31 Days of Raising Boys: You say things you never thought you would say

"You can be a triceratops, but don't put your blanket next to the dog bowl"
"What is that in the toilet?"
"Is that pee??"
"Get off your brother's head!"
"DO NOT stand on that bookshelf!"
"Did you stand on Ms. Michelle's table?"
"You made a what, out of blocks? A gun??"
"Don't put that in your nose!"
"Please come pick up your bugs!"
"Don't put your fork in your hair"

I catch myself saying some pretty strange things. I stop in my tracks and repeat it in my head and promptly scrunch up my eyebrows and shake my head. Did I really just say that?

31 Days of Raising Boys: Hugs

They give the best hugs! Oh I might be biased, yes. When one of them runs to me at full speed, throws his arms around  me and squeezes with all his might.....it melts my heart.

There is so much energy in everything they do.

I've been knocked down by hugs that welcome me home after a day away. Their love is strong and their hearts are full.

31 Days of Raising Boys: Dirt

How is it possible that not but 5 minutes after I vacuum, there are granules of dirt and sand and even leaves and rocks littering the floor?

Why does my 4 year old want to fill his pockets with flowers and rocks? Why does my 2 year old want to put sand in his dump truck and drive it through the house?

It's inevitable. Dirt and messes follow boys everywhere they go. It's impressive, actually.

So, the moral of the story? Get that vision of a perfectly cleaned house out of your mind. It's not happening and that's ok. Dirt means those boys are playing, discovering, adventuring, learning...livin' right.

31 Days of Raising Boys: Butts, Poop and Farts

Oh my gosh, did I actually just include the word "farts" in my post title?
These words alone will make my boys collapse into a fit of giggles. It happened so early, too. Once it starts, it never stops. I heard a 10 year old boy at the park, chuckling when my boys were being silly and making each other laugh while talking about poop. I fought it for awhile but I end up giggling right along with them, dangit. I don't allow it at the dinner table but it's fair game everywhere else. Not all moms prefer that and I get the occasional sideways look but hey, I'd rather have laughing kids than be concerned about what others think.

31 Days of Raising Boys: Fearless

They feel invincible, strong, agile and quick. They climb, jump, run, spin, crawl, hang and slide on anything and everything. I often have to calm my tattered nerves and clenched jaw by reminding myself that they are learning and exploring and that I do my best to keep them safe. I have daily heart attacks and I often forget to breathe. Their fearlessness and confidence is wonderful and scary all at once.
The truth is I want them to explore, adventure and experience. If they run too fast, fall and end up with a scraped knee, they will remember (eventually) that running down a hill of rocks may not be the best idea. Natural consequences are the best. I can tell them what will happen if they make choice x but they won't believe me. They need to figure it out on their own.
When an appropriate situation arises, instead of "Don't do that, you'll fall" I ask "Is that a good idea? What do think will happen if you ...." I like to hear their thought process and see them problem solve and make a choice, even if it's not the one I prefer.
Their fearlessness reminds me to take risks, to jump in and see what happens, to stir some excitement into my days. Funny how that works.

31 Days of Raising Boys: The Noise

Oh the noise. There's just so much, always. They talk loudly, shout across the house, stomp around, build tall building of blocks and then run through them, set up cars in a line then crash through them, drive dump trucks on the walls, jump on their beds making karate sounds, bang their forks on their plates to make music. It's so true that when there is silence, someone is up to something (like drawing on the wall or dipping toys in the toilet).
The giggles and squeals and shrieks threaten to break my ear drums, but they fill my heart with love and joy. That noise is the evidence of a happiness.  That noise fills the house with adventure and possibility, love and fun.

But I still like to practice whispering with them, when my ears need a break.

31 Days of Raising Boys: This

This. Just this.