Grits and Purls

Spinning yarns about the grit of life

Lego world

It's a Lego world

I have a houseful of boys–even the cat is a boy. When I shop for my clothes 3 people sit outside on a bench waiting for me. I have nothing I did not buy in a hurry.

I would not swap my boys with anyone. For them I will endure a blue-denim world devoid of pink and frills. I will hang out at GameStop and watch action movies. I will spend hours in Lego world and cheer for football teams. I have been to Monster truck rallies and WWE matches (twice!). I have watched more Star Wars and SpongeBob than anyone should. I have built mini Ninja-warrior courses in the backyard, and devised ways to make toy cars run faster down the driveway. I have acquired a lot of useless knowledge about the attributes of Pokemon, know the name of most forms of construction equipment, and have learned basic techniques for survival in the wild. Boys have changed my world in ways I never suspected when the nurse handed me that first bundle of blue and I heard Kyle gasp out the words “We’ve got a boy”.

The Power of Awesome
From my boys I have learned the power of boundless enthusiasm. They both entered the world determined to take it on head first. In our house everything is either Awesome or Rubbish, there is no in-between. “Bring it on” they cry, rushing headlong into whatever the next game happens to be. Nothing is mediocre, they either commit themselves to something wholeheartedly or they don’t try at all. They enter all activities fully expecting to perform in world-beating fashion. No matter how many times they might lose, they start each game fully persuaded that they are going to be awesome at it. On one hand this is a great attitude to start everything with, but it can cause problems for activities where there is a learning curve.

What is it about Competition?

winning trophy

Winning is Awesome

What is it about boys and competition? They are so motivated by it. I must admit that at times I don’t know whether this is a blessing or a curse. It’s good to always do your best and strive to win, but it’s bad to want to obliterate your opponent without an ounce of compassion, being incapable of occasionally “letting” someone win to cheer them up! Competition is the source of many of the disagreements between my sons. How do other parents manage this balancing act and avoid raising either Attilla the Hun or an ultra-depressed Doormat? We are still trying to figure it out.

There is Always a Way
Another thing I have learned from being a parent is that there is almost always a way to get something done. I didn’t think that I could build a Ninja Warrior course out of a cardboard box, a rubber band and a ball of string but I did! I didn’t think that I could live happily in a house that is this messy, but I can! I didn’t think that I could watch another Clone Wars episode and remain sane, but I did (I think)! This isn’t unique to boys—it must be true of girls as well–having children has shown me that it is usually possible to find a solution to most problems, with just a little bit of thought, some effort, and the determination not to give up.

It’s a Funny World
Lastly, boys say some very strange things–from the funny, to the sublime to the just plain weird. I want to remember them all, so I’ve started a list. Here’s a few from the past few weeks:

“Can we get a really skinny cat and call it Smeagol?”

“Do you remember that guy on Man v. Food who ate a 3lb burrito in 6 minutes? I think he’s a professional eater. Awesome!”

“You know that BigFoot, I think he’s a fake.”

“You make me feel better.”

“Never go swimming in Illinois. They’ve got Snakefish”

“When the fish die, can we get a tuna?”

(after a loud crash) “I think we might need a new toilet seat”.

Now I must confess that I know nothing about girls—somebody who knows needs to write “On Girls”—Michele?

6 thoughts on “On Boys

  1. Oh the toilet seat comment made me laugh out loud! Just discovered your blog – looking forward to more!

    1. Isobel says:

      Thanks! I am looking forward to reading more of yours as well.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Our only child (boy) is 5 but I must admit I have learned a thing or two I would have never learned with a girl. I haven’t been to Monster Jam yet (that was a Daddy trip) but do know the names & numbers of most of the NASCAR drivers plus all the words to Thomas the Tank Engine theme song. I agree boys say some of the oddest things. I need to start writing them down too.

    1. Isobel says:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      I would say it was a wise move to send Daddy to the Monster Jam show! One of my guys is just starting to get interested in NASCAR too–so I might be learning a thing or two about that next.

  3. Michele Arduengo says:

    Hi Isobel,

    Well, little girls dress up as Cinderella before yelling “Vroom, Vroom!” and rolling their Matchbox cars under foot. So far there have been no monster jam shows, but she does enjoy The Three Stooges. (sigh).


  4. Liz Hallsworth says:

    As a Mom of three boys who were 1 year apart in age; I can tell you it is an awesome experience! I miss the days of Boy Scouts and the family camping weekends. Your article is wonderful! We owned an iguana (Don), a snake, a skunk (Edgar), a chinchilla (Chilly) and three dogs! Before my third son was born my Grandmother told me I would have all boys, I laughed thinking, Oh how I want a girl. Alas all boys and I know now that God gave me sons because that is what I needed. I guess I will have to get my daughter fix from being Aunt Liz to Elena! Enjoy your boys they grow up fast!

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