The following post was first published last week for The M.O.B. Society. Unfortunately, the site is experiencing technical difficulties so it was emailed to subscribers rather than on the blog. To receive this newsletter until the site is rebuilt, click here.
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and I was sharing a rather extreme story of boyishness about my two very energetic, very ornery boys.
She, too, has two boys. However, her two boys are not the same kind of boys as mine.
For example, my dear friend is able to have a rice table in their playroom. I shudder at the thought of having a rice table inside my house because I know my particular boys and I can guarantee we would find rice in places where rice should never be. Yes, probably even there.
Her boys are the more quiet, observant type. On the other hand, let’s just say you for certain know when my boys enter a room. Or a store. Or a mall. We’ve got some serious pipes on us and 1) we aren’t afraid to use them and 2) we haven’t learned how to wear a filter yet. Those pipes have been used to announce anything from their latest obsession with the word “poop” to asking about why I have a vagina and they have a penis. Usually in front of as many people as possible.
I’ve noticed that when my friend is talking to her boys, they actually listen. As in, they don’t interrupt and try to talk over her. As in, they usually do what she says pretty promptly. As in, she doesn’t have to tell them usually more than once to do something.
This is not my reality.
There once was a time when I wondered what on earth I was doing wrong. Why were my boys so energetic? So in-your-face? So crazily extroverted? So you fill-in-the-blank?
I unfairly compared my boys with hers and wondered how I could parent more like her so mine might have a chance to one day be civilized humans.
Yet the more we all matured, myself included, I learned to embrace who God created them to be. I’ve learned to laugh at their innocently honest questions inquired without a filter in the darndest of places. I’ve learned to let them make mud pies and get as downright dirty as possible. I’ve learned to wear ear plugs so I will still be able to hear when I am a silver-haired old woman.
My same sweet friend, who never in a million years has been judgmental or made me feel like I was doing something wrong in the parenting of my boys, made the funniest comment about a year ago. It still remains the most blatantly true and funniest comment I’ve ever heard about my boys.
While the women were attending our church’s retreat, I listened as she spoke to her husband who was preparing to have all of the husbands and children (!) over for the evening.
“The Snapp boys are going to be there. Hide the gerbil,” she warned.
Yes. Indeed. Hide the gerbil. Always.
Luckily, I was able to laugh because it’s so hilariously accurate and so very much true to who they are.
Curious little beings with a zest for life. Loud extroverts who are external processors. In training to one day join the World Wrestling Federation.Snugglers who want back ticklies after their bath. Terrorizers of their older sister.
I’m still holding out hope that one day, they will be able to visit the homes of those with gerbils. Until then, let’s just play it safe and hide them for now, shall we?
What about you? Are your boys the energetic, rowdy type or the quiet observers? Or both?