What are little boys made of?

Yesterday I pondered “Why don’t we let little boys be little boys anymore?”

My little boy is “misbehaving” in first grade. He is “playing in the bathroom” (no way?!? Really? He never does that at home.) He is “talking to his friends” (right – definitely a problem). He is “being silly” (Am aghast! A true offence indeed).

I mock. I mock because I struggle. I know, just as well as the teacher knows, that all of his behaviors are absolutely perfectly NORMAL six-year-old boy behaviors (and girls too!). The problem is that he is displaying these natural inclinations at all the wrong moments. Most likely when he’s supposed to silently wash his dirty little hands and line back up to return to the classroom. He’s chatting with classmates instead of sitting quietly on the rug for the Mystery Reader. He’s sputtering or spinning or bumping around when he should have both feet on the floor and tracing lowercase “h’s” for the 100th time in his short little life.

I was never a little boy. I do not understand all that goes on in my little boys’ brains. Their world is total insanity to me. They leap over couches and curl under dining room chairs. They throw each other to the ground and smack each other’s heads. They will never ever lift the seat before peeing. Rocks fall out of their pockets. Snakes slither across their hands. Boogers and blood go straight into their mouths…along with Lego pieces, plastic bottle caps, and marbles (and flower petals and miscellaneous bush berries and countless other potentially poisonous or choking hazards!).  There seems to be no rhyme or reason to their chaos or their constant energy. It is like a constant death wish thwarted by a vigilant (exhausted) parent.

But I do understand that we (as in all of us) are doing this wrong. We have exorbitant numbers of young boys with ADHD and medication to “quiet” them down.  We have young boys expelled from day care centers. Behavioral charts. “Reward systems.” Detentions, suspensions, expulsions.

Gone are the days, it seems, when they played pick-up baseball in an empty field. Gone are the adventures around the neighborhood which ended when street lights came on or the neighbor caught them red-handed. Gone are the times of recess, dodge ball and tag.

little boys

From Etsy: Expressive Sprouts

I don’t want to be stuck in nostalgia. I don’t want my boys to get hurt (too much). But I do want them to be the “boy boys” they were created to be. I want them to be silly, impish, mischievous, creative, brave, daring, strong, boisterous, adventurous, wild, rambunctious rascals.

For I know that there are precious few years for them to be boys and so little time before they are whittled into “grown-ups” who act “mature.” Oh, what to do?

Dirty fingerprints on once white walls
Purple stains on carpeted floors
Beaten and ratty leather couches
Broken knobs on unhinged doors.

 

Tennis balls behind the piano
Abandoned socks under the beds
Ripped jeans and stained pajamas
Random “treasures” under their heads.

 

Gouges on the dining room table
Rickety wiggly dining room chairs
Board game pieces strewn haphazard
Window curtains marred by tears.

 

Dirty dishes, scattered toys
This is home to three little boys.

 

(Complimentary ear plugs and hand sanitizer available at the door. Please sign your acknowledgement of the dangers inherent upon entering such a place. Alcoholic beverages available upon request, signaled by a wink and a nod. Or a scream, yelp or whimper. Whatever works best for you. Welcome to our home.)

5 Things a 5-year-old Learned in One Week!

It’s been a bit of a busy week for a certain middle child in our household. It’s hard to believe he managed to squeeze all these moments within the course of a week, but he’s a bright one and likes to concentrate his learning!

  1. When you are supposed to be playing “quietly” downstairs with your older cousin while your mother puts your brothers to bed, it is unwise to empty out your brother’s two boxes of Pokemon cards, strew them across a previously clean floor, and begin to bat at them with flashlights. It is particularly unwise if the older brother had previously spent hours (with Mom) sorting those cards into a certain order and will likely be growling when he finds out in the morning.
  1. Oranges and apples should remain in the category of “food” and not be reclassified as “sports equipment” or as “weapons” to be propelled in the general direction of other boys while Mom is outside for all of 5 minutes to walk the dog! Secondly, fruit that explodes on the floor upon impact shall now be your responsibility to dispose of properly. After all, “You make a mess – you clean the mess!”
  1. Wood is a porous material – which means nathanthat if you write on beautiful hard wood built-in drawers in the upstairs room, they will not clean off very easily….even with all your scrubbing on behest of your mother. And the fact that you penned your own name onto the wood kind of answers the question of “Who did this?” Guilty, boy. You are guilty. You are going to have to own this one.
  1. It is true that you should not bite Legos to get them apart. And I can’t begin to recount for you how many times I have alluded to this timeless truth. The fact that your bottom tooth now hurts and “wiggles” is only confirmation that Mommy is always right. And yes, if you continue to bite Legos, all your teeth will in fact fall out and you will not be able to eat ever again! “And then you die?” “Not a chance you want to take, now is it, my young child?”  (And if you want to show off to the world that you now have a “loose tooth” you might just want to add how that happened….or I sure will whenever I’m around!)
  1. And lastly, for this busy week – The f-word and the middle finger are NOT appropriate additions to your vocabulary! It doesn’t really matter “what” the word means, nor whose brother told whose brother, or even if you said it “on accident” – you just better never say it again. And it is not, let me repeat – NOT your responsibility to teach every other kid in kindergarten (at your private Christian school) and your first (and likely your last) playdate buddy that they should never raise their middle finger. I think it’s best that you just forget all of that and let some of those grown-up people do the teaching!

    Mommys poor smashed finger this week!

    Mommy’s poor smashed middle finger this week!

Now that we got that all out of the way, we should be on target for a relatively quiet week!