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    On Mothering Boys

    September 26, 2013 by Brandy Vencel

    My older son is the studious, quiet type, who prefers almost burning the house down with electrical current to any other form of physical dare-devilry, so I really do think that God gave me my younger son in order to keep me humble and also baffled.

    Girls? Girls are wonderful. I mean, maybe I’ll be eating my words when our house is full of Hormones, but right now they are 8 and 6 and very easy for me to mother.

    But then there is that five-year-old boy of mine.

    Now, before I criticize, I must say that overall age five has gone much better than four. Granted, it has only been a month, but I keep telling my husband the fifth birthday brought us a little angel as a reward for putting up with age four. Age four required a lot of Consistency and Oversight, on a level I’d never experienced before.

    But this son of mine is also not like the girls in another way. I think I read a book years and years ago about this being a difference between girls and boys, but I hadn’t really seen it in action before. Pain does not seem to be a great teacher of boys the way it is with girls.

    On Sunday, the boys found a yellow jacket nest. On Sunday evening, their father told them the story about how he and his twin brother found a wasp nest and tampered with it and Uncle Jeremy ended up getting badly stung. The lesson was supposed to be Don’t Tamper with Nests.

    On Monday, the boys threw rocks at said yellow jacket nest. O-Age-Five came into the house screaming at the top of his lungs, because he had been stung on the lip. That lip swelled up like you wouldn’t believe, and remained that way for 48 hours.

    At that point, Siah asked him if he learned anything. His reply was, “Nothing!”

    This turned out to be true.

    On Tuesday, Son O. threw rocks at the yellow jacket nest. Again. This time, he was stung on his left ear. It is Thursday afternoon, and that ear is still 50% larger than the other one, and also red. Siah asked him if he learned anything. His reply was still, “Nothing!”

    On Wednesday, Son O. threw rocks at the yellow jacket nest. Again. This time he was able to outrun the yellow jackets. We did not ask him what he learned out of fear that the answer would be, “how to outrun a yellow jacket.” He was obviously pleased with himself.

    We did, however, threaten Dire Consequences, which we believe is better than continuing to develop increased reactions to yellow jacket venom.

    Today is Thursday. Son O. is currently at my folks’ house. They do not have yellow jackets.

    To my great relief.

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  • Reply Nelleke Plouffe September 30, 2013 at 2:49 am

    This was so amusing to me! My husband and I just had a conversation today about how thankful we are to have boys because they are so much less complicated than girls (after we had a 5-year-old girl cousin over at our place for the afternoon). There was a spat, which I tried to resolve logically (always works with my boys!), but the girl talked in circles around me. Solving the problem was not good enough for her…her feelings and her position had to be validated. So yeah…I’m enjoying my boys. Not that I wouldn’t like to have a girl or two someday, too… πŸ™‚

  • Reply walking September 28, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you for the daily giggle!!!

  • Reply sara September 28, 2013 at 12:54 am

    Brandy, I only have boys so, no basis for comparison, but they just don’t believe me when I tell them the bad things that could happen if they don’t heed my warnings. Things like, “snapping turtles can bite your finger off” and “if you see a snake that you can’t identify leave it alone” and “bouncing on very high bendy tree limbs can be hazardous to your health.” Fortunately, they have escaped any dire natural consequences, but it sort of ruins my cred.

  • Reply Hayley September 27, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Four has been my most challenging thus far also. As for this, thanks for the warning of what I have to be ready for with my fourth. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Dawn September 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Sigh. We are dealing with a similar situation at the moment. Fire ants here. Every. Single. DAY my youngest goes back and knocks down their latest hill. Fortunately, it is not on the same level of pain or injury as yellow jackets. Just want you to know that you are not alone friend:).

  • Reply Cindy Rollins September 27, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    So familiar. Our son James kept telling me that the bees were his friends. I kept trying to explain that they were not. One day he came in crying, “My friend bit me.” And we did have to rush to the hospital once when our oldest had a reaction to being stung multiple times by hornets and … well, you get it. James did graduate from college and get a great job if that helps. I always thank God for guardian angels.

  • Reply Carol September 27, 2013 at 6:01 am

    I reckon girls are so much easier to homeschool than boys but then boys are less complicated in other respects. All 4 of my boys had to have stitches (none of the girls) and the 4th was particularly happy because he had to have more than all the others.

  • Reply Laurke September 27, 2013 at 3:22 am

    Wild at Heart is a great book to read when you’ve got a little man’s man in your house πŸ™‚ I’ve had a few of those…
    That said, I totally laughed at this post because I can relate! πŸ˜€

  • Reply Ellen September 27, 2013 at 1:54 am

    I’m bewildered with my 4-year-old boy. I have punished him multiple times for drawing on the walls with crayon during his rest time. I finally took away the crayons. And then today I discovered that he’s taken toothpaste out of the bathroom and smeared it on the carpet. I can’t win! And so many punishments just don’t seem to phase him that much. If I didn’t love some sort of rest time so much, I would give it up. He’s driving me nuts.

  • Reply Daisy September 26, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Son O sounds completely typical for a boy. The good news is that one day, as an adult, he’ll be just as brave and determined about some other challenge.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel September 26, 2013 at 11:41 pm

      That *is* good news!

      I think I’ve decided my new mothering philosophy–especially for boys, but sometimes even in regard to the girls–is “don’t look.” It’s really been helping a lot. πŸ™‚

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