Raising the Men of Tomorrow

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Raising the Men of Tomorrow

by Bonnie Small,
Children Kids Parenting

When I was pregnant with my third child, who thankfully turned out to be a little girl – or so I thought, I was discussing the various antics of my two boys with a fellow mother in the supermarket. She must have been in her mid to late-fifties and had raised 5 boys of her own. At the time, I saw her as a source of wisdom, someone who had been through the fire I was now facing, and survived. She was my Gandhi.

The conversation went on, and I explained my habit of calling my mother, almost daily, and as soon as she answered, without even saying hello, I would say “Quick! Remind me why I love my three-year-old!” and she would laugh and come up with reasons to not strangle the little darling.

The lady smiled knowingly as I told her all of this, and about our eldest son’s latest escapade, which had involved a bucket of used transmission fluid, five minutes of inattention on my part while I put his brother to bed, and a distinct lack of clothing. I finished the tale with the words, “I just can’t understand. Why on EARTH would he decide to bathe in used transmission fluid?” Laughing, the lady pointed out that I was looking at things from entirely the wrong perspective. I was looking at it from a girl’s point of view. A girl would look at something gross or sticky and say “why would you do that?” whereas a BOY, on the other hand, would look at the same gross or sticky thing and say “why WOULDN’T you do that!”

Thankfully, those days seem to be mostly memories with our now 6-year-old son. Although, I did discover his 4-year-old brother and 3-year-old sister wearing nothing but their underwear and bathing in the plastic pond we have for the goose this afternoon. It was a whopping 20 degrees today and I can only imagine what the temperature of the pond was like. So it turns out I may have been a little hasty to cheer when the youngest was a pink one, and it looks like the whole delightful roller coaster will continue for a few more years yet.

I guess this is the fun part of raising boys, the constant guessing at what their next crazy scheme is going to be. Girls really do not seem to be any less of a challenge so far either, as I wonder some days whether my youngest daughter is worse than both boys put together, and simply wrapped up in a cute little bundle of red hair, blue eyes and dimples to distract from the true genius of her evil. But no matter how many times I think I may not survive this journey without a one-way ticket to the lunatic asylum, I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. I know it can be done, I just need to keep trying. As long as hubby and I manage to instill a few core values like honesty and respect along the way, I am sure we will be able to laugh about it while we’re in our rocking chairs. Another thought that comforts me is the idea of being able to spoil our grandchildren and share awful stories about our children when the time comes!