ve gleaned some similar insights raising one boy (not all the same insights, of course – due to shear volume). However, now that Gus is a teen, my previously held personal insights have not changed, but rather, have been refined: (Andrea’s insights in green followed by my “refinements” in black)

Cleaning the kitchen floor every day to remove sticky goo. Sticky goo somehow spreads – I just cleaned a bunch of it off a History textbook last night.
Cleaning the bathroom every day because it takes years for boys to develop good aim. Sometimes it takes decades. Some never develop good aim. I’m considering having Gus fitted with a rifle scope to improve his aim.
Potty training may take longer than I would  like. Thank goodness Gus is housebroken at this point.
Giving baths every night when the weather is good and they played outside, or at least having them run through the sprinkler or the hose before bedtime. At twelve, you argue for an hour to get him in the shower, at fourteen, it takes that long to get him out of it.
Taking at least 30 minutes to get them ready to go anywhere, even if they want to go. Wait for the teen years and see how long it takes to get them out of bed in the morning!
Adjusting to how boys really can relieve themselves any place, any time. It’s a gift, really.
Wardrobes consist of jeans, shirts, and tennis shoes, and that’s it. That evolves – now it’s shorts, T-shirts and skateboard shoes (which you need to replace every month and a half because the grip tape on the skateboard wears the bottoms out – next time, Im giving him a roll of duct tape and some plywood: “Here you go Gipetto, FIX ‘EM!”)
Finding crayons, toys, cars, and airplanes in the most unlikely places. I still find Gus’ things – usually in the dark – under a bare foot. I’m still walking with a limp!
Jumping (on/off the stairs, out of the car, off the swings, out of trees, on the furniture). The jumping turns into flopping. Flopping on the couch, the recliner(over the arm, of course), at the dinner table, and finally (usually after Jay Leno’s monologue) in bed! If you enjoy the feeling of shaking floors, and the muffled sound of “BOOM” countless times a day, you’ll love the flopping teen years.
Strategically planning grocery store runs to have one child or less in tow. Grocery shopping with a teen = applying for a personal loan.
Learning that fire alarms should never be at child height nor be without some type of cover. Since Gus pulled the fire alarm at age 5 in Kindergarten sending the entire school out to the playground on a fire drill, we’ve had no issues with alarms…other than the smoke alarm in our kitchen – my wife thinks it’s a timer.

Raising boys can indeed be an education. If you’re raising boys, what have you learned? Maybe you could teach a class on what to expect. Now that Gus is a teen, I’m starting to feel like a full-fledged PhD.

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One Response to “Learning from the Boys”

  1. Craig November 16, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    Getting out of bed and out of the shower are so true! Now if there was a magic spell to get him to brush his teeth without being threatened. Honestly, you would think that having a girlfriend would have solved that problem! FYI- the easiest way to get him out of bed in the morning is to grab his ankles and pull him off the bed as far as you can and let his legs drop. It is easy to grab him by the arms and stand him up. Then you gently nudge him in the direction of the shower.