For those moms of boys, there is a camaraderie among us. We are the moms who have grown accustomed to rough-and-tumble play, checking pants pockets on laundry day for small critters, stepping on Legos with bare feet (and trying not to let your son hear you curse as a result), and hearing jokes about boogers, flatulence, and body parts that shall remain nameless.
As our sons get older, we find ourselves thrown into the world of smelly feet (and dirty socks everywhere), overpowering body spray, dirty laundry piled up for weeks at a time, and the ever-loving addiction to anything with a screen.
My son is now twelve years old, so on top of everything listed above, I now have to learn how to deal with the absence of the use of his brain. I should have been more prepared, as this came on gradually. When he was about eight years old, I realized that he could not find ANYTHING when asked to look for it. Once, when we were in our living room, I asked him to get me the blue cup off the counter in the kitchen. He said, "Okay," turned around and walked the five steps to the kitchen. He came back into the living room a couple minutes later with a befuddled look on his face.
"What was I supposed to do again, Mom?"
Are you kidding me?! I suppose I thought he'd outgrow this by now, but with the introduction of screens into his life, it has only gotten worse. He does not retain a single bit of information if there is an active screen anywhere near him. Most of the time, if information even enters his ears, it goes right out the other side, somehow carefully dodging his brain.
As a mom of only one boy and three girls, the contrast is obvious. My son has two older sisters and one younger, and the girls are as different from him as a New York City socialite is from an old Rocky Mountain moonshiner. The girls are relatively neat, fairly quiet and responsible. They remember things like making their beds in the morning, brushing their teeth twice a day, and gathering all their dishes off the dinner table.
I'm not saying the girls are perfect in any way...just different. As a former young girl myself, I know how they tick. I can understand tea parties, dress-up, first crushes and PMS. This world of my girls is familiar, comfortable, and therefore more easily navigated.
The boy thing, well...let's just say I'm ferhoodled. I have no idea why in the world he can't hear when the TV is on. I don't know why I still have to remind him every evening before bed to brush his teeth. (Even my husband doesn't get that one.) It baffles me as to why, when he runs his mouth a mile a minute otherwise, he suddenly clams up when we ask him what he was thinking when he did something particularly mind-boggling. It kills me that anytime I ask him to do something other than what he wants to be doing, his shoulders slump and his lip juts out, then he supposedly "forgets" to do what I asked him to do.
I feel like I'm muddling through these preteen and teen years with him the best I can. However, I don't want to just muddle through. I have the aspirations most parents have of shaping their child into one of integrity. I want my son to grow up to be a strong Christian, a good husband and leader of his home, and a generally good citizen. How do I do that without throttling him before we have the chance to see the light that I'm told is at the end of the tunnel?
And his rooms stinks.
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