Monday, May 4, 2009

Mondays Muttered Mumblings

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 ;)


Barbaloot said...

Wow---I have nothing to offer in the way of advice to offer you...but good luck!

mom of boys said...

Oh..oh my. I am so not looking forward to teenagers. My oldest is 8 and I call his phase pure obnoxious with stubborn sprinkled on top. I already can't tell him anything. And nothing but weird, annoying sounds come out of his mouth. It's a good thing he's so dang cute and still gives me hugs, cause seriously.

Hope things start looking up - good luck with your interview.

Adams Family said...

Some how it is reassuring to my to hear that others peoples kid go through phases. Who is the interview with? Good luck, you're in our prayers.

Mummy McTavish said...

Good luck with that interview!
Forget about kids stages, that post completely freaked me out. I was already in the "holy c**p what are we doing having another kid when some days I barely make it out alive with just these two" stage. Now I'm breaking out in a cold sweat and having heart palpitations. Thanks for that!

Kathy @ Real Mom, Real Life said...

OK -- this is the book I should have read before having 4 boys... This is real life with boys, folks... and who ever said boys aren't emotional???

Good luck with the interview...


Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

Hey, we have been praying for you and your family!!! I will be praying for that interview as well.

I love this commentary on your boys. We just had a heart to heart about our 9 year old. He is a terrific kid, but he is DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!! So glad to hear that this is normal. Can I send him your way? I mean, what is one more, really? Oh, I kid. Well, kind of.

I will be moving next door during the teenage will already have them figured out, right? RIGHT?

Praying for the handsome Boy Family!

Mrs. Nurse Boy

Suey said...

Sheesh, sounds like you are having just too much fun! And I thought boys didn't do drama! Good luck on the job front.

Deb said...

Good luck on the job. That would be awesome.

I have to say, I used to be kind of terrified of the teenage years. Your post today helped me see that there are ages and stages much closer to be afraid of. Thanks!

Seriously, I don't know how you do it. Particularly with #1's church/mission dichotomy. I went through a similar phase, if it helps...he could turn out to be as wonderful as me.


Cowboy mom said...

Life never does seem to go like we plan. Does it? The thing that cracked me up about this is all I can see is you handling it all in stride. Good Luck.

Tiffany said...

Wish I could offer some great advice but I'm hanging on by a thread here myself. Actually, I'm not hanging on anymore. Good luck on the job. I'll be joining you in the workforce soon. I guess the Smith men just want to deep, deep down be stay at home dads. Just wish I would have known that 8 years ago.

3 Bay B Chicks said...

This post confirms some of my worst fears about teenagers, Boy Mom. How do you do it? Especially with summer just around the corner?

I also shudder to think how much food you must buy on any given week. I feel like I am on a first name basis with most of the employees at my grocery store and we are a fairly small family.

Hang in there! One of them is bound to move out sooner or later. :)


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LeShel said...

I do hope your interview went well. I must check in regularly because every time I do my life makes sense. I read about your boys and I think oh, it's normal, hooray!! Thanks for spelling truth and for of course loving them which even with the mutterings under your breath it's so obvious you love each one of those smelly, hungry boys!

Amber said...

This post had my coworkers and I cracking up. :-)

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