Raising boys has taught me that phases come and go, there are ages and developmental stages that make me crazy followed by phases of relatively delightful behavior. The hope is that there will be balance and only half of my sons will be in a, 'make me crazy phase' at any given time.
My stress level has been at maximum over the past few months for fairly obvious reasons, no income, no jobs, no day care clients, then last week I realized that all my boys are in a developmental phase that is getting on my last nerve.
So, to better inform the boy parenting public I present seven brief case studies on what to expect in the care and nurture of sons.
1# is 18 years old, a senior and has a bad case of the, "I'm Pushing Every Boundary in the Effort to Establish My New Adult Identity Phase". Currently, he claims is no longer a member of the predominant Boy House religion, yet speaks about going on a church mission in less then a year. Does any one else see a contradiction? He finally asked for help finishing up graduation requirements with a whole 10 days left to accomplish it all. He constantly tells everyone in the family what to do including Boy Mom and Adorable Hubby whom he has decided to address by first name. Just don't even think about Telling. Him. Any. Thing. He is a study in opposites. I mean really, does a man who addresses other adults by their first names need help completing graduation requirements that they've known about for three years?
#2 is 16 years old. We'll just call his phase the, "My Sh** Don't Stink Phase." Sorry! There just isn't any other way to describe it. #2 is completely convinced that anything and everything he does is cute, smart and wonderful, especially telling #1 what he should do to make his life better. As you can imagine the arguments are beyond loud and hard to drown out. And don't you dare get in the middle of it because the whole thing is a lure to catch you favoring one side or the other at which point they'll suddenly be on the same team fighting like Spartan warriors against the evil parental horde.
#3 is 13 years old, and firmly entrenched in the," I need my own private Therapist Phase." If #3 is having a bad day he follows me around from room to room with sighs and mutterings until I stop everything and discuss with him the deep and pressing issues of his life.
"Why does that other kid want to play first base? Its' MY position?
" Why is my homework lab teacher so weird?"
"#1 and #2 are always telling me what to do, do they think I'm stupid?...Hey #5 go clean your room it's such a mess!"
My carefully directed therapeutic questions like, "Have you noticed that you boss your little brothers around just like #2 and #1 boss you?" Or, "Is it possible that some people think you're weird?" Are not well so well received, go figure!
#4 is 12 years old and loping along in the "I Can Do it Myself Unless it's Due Today then If You Could Drop Everything and help me, That'd be Swell Phase. It's hard to get too frustrated with #4 he is so happy go lucky and easy to deal with. But trying to finish up sixth grade is tough and I wish he'd give me a little more warning about research papers on Mongolia then 30 minutes before school starts. But alas sweet #4 has a stubborn streak that renders external motivation useless. Nothing gets done in #4's life unless and when he is ready to do it.
#5 is turning 8 years old soon, He is well into Boy Moms least favorite phase, "Everything, No Matter how Insignificant, is Part of a larger conspiracy to Ruin His Life Phase." At the park the other day #5's head got slightly bumped by the car door his brother was shutting. Oh the tears and wailing and head holding that ensued. I finally felt guilty enough to look, just in case he was bleeding profusely from a 6 inch gash...Nope not even a red mark.
This morning #5 came into my room, huge tears rolling down his cheeks, holding a disc from some electronic game. "Mom, I'm having a terrible day!" He sobbed burying his snot covered face in my freshly laundered, fuzzy, blue, bathrobe.
"What could have ruined your day at 8:00 AM?" I gently inquired through clenched teeth while trying to pry his arms from around my neck.
"PicMin II won't work, and it worked last night, and I didn't want it to not work this morning, and it just won't work, and all night long I wanted to play when I woke up, and now it won't work, and I don't even want to be awake if it isn't working, and now everyone is going to say it's my fault and my whole life is just ruined!"
"Uhhh, I'm not seeing how your life being ruined justifies boogers on my clean bathrobe?" Yeah, I wish I'd said that, instead I just patted his back and made soothing sounds until he was done. What else could I do? His "Whole life is ruined!"
#6 is 6 years old, he refuses to go to school each morning because it's BORING! He demands food every 15 minutes because he's STARVING! He won't eat meals because they're YUCKY! He wants to play with a friend right now or he'll DIE of boredom! He cries inconsolably when his friend has to go home because they only got to play for A COUPLE MINUTES! I don't even know what to call this phase but it is EXTREMELY ANNOYING!
And finally #7, the four year old baby of the family is in the WhHHiNNniNGgg phase! Do I really need to say anything about the whining phase?
I'm hanging on by a thread here folks and I'm beginning to suspect it's around my neck. But, I got a job interview for tomorrow on a job I was emailed that I'd been rejected for. So maybe I'll be leaving Adorable Hubby to deal with all this madness and be taking my, "Last Nerve, Crazy Mom Phase" into the workplace, which would really help with the, "I'm All Boy FEED Me Please Phase", that they're also all in. Wish me Luck ;)