Growing up, I was a little boy-crazy. Ok, a lot boy-crazy. Boys were fun. Different. Mysterious. A puzzle to figure out. I even caught a boy, got him to marry me, had two babies, and am STILL boy-crazy.
But in just a different way.
You see, I am now a mother of 4 1/2 year old twin boys, which should qualify me to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in “all things boy” but, alas, I still feel like I am barely scratching the surface of understanding the mind of these odd little creatures of the y-cromosome that I birthed. Every day I feel like I am living on a strange planet, trying desperately to understand the natives.
(A funny coincidence since, while growing up, my three sisters joked that “wouldn’t it be funny if Brittany had all boys?” Because I was the girliest girl ever. Like I collected tea sets, couldn’t throw a ball to save my life, wore lace and flowers on a regular basis girly-girl.)
I do feel like I have learned a few truths about boys in my 4 years of motherhood. So if you are mom to the young boy-creature and are at your wits end, maybe these truths will help you. However, I am the first to admit, I still have SO much to learn.
**Disclaimer: Of course, these truths do not describe all boys. You may even think, “heck! My baby-girl is more like this than my son!” Every kid is different. These are just the things that struck me as overwhelmingly unique to most boys, including mine.**
Truth #1: Boys are active.
This may seem like a “duh” statement. We all know boys are active, right? Well, if I knew this truth in my head, I certainly didn’t understand it in action. As in, twin boys in action. Every. Single. Day.
Forget reading stories on the couch, playing with play-doh, craft projects, quiet (what’s that?) playtime in their room–my boys are MOVERS!
Whenever someone meets my sons for the first time, he or she will always comment, “Wow! They have a lot of energy!”
I actually replied the other day: “You are so observant.”
Yes, this was snarky. But boys DO have lots of energy (especially mine!).
But I have (slowly) realized that being active for a boy is as important as eating. or sleeping. or breathing. Being allowed to be active may be the most important gift you give your son every day.
So if you have a pre-school son who is driving you nuts in the house every day because he is wrecking havoc, slamming into walls, catapolting over the couch, head-butting the dog, wrestling with anything that looks at him sideways (including inanimate objects) then….
…don’t do what I did and wonder for 3 years what I had done to recieve this lot in life!
Follow my advice (actually, my husband’s) and get those rowdy puppies out of the house!
“Out of the house” for a boy doesn’t mean go to Target. or the grocery store (Lord have mercy!). or the library. Those activities alone are not enough to burn up the raging energy inside your little man.
I get my boys out of the house just about every day for at least an hour of intense physical activity.
“Out of the house” can mean many things. We usually go somewhere. The park.
Our local indoor playground.
A local hands-on children’s museum. A play date with friends.
Or, like we did today, a 45 minute walk around our neighborhood followed by “running races” around the house (oh, 7-8 times) when we got back to the yard.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “How do you have the energy to chase your boys 7-8 times around the house?!”
Pi-shaw! I am not chasing them! I am sitting in the shade, drinking ice water, shouting “On your mark! Get set! Go!”
Because after all, I am 13 weeks pregnant. And I don’t like to get sweaty (girly-girl, remember?)
The same goes for our other “energy-burners”: the trick is to use up their energy without burning up all of yours. (Easier said than done, right?)
However, if I’ve done my job right, my boys will take a nap in the afternoon.
Now I know some preschoolers are beyond the nap stage. But I have learned, as a mother of boys, that if I provide an intense, consistent, daily outlet for my boys’ energy, they will be better behaved.
And even in they don’t nap, they may be calmed down enough to read a story (or two!) and play with play-doh for 10 minutes or so…..
….before they start shaping the play doh into cannon balls and guns and flinging little bits of green goo all over your dining room floor.
But that’s truth #2: “Boys love guns. Just accept it.”
And that truth will have to wait for a later post.
Just keep truth #1 in your mind (especially if you are going out of your mind) and use up some of your son’s energy every day. Your boy (and your mental sanity) will thank you.