Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Parenting Teenage Boys Should Come with Merit Badges

I'm thinking that someone should start handing out badges to moms who have teenage sons.  Honestly, they probably should hand them out to mom's of teenage girls too, but I don't have one of those ... yet ... so I can't attest to the fact that you earn your stripes raising them.

What I do have is a fifteen year old boy who thinks he's grown, acts like he's five and is living in a body that has turned into a man overnight.

Tonight as we walked into dinner, I noticed a LOT of mustache and beard hair on his face.  I think he really needs to shave.  He has been "shaving at it" for a while, but it's looking pretty manly.  These revelations come at me quickly.  Even though I live with him every day, some days I "see" him.

Tonight we needed to buy new shoes.  It seems like we need new shoes about every three months.  Tonight we bought size 12.  WHO WEARS size 12 shoes at 15???  What size will he be by the time he's 18??  We've finally come to some sort of agreement on the shoes.  I refuse to pay $100 or more for a pair of shoes that will last no more than three months and smell like an ape factory moved out in less than three days.  He knows now to just look "cheap".  It took a loooooong time to get to this point. 

Then there's the smells that emanate from teenage boys.  Puberty is a cruel thing.  It makes boys, who don't particularly care about hygiene in the first place, SMELL -- badly.  Body odor, bad breath, stinky feet.  Combined it's a pleasure for the senses.

Homework. Now there's a subject that has been near and dear to the hearts of everyone in this house as of late.  There is a LOT of discussion going on about homework at our house.  I really wish there was as much actual completion of homework, but, at least it's getting talked about.  How is it that a child can have twelve hours and only complete two assignments, but can build an entire community, castle, family and eco-system in a video game in twenty minutes flat?   I've said for years that if they could turn Algebra into a video game, my child would be in the Honors class.

The blessing of it all is that it's a stage -- no different from the other ones we've gone through throughout the years.  This one, however, has seemed MUCH harder than those "terrible" twos they spoke of.  I think it would have been more accurate to warn parents of the upcoming "terrible teens" which last longer, have just as many tantrums and cause a lot more anxiety.  At least when they are two you can put them in time out.

But, like the good Girl Scout that I never was, I'm going to keep working to earn my badge.  The one that states, "Survivor:  Parenting a Teenage Son".  I'm going to wear it with pride.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Reviving the ole' blog - What do 'possums "do"?

The blog has been in hibernation for a long, long ... well, long time.  It's time (even though I don't have any extra time) to revive it to capture some of the glorious events and parenting moments (failures) that are occurring in our lives lately.

It seems five has hit Ellie hard and she is FULL (exploding from the seams) with questions.  On the way to school this morning I had the following:

  • What do possums do? (I don't know)
  • What do owls do? (I don't know)
  • Why do owls come out at night? (I'd like to see an owl, she reports). (We discussed the definition of nocturnal)
  • Why does rice grow in patties (sp??) (I don't know)
  • Why do woodpeckers peck wood? (I don't know, isn't there a poem about that??)
  • Why do snakes bite? (Because they are scared)
  • Why do crocodiles bite? (Because they are hungry)
  • What's growing in that field over there? (I don't know, probably corn)
Just last night I was barraged with these questions:

  • Do eggs grow on trees? (No, you KNOW they come from chickens)
  • Who puts the gooey stuff in eggs? (God)
  • When Josh was growing in your tummy did he have feet? (Uhhhh.... yes).
In an effort to determine what possums actually DO, I googled, "What do opossums do?"  Found a great website appropriately called The 'Possum Pages that told me everything I never wanted to know about opossums.  I basically learned nothing exciting about them and apparently they don't really "DO" anything.  Much like my children ... but that's a post for another day.

The reason for the possum questions stemmed from the fact that last night our dog Macy treed a possum in the yard.  Ellie wasn't quite sure what one was so we showed her the picture above. 

The real visual from this story is Josh and I outside (pitch black) with a flashlight borrowed from the neighbor, a iPhone with a flashlight app, a bb gun (yes, I know), trying to figure what the dog was so angry about.  Once we discovered her jumping at the tree where the possum was, it was a long struggle to determine which one of us was going to run under the tree (pray that the possum didn't drop and attack) and grab the dog.  In the middle of it all, the neighbors arrive home and think we have lost our minds.  The grass is slick, Josh (who lost and had to run for the dog) fell down  twice while chasing the dog.  The possum never moved.  I'm sure he/she thought we were all crazy.

So, what do possums do?  Aggravate dogs, cause drama and sit in trees.  Oh, and play dead apparently.

Stayed tuned for the next blog post where we discover "who puts the gooey stuff in eggs".