5.26.2011

love the one you're with

I wanted to show you version two of a dashiki with a deconstructed collar (this time on purpose) but, more than that right now, I just want a kid who can SIT STILL AND LISTEN for one damn moment.

This child, this boy, he mumbles wahs instead of rrrrs.  But you can hear him clear as a bell when he runs up and shouts, 'I will destroy you!' right before he whaps you with the instrument of death du jour. 

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In the toy store he always walks around with a box on his hand.  Inside the box is usually a gun and he has his tiny little fingers wrapped around the handle and trigger.  You know when he points the box in your direction, squints his left eye and asks, 'are you a bad guy?' that you are already dead.  Asking, I've found out, is a mere formality.

Birdie, would you like to have your picture taken in your new train shirt?

No!  Yes!  Onna bed so I can jump!

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If he could just sit still for just a moment.  With a smile.  Without grub on his face and his hands sticky.  Without making that weird face he does with his tongue sliding out and his eyes rolling back into his head.  Without waving, without jiggling, without jittering, worming, twisting, wiggling, slumping, shooting, bumping, flopping or raspberrying.

Just be still!

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Don't worry, I can't seem to upset him for too long. 

Much has been made of little boys.  They are daring, and darling, messy and aggressive.  They charm and then they balk.  They shout and storm and boss and will do almost anything for a laugh.  They can be so considerate, but only after they've reduced you to tears. 

They think that everything is okay unless the walls are actually falling down around them. 

Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, Calvin and Hobbes, Max the Wild Thing.  Spiderman, Superman, Jedis, sharks, tigers.  Guns, swords, sticks, things with wheels that crash into other things with wheels...

Boys!  How did I end up with one? 

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I try not to label frustrating behavior as just 'being a boy'.  It excuses some behaviors that are truly unacceptable, others that are dangerous, and clouds my vision of the person standing (wiggling, bumping, raspberrying) before me.  'Boys will be boys' is a knee jerk reaction that cuts the intellect and allows me to disengage emotionally.  To pretend like I really do not any influence on how my young man behaves.  He may belong to the tribe BOY (which I conceded, has its own unique customs and rituals), but he's also a real, whole person who needs to stand up and account for his own behavior.  We will not hide behind gendered stereotypes in this house!

And that's the way it's going to be because I'm the mom and I said so.

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Oh, look, there is a a child there!  A little blurry still, a bit grubby, messy hair, I love you mommy... yup, that's my kid.  

14 comments:

  1. Thank you for making it real! For letting me know I'm not the only one who struggles with parenting sometimes... Sometimes it's so depressing to read all those perfect blogs, with perfect and clean children! Thanks Birdie, I love you too, just like your mom! :)

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  2. adorable.. please tell me who makes the train fabric. MUST HAVE THIS. <3

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  3. ahh thank you! my guy is also currently obsessed with killing bad guys, but I am equally unenamored of any "boys will be boys" comments.

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  4. Good for you! My boy is just 3 months...I am more than a little scared of what is coming!

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  5. This post was a literal lol! I have two of these little creatures causing chaos in my home and wouldn't have it any other way!

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  6. Hahaha, awesome :) My 6yr old can make even a fluffy pom pom into a gun. He picks up sticks and waves them around, he lies in puddles, he jiffles at the table, he has hair that looks like someone just rubbed a balloon on his head... I love him to bits. I just posted on the futility of attempting "perfect parenting" on my blog too, seems like there's plenty of us out there :)

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  7. Love love love this post. Agree 100% with everything you said because I am walking the same journey as you are and fighting the same battles right now. I LOVE MY LITTLE GUY!

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  8. Aw...how could something that adorable give you greif?? Not possible lol.

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  9. You got a great shot of him! What a sweetie. Part of the way he develops his personality will be to differentiate himself from Smootch...sounds like you are giving him plenty of room to just be Birdie!

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  10. Oh, STINK. You mean this is normal??!

    j/k. my little dude is nearly 2 1/2, and he is..such a boy. it's not an excuse, just an explanation of what i have to work with. ;-)

    Love this post!

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  11. Hi,

    I am your follower!
    I really really like your blog.
    Keep up the good work!

    Do visit my blog too at http://aliascreativelife.blogspot.com/

    Alia

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  12. We avoid the gender stereotype too. I lucked up with a sensitive boy who has no desire to be wild and rambunctious. He's a sweet, kind, mostly quiet boy. He's not very good at sports and isn't fond of playing in the dirt, but he's still my darling little boy. :) Great post as always!

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