OK, I am learning. Nothing new there, I'm always learning something I thought I knew about but find myself really lacking. But this boy thing. It has really been a new arena! I have studied up on parenting in general, parenting as a Christian, parenting foster children, parenting adopted children, parenting wounded children, parenting the adopted toddler...BUT the boy. Somehow I neglected that.
There is a vast ocean of knowledge that I missed! I taught school for 14 years and wish I could go apologize to every boy I ever taught. Sorry I didn't know!
They cannot help asking you 50 questions in 5 minutes. Even if you have not had a cup of coffee yet. They really want to know EVERYTHING! NOW! And "ask your dad" is not a sufficient answer because each, "ask your dad" lowers my abilities in his eyes!
They cannot resist leap frogging over whoever just knelt down to tie their shoe. Or asking you, "Would you die if you jumped from here?" While looking out a 4th story window, bridge over the interstate, or some other terrifying height that makes you immediately jump into an explanation of how, yes they would not only die but make you very sad in the process and if they ever did that you will kill them, so don't even think about it!
The number of times my younger brother impaled himself on something, needed something stitched up, or had a dislocated joint never really hit me until my own son climbed twenty or so feet up a pine tree and said, "Hey mom! Look how high I am! Sure would be cool if I could fly down!" I almost threw up!
I've never realized how much a boy enjoys being naked until I watched my son dance around with glee, without a stitch of clothes on, every night when I send him to take a shower. I never knew it was a integral part of boyhood to make fart noises, not just under the arm, no, that is not good enough! Any joint that hinges (knees, elbows) is seen as a challenge to make the best, most authentic fart sounds around. And if you can teach your 3 and 5 year old sisters to copy you, all the better!
I never realized the inner need of a boy to sword fight. I know. I should have realized this one in light of my husband's draw to that kilt-wearin' warrior, William Wallace, in Brave Heart. I suppose this, and the fact that said husband owns two swords "for decoration", should have been a dead give-away. But I missed that. I also missed the fact that the bigger the sword, the better. A ten foot long branch that fell from a tree last night is apparently a perfect sword with which to attack your 5 year old sister who is holding your plastic ninja sword and swinging it with one hand while using the other to cover her eyes!
When a boy says, "I didn't mean to" what he means is, "I was doing ____ (fill in the blank...tossing your glass Christmas ornament in the air, throwing a ball at her head, etc...) just to see what would happen or because it was there. I didn't mean to shatter that 35 year old ornament or to give her a black eye. I don't know how that happened!
I never knew how sensitive a boy is. How they wear their hearts on their sleeve. How, while they want to attack, jump, run, wrestle, climb; they also want to snuggle, hug, and know you love them. No matter what they break.
They may torment sisters. And take great joy in potty humor, again teaching it to any who willing younger sisters. But they are fierce protectors of sisters and all those weaker than them. They will follow a toddling baby around a play area is they perceive it is in any danger. And they will threaten any who villains who hurt their sister. The same sister they had in a headlock and almost knocked out her front teeth just moments before.
I'm learning a lot about this sensitive, sweet boy. If you have sons, please share your wisdom! In the meantime, I'm going to go read Bringing Up Boys. And hide all breakables! :)