Aug 24, 2008

Boys will be boys

I was talking with a friend the other night about crazy things our kids have done, and we both felt lucky that our all-boy families have so far been spared from the broken bone scenario. Having Tyler pull out his stitches at an early age was about the worst I've handled so far, but the boys still seem to post more than their fare share of crazy antics. (Case in point: the newsletter I just linked to is chock-full of antics! Sheesh!)

For example, on Saturday I charged Zachary and Tyler with weeding the back yard garden. Transplanting strawberries in June was not a successful venture, and while we were out of town the garden totally gave in to a horde of weeds. I have ignored it completely until this week, when I offered to pay Zach and/or Tyler to weed the whole thing. They flatly refused, so, conniving Mom that I am, I assigned the task as a Saturday chore. All was well and good; they got started and I jumped in the shower. At 9:30 a.m. they reported the chore complete. I glanced over, and amazingly, they had done it! Not ten minutes later, our next door neighbor, quite possibly one of the most gentle souls on earth, informed me that her yard had "inherited" a bunch of weeds. Eventually Tyler confessed the whole business: Zachary made Tyler pull all the weeds and put them in a bucket, which Zachary then dumped in the garbage can. Except the one bucket, which went over the fence and into the neighbor's yard. I immediately thought of Tom Sawyer and his famous whitewashing scheme. Should I be proud of Zach for his industry in avoiding work?

Here's another boy thing that pops up a lot at our house: I have three boys who love to be naked. Considering their ages, Zachary and Tyler ought to have at least a small sense of privacy and decency, but apparently we have failed in that regard. Walking through the house with nary a scrap of clothing on them is just not a big deal! Taking ten minutes to dress after showering is commonplace. And little Gavin has even started taking off his own pants. If the legs are a little long, he'll step on the pant legs and squirm right out. I found him crawling around completely naked because Zachary had gone a step further and removed Gavin's diaper. What's the deal?

This week we've worked through a bee sting (Zach), the stomach flu (Tyler and Zach), teething (three new choppers for Gavin), and astonishing separation anxiety (Gavin). Zach is discovering the "joys" of nightly homework (he doesn't know I make it up for him...) and Tyler is remembering how to putter at home since preschool hasn't started yet. Gavin is starting to stand alone more often. He's also biting. These things aren't exclusive to boys, of course, but they were a big part of our boys' world this week.

See the little circle on Zach's right cheek (your left)?
The bee sting provoked quite the dramatic (read:emotional) reaction.

I'm grateful for the sport of soccer right now. Soccer practice means running and yelling and kicking are allowed. Soccer practice means time at the park, fresh air, and snacks after dinner. Soccer means wearing cool shoes and shin guards that inevitably prompt one brother to kick another without injury. Soccer means time with Dad. Soccer means early dinner and frenetic bedtime routines, but it's totally worth it.

Garry is an awesome coach. Tyler is the non-participant on the right.

Being with this crowd at least helps me feel a little normal. We've got common ground with at least two all-boy families in the ward. (Although I still think my boys can trump theirs in mischievous endeavors.) We meet at parks and each other's homes to let the boys...well, be themselves in good company.

Seven boys between three and seven! Sweet! The moms are awesome, too.

Even the littlest ones, who play in toilets, knock down garbage cans, unroll toilet paper, sleep funky hours, eat weird stuff, grow teeth at the most inopportune times, and sometimes stress out their frazzled mommies, can be buddies as they grow up.

Gavin, Isaac, and Luke.
Gavin is the youngest by three months, but you'd never know it.

And the classic rite of passage. Grrrr...but I still laughed when I found him.

I might moan and groan about my crazy boys, but of course I wouldn't trade them for anything.
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