I love my boys.

I finally got my hair cut today, but oh my, look how cute John David is.  
  People often laugh when I tell them that I have four boys.  Actually, I laugh when I really think about it!  And still people constantly ask me if I’m going to “try for that girl”.  Well, the answer is no.  Did I want at least one girl?  Yes, I did, but I’m good now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  One thing that has been interesting to me in raising boys is how genuinely different this experience is than if I were raising four girls.
  Which do you think would be harder?
  Maybe not harder, maybe just different, but let me tell you, vastly different.  I’ll take the physical boys over the dramatic girls any day.  ; )  (I’m dramatic enough for all six of us. Ha!)
   Each of my boys is what you would call “all boy.”  Sometimes that does result in …..incidents, embarrassing ones.  There have also been ER visits, though not many, and broken bones.   There have been countless sibling fights, a couple playground fights, and even one trip to the office.  School is “so much work,” and I “never let them do anything fun.”  Their favorite toys are Legos, sticks, rocks, and the trampoline. 
  Oh, and I almost never get to see anything I want to watch on t.v.
  But I love it.  They are adorable and surprisingly sweet.  Tonight when I came home from my hair cut, Joshua rushed into the room to see what I looked like.   : )
  You know, it does not take long for little boys to notice little girls, contrary to what you may believe.  Both boys have already fallen prey to the female race.  Caleb has already been rejected in a proposal for marriage, and it does seem that Joshua had two different girlfriends this year, both very pretty little blondes.  I met the mother of one of them at the PTA meeting this week.  
Owen, Caleb, and Joshua, pausing from their play to pose for us
  It’s tough to be a little boy, though.  People do not have much patience for them, even well behaved boys experience a lot of scrutiny from the grown-up generations.  
  “Sit still.” 
 “No playing with sticks.” 
 “Get out of those woods, there may be ticks.”  
“Get out from those trees, there may be poison ivy back there!”  
“No playing in the mulch!”  “No throwing mulch.”  
“No running on the sidewalks!”  ( I really don’t get that one.  Why can’t they run???  What, they might fall?  Big whoop.  They fall, they get back up.  They’re not 90 years old.  They won’t break a hip from falling on the sidewalk.)
 “Give him his ball back.” 
 “Go down the slide, not up the slide.”  
“Get down from there, you’ll break your neck!”  
…….Well, you get the idea.  I was raised in Alabama in a time where children were watched a little less diligently than they are now.  My husband was raised much the same way.  We were all over the “woods” (really just thickets of trees), climbing trees, playing with sticks, swinging from vines, and getting dirtier than dirt!  And you know what?  I never broke any bones or permanently injured anyone.  I was only stung a couple times, I only had poison ivy once, and the times I did get ticks were actually at large family picnics on the Chatahoochie River.  I did have countless bicycle accidents, but that was largely due to my constant attempts at bicycle stunts….because I was just that kind of girl.
  Anyway, the point is sometimes these days boys aren’t allowed many opportunities to really be boys, being raised in a metropolitan area like this.  Therefore,  I make no apologies for the way they play physically, as long as they don’t hurt anyone.  I don’t expect them to always sit still.  My rule is that sticks are fine, except on the playground equipment.  My boys spend most of their park time roaming around the green space with their friends, rather than on the equipment.  And you know what? I don’t care if they run on the sidewalks or play with dirt.  
   Children should act like children.  If my house were to always look perfectly neat and tidy, let’s face it, something would be wrong with that picture.  There should be boys running about, projects in the works strewn about the dining room table, and two -year-old hand prints everywhere!  Last week Betty was downstairs diligently cleaning the living room, and I had just finished putting the baby down for a nap.  I walked downstairs, and lo and behold, there were Caleb and Daniel, sitting at the coffee table with all their watercolors, paper, brushes, and water cups out, just painting up a storm.
   Well, you can bet I shoo-ed them out of there as quickly as possible and settled them and their paints down in the dining room.  Poor Betty!  Can’t you just imagine how big her eyes must have gotten when she saw what they were up to, with her trying to clean!!
   You know what though?  Childish behavior is quite different than bad behavior.  It was childish to want to paint in the living room.  It would have been BAD for them to throw a fit because I said no.  We try to reserve discipline for disobedience and disrespect, and fit throwing is also not tolerated.  
  By the way, boys can surprise you.  Joshua has a gift for helping with his younger brothers.  This morning he got Daniel dressed, and he often helps Daniel brush his teeth.  He does boss them sometimes, but there is something less obnoxious about a bossy older brother than a bossy older sister.  I never thought it was very becoming for sisters to be bossy, but I’m pretty sure I was one myself.
   On the positive side, at our house no one freaks out about bugs (except for me), no one melts down over what they will wear (unless you try to make them wear a shirt with buttons on any day but Sunday), and no one’s hair takes more then 1 minute to comb.  Also, they each own three pairs of shoes, and that’s all they want or need!
  I love my little boys.   I do look forward to seeing what these boys do next!  
  We still call Daniel the $10,000 baby because he has cost us so much money, his most recent victim being Alan’s destroyed iPad.  He pulled it down from the countertop, and the screen shattered.  Alan fixed the screen, but the wifi wasn’t working.  Alan ordered the part and replaced it, but it’s still not working.  $10,000 baby strikes again.
   Oh!  And Joshua has finally passed us in electronics knowledge.  I came downstairs and found the boys watching a movie, but I knew they didn’t have the remote, and we don’t know how to work the DVD player without it.   The DVD player only has two buttons on the front of it:  play and stop, represented by a triangle and a square.  If you press play, nothing happens though.  Joshua showed us that on the menu screen you have to press “the square and then the triangle”.  He’s right!  We no longer need the remote to start a movie.
 t.v. time with Daddy

 This one’s my favorite.
 Mom, you will be happy to know the capes you bought them do see regular use, as shown here on Daniel.  The key is to take away the video games.  Then their imaginations are turned on.  Thankfully, recent research shows that most video games are actually good for their brains as well.  Still, imaginary time is best.
 I just thought Daniel looked so cute from this angle!
 Bobby, watching his mobile.
 We love his smile!
 Spiderman was seen this week, in our front yard, checking our mailbox!
How sweet was Caleb, voluntarily wiping Daniel’s mouth?  And how sweet was Daniel, wearing his cape to supper?
Love just isn’t something you have to teach.  It comes naturally, though it’s much easier for one who feels loved to give love to others.  


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