Friday, December 28, 2012

15 Things Moms Need to Teach Their Sons (and then there's reality)

Ever since my sons were born, I have read numerous blogs on parenting. Particularly ones concerning life lessons that need to be taught, just in case I'm missing something. And while these blogs tend to be heartwarming, I am met with the reality of those lessons on a daily basis. So I've created my own list based on these wonderful blogs, and what REALLY happens in my household:

1. Teach him to express how he feels with words.

Unless these words include, "You big jerk!" or "Quit being a butt face!" I am failing miserably at this one. If I calmly interject and try to suggest other words, I am met with, "Leave me alone!" hands over ears, stomping to a bedroom and a slammed door.

2. Teach him to do laundry.

Riiiggghht. Dirty shirts, socks, pants and underwear are my breadcrumbs to the bathtub. Towels, barely used once, are dragged along my wood floors picking up every piece of dirt and strand of dog hair and deposited in the middle of the living room. Even CLEAN laundry that's been folded, sits on the dang chair until it's all considered dirty again...having never found its way to its proper drawer or hanger.

3. Read to him and read with him.

Every book they bring home from school contains zombies, world's grossest records, superheros who wear underpants and nearly every line contains a fart joke. Not to mention there's a fight over who can and can't see the page and where mom sits to read.

4. Encourage him to dance.

We do a lot of this at home. My oldest has "moves." They're something between break dancing and jitterbug. When we were invited to a wedding, he spent hours perfecting these 'moves'. He constantly asked me when we were going. The wedding took forever (roll eyes and drag arms), and the big moment came. He wouldn't budge from the sidelines. The bride grabbed him and he nearly crawled out of his skin to get away from her. For some reason, he didn't understand that there would be a crowd! I pulled him to the dance floor, got a couple of hip shakes and we were done. *sigh* I bought him dress clothes for this!
Dress clothes AND tie!

5.Make sure he has examples of men who are powerful because of their brains, integrity and determination.

In my kids minds, this includes the soldiers in Halo, any superhero whose name ends in "man," and James Bond. Hell, I only got my oldest interested in history and Abraham Lincoln when old Abe was seen wielding a silver axe and killing vampires.

6. Be their superhero.

I've cleaned house in a single bound, kissed away ouches, used x-ray vision to find the elusive blankie every. single. time., hurdled every obstacle from a dead the rush a kid to the bathroom when I hear him about to throw up, am able to carry a 50 lb rag doll to bed under one arm and 3 stuffed animals in the other. I've used super sonic hearing to know that the kids are up to something even though they are in the backyard 'playing.' THAT'S the superhero I am.

7. Teach him manners.

Okay, my kids are pretty good at this one...until we're in public.

8. Teach him to be gentle.

I've rescued guinea pigs, dogs, precious electronic equipment and newborn babies from their 'gentle' on many, many occasions. 'Gentle' is about as familiar to them as 'quiet.'
One of our two guinea pigs...still breathing.

9. Teach him to be a good loser.

If "good" means how far you can throw the dice across the room, quitting when you're behind, or suddenly thinking this game is boring...I got this one.

10. Teach him to aim when he pees, someone has to clean this up.

Yeah, and it's usually me...because some of the places I have to clean, they can't even reach! I cringe when they walk into the bathroom in the early hours of the AM, eyes half open, blanket on their head and whip it out in the near vicinity of the toilet.

11. Teach them it's okay to ruin their clothes once in awhile.

Finally! I have this one down pat. And it's usually socks. Why do boys believe it's okay to wear socks outside...rain, shine or snow, without shoes?! I've had to ask their dad that same question more than 100 times.
That's about 1" of mud coating.

12. Teach them to hold the door for women.

They are also fairly good at this. Except that I stand at the entrance of a restaurant as they hold the door for EVERYONE. And at what point do you pull them away without being rude to the people still coming in?

13. Let their dad teach them things.

Does this include belching, farting, drinking out of the milk jug and slapping their mother on the butt every time she bends over?
Notice any similarities?
 14. Teach him that sometimes people will break their promises.

I'm pretty sure that kid on the bus isn't going to pay you $5 for the comic strip you drew. Just know, that if I promise you something, it won't be broken. (But I have to say the word "promise," pinky swear AND do the elaborate secret handshake, THEN it's a promise.)

15. Teach him to be independent.

As sweet as it is to hear that my youngest is going to, "grow up, get married and live with mom and dad," it's not going to happen. You WILL go to college, you WILL get a job, and you WILL move out. Not only for my sanity, but because if you're old enough to get married, you're old enough to provide for your family by whatever means it takes...nothing should be "beneath" you when it come to putting food on your table to feed your kids. But hopefully, with all these life lessons, you will be successful enough to not only take care of yourself, but also your elderly parents. 'Cause honey, I'm going to live with YOU.

I think these lists provide a rose-colored vision of everything we can pass down to our children. Sometimes, my life-lessons are shouted, or learned because I'm "mean," but my best way of teaching my children is going to be through example. People aren't perfect, I'm not perfect. But I try, I do my best, and if I'm not home enough, it's because I work hard to provide for you. I can only hope that as much as my kids may seem to take me for granted right now, they will look back and say, "You know, my mom always..." and hopefully that sentence will end with something that makes them a better person.

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