Bringing up Boys

Here I am with my two sons...they served at last night's women's tea. Aren't they adorable? I'm so proud of them. They are turning out to be wonderful human beings despite all my mistakes.

You know, bringing up boys is a unique world all it's own, thus the reason for Dr. James Dobson's book, Bringing up Boys. That is one book I'm really glad I read. I found out I wasn't so crazy. Somewhat crazy? Yes, still somewhat crazy but not for the reasons I thought!

When my boys were very little I felt like I was the only one dealing with kids with this type of behavior. (Never wanting to sit down, always running around, leaping off of stuff, wrestling, etc....) One time I got them all dressed up for church when Dustin was about 2 and a half and Jordan was about 18 months. I woke up at the crack of dawn, got them dressed, then put them out in the living room with a Disney movie and said, "be good while Mommy gets dressed..." then went to get myself dressed. Meanwhile, Dustin mosies out into the kitchen and finds two boxes of Entenmann's chocolate covered donut holes up on the shelf. He proceeds to take them out to the living room where he and Jordan singlehandedly eat the ENTIRE TWO BOXES. I was horrified when I came back out. Well, I cleaned off their chocolate mouths, and took them to church. They went into Sunday School. The chocolate had them totally buzzed. They went in the room but couldn't calm down. They ran around in circles until they proceeded to throw up. All the while I am directing choir down in the sanctuary. Someone comes and gets me as I exit the platform to tell me the boys have just thrown up two boxes of donut holes. Yeecckk!! I could tell a zillion stories of stuff like this I went through when they were little. I used to just pray that I would survive those years. People would admonish me, "Enjoy them!" I was too tired to enjoy them quite frankly.

I have to admit I do find it 100% easier to raise teenagers than toddlers. Everyone told me it would NOT be so. Back in the day when they were both in diapers everyone told me how supposedly easy that was. Older women would say to me, "Count your blessings Pastor Deanna...little people people have little problems. Big people have big problems. Just wait until you have teenagers! You're going to be thanking God for these days!" An elderly saint once admonished me, "When they are little they step on your toes. When they are big they step on your heart." Well I guess the jury is still out on it because my kids are not fully adults yet. But I have found so far, they aren't killing my heart. Most of the time now the things they do make my heart quite proud. They are good boys. They get in trouble occasionally but nothing major. All of these admonishments I got when they were small were pieces of advice that I really don't think were right, at least for me. Are teenage years without problems? No. We face plenty of stresses like any other family. But one thing I have learned is that EVERY FAMILY IS DIFFERENT. There are no cookie cutter families.

As for me, I was a stressed out Mom when my kids were little ankle biters. My favorite stage was the newborn stage, with all of them. I love getting pregnant, being pregnant, and having newborn children. The "up all night feedings" didn't even bother me. I enjoyed it. I coped alright with the lack of sleep, all of the diapers, etc. All of them woke up a million times a night and nursed. None of them slept normally for a few years. But that was alright with me. What began to completely stress me out was when they began walking, and jumping, climbing and leaping. Then I turned into one stressed out mom. People would say, "enjoy these days! they are the best of your life!" I thought, "surely these people have not had many good days for them to say this to me..." Those days were SO STRESSFUL. Jordan would be leaping off the bars of his crib, or one of them would be screaming and crying over something without being able to communicate with me. I thought, "this HAS to get easier as they get older..." and despite everybody telling me the contrary, what my heart was telling me was right. For me (and that's the operative phrase here...FOR ME) it is easier having all three of my children older now.

I do not wish the diaper days back. I am now ENJOYING vacations. I am now ENJOYING talking to them. (They can be reasoned with, even though they are sometimes hard headed...but then again, so am I!) They can express what is wrong (toddlers just scream and bang their head on the floor or eat their crayons) They SLEEP IN. They have jobs so if they jump off something and break a bone, I tell them now that THEY have to pay for it. Thus, they now think twice before jumping off a building or from a tree. Yes, for all you Moms out there who are bringing up little boys and wondering if you will ever breathe again? Yes, the answer is...yes.