Thursday, 19 August 2010

The phenomenon of raising boys

Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.  ~Plato

I'm still stumped on this - the phenomenon, the wonder of raising boys.

Not really sure what an earth I am doing or how I'm supposed to guide these two little boys through all the various stages of life so that they turn out to be extraordinary specimens of all things manly and good.

Fortunately Austin - being of the male variety - will automatically take responsibility for the ol' puberty talk (phew!)

Even now I am noticing differences in the way little boys are compared to little girls. These are my observations thus far:

Little boys are loud.
Little boys laugh when they fart.
Little boys are dirt magnets.
Little boys can watch Top Gear replays over and over with their papa and not grow weary of watching the fast cars.
Little boys will spend most of their day roaring like dinosaurs and lions.
Little boys love to pull things apart and therefore break them.
Little boys love to play with their diddle.
Little boys will pick their nose and eat it, especially when they are out in public.
Little boys have endless amounts of energy.
Little boys are fascinated with all things creepy crawly - in particular the ones in which their mamma has phobias for.
Little boys idolise their papa and I don't blame them!

Luca's best friend is a little girl called Jael who is the epitome of what it is to be a little girl.
She is such a sweet, dainty, delicious, absolutely adorable little button.
Their marriage contract is already signed and sealed with both sets of parents in agreement on the match.

Jael speaks with a delicate wee voice that is several octaves higher than Luca's. Someone mentioned the other day that she should start hiring her voice out for children's animation characters.

They had their first proper telephone conversation last night. It went something like this (with the help of prompts from their mamma's):

J: Hello Luca
L: Hello Jael
J: How was your day?
L: Good thank you, how was your day?
J: Good thank you
(heavy breathing down the phone)
J: Have you been playing with your dinosaurs today?
J: RRrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!
J: RRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrr!!!
(more heavy breathing down the phone)
L: Bye bye Jael
J: Bye bye Luca. Love you
L: Love youuuuuuu
Mamma's (wiping away the tears): Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Too flippin cute.

Being raised in a family of 4 girls and 1 boy I know a lot about raising girls, but not a lot on the whole Boy front. My brother did amazingly well to turn out to be such a great guy when he had 2 bossy older sisters and 2 annoying younger sisters. I remember he would often do annoying things like repetitively poking us in the arm with his finger or wiping his bogies on us (and they were always chunky boy bogies. Not feminine ones like girls have). And then he always knew when we were on the brink of blind rage cos he would suddenly sprint out the door and next thing you would hear his motorbike start up and he was off burning up his energy by riding over the hills and doing big jumps. No matter how fast I ran he always eluded me.

So when it comes to raising my own sons I understand their need to burn off energy and to do gross boy things, but surely it can be channelled somehow into a quiet, obedient, bogie-free box?

The past two days I have started on some knitting and I have already learnt (the hard way of course) that I cannot leave my knitting anywhere within reaching distance of a certain 3 year old.

"Mamma's knitting is not for touching.
Mamma's knitting is not for touching!
Mamma's knitting is not for touching!!"

Of course he not only touches it but pulls the wool off the needle and then runs away with the ball of wool.
Fun times.

Most days I am driven to the point of exhaustion trying to not react in anger but rather in loving kindness and understanding.....
And yet how is it that I cannot imagine, or even want to imagine, my life without these little guys there.
The pieces of me that drive me up the wall and round the bend.
These precious little lives that I love with every single fibre of my being.

These two who have absolutely changed my world and make me want to be a better person.
These two who have brought my husband and I closer together, solidified our relationship even more.

The responsibility is almost too massive to comprehend lest I crumble under the enormity of it, but both my husband and I have good, no great role models in our own parents and upbringing and I know help is only a phonecall away to them in New Zealand, even if it is the middle of the night.

Oh yeah, and need I mention that Austin's from a family of 4 boys so I actually have nothing to worry about as he has turned out extremely amazing and handsome and tall and loving and kind and generous and sexy and is a good cook and cleans the house and wuh wuh wuhhh wa-wuh wa wa wuhh wuh wuh blah blah blah.......

When you teach your son, you teach your son's son. ~The Talmud


  1. I LOVE YOUR BLOGS! Long time (secret) reader and first time comment poster. Your blog today struck a cord with me as a soon to be Mamma of the boy variety, and my own 3am how on earth do I a) be a good mother and b) be a good mother to a boy. So please keep up the insights (and the odd story of deer and poo, and also pictures of aunties dressed as dinosaurs that i can laugh at), please. :)

  2. Hey Brigitte,

    Girls do lots of those things too. Both of mine pick their noses and eat them in public! They also think farts are the funniest things ever. And Aeryn (5yrs) has learnt to burp on demand already. She got put in time out twice at Mark's parent one night for burping at the table.
    Sienna (2yrs) is fascinated by all bodily functions. Aeryn didn't start all that until she was about 4. Sienna sits in the back of the car yelling "fart, poo, Bum!!!". Charming.

    You would never guess it from their photos would you. :-)

    Loving your blog by the way. Its making me wish I knew you better in Dunedin.


  3. Hahaha - so true! Boys and girls are so different - but I do love boys, even though they are messy and loud etc!

  4. This was a fantastic post! I can relate, being the mama of two boys myself. For most of my life I was convinced I would have girls - I was ready for fairies, tea parties, glitter, princesses and all things pink. Instead I have got dinosaurs, lions, wrestling, muddy knees, tree climbing and wild Indian shrieking - and I LOVE it! I love the fact that little boys are so open with their emotions. They are so fantastically funny and crazy and challenging. But most of all, I love imagining them as teenagers, future men, husbands and fathers themselves...and knowing I had a hand in making them good men and wonderful people. Your quote at the end was so fitting and (as you said on my blog) I will carry it with me. TFS!


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