Oh BOY. Where to begin. A little history? I'm a girl. I grew up with one sister. Our mom, and at various times through childhood, between 1 and 3 FEMALE dogs (until my 20's when we got our first male dog). Plus my grandma lived next door. My poor father!
So now we're raising these two little boys, and I'm being slowly but surely introduced to the world of boy. Okay, back up. Some of it, I'm sure, isn't "boy", it's more like "toddler" and "pre-schooler." You know, the finger up the nose, the stomping and screaming when you don't get what you want, the pee-pee dance. Certainly not restricted simply to little males of the species.
But how about this one? "Mommy! Catch!" And whatever I'm supposed to catch comes flying through the air. Sometimes it's an empty sippy cup, sometimes a toy, sometimes a ball (hey, go figure), and sometimes, it's a little boy. Yup - happens quite often - I'll be standing close to something elevated - couch, bed, toy box...and my little climber will be up there in an instant, and all the sudden a child comes hurtling through the air sort of in the vicinity of my arms.
And peeing outside. When Jonathan was first potty-trained, we were delighted about how easy it was, how completely trained he was within just days. And then we went outside for yardwork. And it was a long way from where we were in the yard outside, back to the potty. So just for consistency, I took him behind a tree and let him pee. So easy for boys. Not fair. But now? There's not even any attempt at making it back inside. We'll be outside for whatever, and I'll look behind me to see what Jonathan's doing, and there he is, pants around his ankles, going to town. Actually having FUN with it. And last night, out on the rail trail where we were walking after dinner, he announces that he has to pee, drops trou and starts to go all within 5 seconds, before Mark or I could even get to him and direct him to AT LEAST get off the path! Luckily no one came flying by on their bike.
Then there's the changing table. I just can't believe all kids are like this, but neither of my sons has ever had any patience at all for the changing table. Jonathan despised it from birth all the way up to potty-training. And Matthew's not much better. It's like, he's got something better to do and doesn't want to tolerate one more second. He's trying to sit up, he's turning around, he's squirming, he's kicking his feet, he's trying to see what's above and around his head....I'm telling you by the time I get done changing this kid's diaper, I'm sweating. Often, it takes two of us to keep him still long enough to get him dressed, and even then, it's not easy. Mark's favorite saying to me during these times is "Statutes...", meaning, the statutes of limitations have been reached, and for me to stop messing around - forget about clipping fingernails and toenails and cleaning out ears this time around. Just get done the basics and let him run.
And then, there's the "hand down the pants" phenomenon. Is it really necessary to do all that "adjusting?" I've never been a dude - so this is a mystery to me. "Take your hand out of your pants, please" elicits immediate obedience, but then 10 seconds later, the hand is back. I will say though, that persistence has paid off and maybe it was just a "stage" and the little talks about separating "private" and "public" behavior did some good.
But not until the inevitable had to happen. We went out to dinner - it was still cool, so we had jackets and hats, etc... Dinner's done, bill's paid, we're wiping down Matthew and liberating him from his high chair. Jonathan being strangely cooperative is standing, waiting for us, jacket on, hat on, watching the numbers display on the Keno screen near the bar part of this "bar and grill" where we ate. We struggle Matthew into his jacket, I grab diaper bag, purse, turn to Jonathan, and then I notice the stance. One hand to his face with a finger up his nose just about as far as it would go. Other hand, solidly down the front of his pants. Dazed expression on his face as he was watching all those fascinating numbers bounce around. I stood balanced on this miniscule line between complete embarrasment and complete hysterics, all I could do was grab him, yank him toward the door and away from the snickers from the nearby tables, and not dare look at Mark, lest I completely lose it.
Oh well, someone in all this, they'll figure it out, with a little help from us. Right now, as long as we can get hats off/shirts on enforced at the dinner table, it'll be a good start in making these boys into men!