Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Oh, the raising of sons

I hear people lament the difficulty of raising girls, but for me, for now, my challenge is these boys.  I should have known what was to come when G moved so much in utero at 15 weeks of pregnancy that I became motion sick.

Today I began reading, Wild Things:  The Art of Nurturing Boys, and I have to say that it made me feel tremendously better to read the following on page xi:

Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher writes, 'Of all animals, the boy is the most unmanageable, inasmuch as he has the fountain of reason in him not yet regulated.' Can we get an amen?  As a general rule, boys are more difficult to rear than girls.  They are tougher to parent.  They are tougher to teach.  They are tougher to relate with.  They are tougher to mentor and coach.

This winter has been a real challenge for me.  It has been difficult to get out to do active things with them, and keeping them inside while I try to tend to household chores is just giving myself more work to do.

My boys, and I daresay most boys, are roughnecks, with me and each other.  Rather than hug me, they run at me and jump into my chest and arms.  They smack my butt and punch my belly, and while they do it with love and affection, it gets oh so tiring.

When they are not being physically rough, they are yelling or roaring or growling at the top of their lungs.  Every day of my life is an experience in sensory overload.

I have moments of brilliance when I feel like I am being a really good mom of boys.

Like Monday, when I needed to clean the master bathroom and decided to try to contain the chaos and mess in one room (since normally as I clean up one room they destroy 3 other rooms of the house).  I had the boys strip to their undies/diapers and get into their bathtub sitting on a large towel.  I filled their bath toy bowls with shaving cream and let them have at it.  The only rule was that they could not get out of the tub.

Later on during that freakishly warm February day I took them to the park where they ran themselves ragged on the playground equipment, and we walked around exploring rocks and trees.

But most of the time I feel like I'm not meeting their needs and being worn down to a nub in the process.  

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