If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time (or even if you’ve just checked out my About page), you’ll know I have four kids. Three of them are boys; two of my children are rapidly approaching their crazy, mixed-up teenage years; and two of them are toddlers. Getting a toddler to do what you want them to when you want them to do it is like trying to squeeze blood from a stone; it ain’t gonna happen, and my morning spent trying to do just that (wrangle toddlers, that is) largely inspired this post.
Do these apply to all boys? Of course not. Do they apply to girls, too? You betcha. But I’m dealing with boys at the moment, so here’s what I know:
Five things every parent should know about boys
1. Boys have two volume settings: loud and louder. I’ve instructed mine to use their inside voices so many times that they no longer hear me when I say it.
Heck, I don’t even hear me anymore.
2. Boys don’t stop. Ever. My youngest has literally run himself to sleep more times than I can count. The words, “For the love of God, stand (sit) still!” mean nothing to him. He never stops moving, not even when he’s asleep.
And speaking of sleep, his older brother has eyelids of steel. He once stayed awake for eighteen (18!) hours straight, despite my best efforts to get him to go to sleep, and then he only conked out for a few hours. That might not seem overly impressive for an adult, but he’s four.
3. If there’s a messy way to do something, boys will find it. My second son once managed to get birthday cake in his armpits, despite the fact that he was wearing a shirt with sleeves at the time. We won’t even discuss his little brother’s many incidents with cereal. Or diaper cream. Or their toybox.
4. Little boys are so kind-hearted. Sure, they can be frustrating as all get-out when you want them to be quiet or sleep and they won’t, but then they’ll come running up to you, smiling from ear to ear as they scream, “I love you, Mom!” at the top of their lungs because they’re incapable of using their inside voices, and your heart will just melt. And yes, when they do it again five minutes later, you’ll melt all over again.
Either that, or you’ll wonder what they’ve broken now.
5. They don’t stay little long enough. Am I glad they sleep through the night? Absolutely. Am I excited by the prospect of being finished with potty training (again) by the end of the summer? Duh. Am I ready to be done with the threenage temper tantrums? You better believe it. But despite all that, I miss those crazy baby days, when I could snuggle them at will and when I could set them down and they’d stay put. I miss the way they smiled in their sleep. I miss their baby laughs and cute chubby cheeks and adorable sleepers.
They say grandchildren are the reward you get for not killing your own kids. Mine drive me plenty crazy, but I can’t imagine four sweeter kids than the ones who’ve stolen my sleep, my sanity, and my heart. And one day, God willing, they’ll have kids who are exactly like them. 😀
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