Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Boys Will Be Boys

After 4 days/nights in the hospital, Cy came home yesterday! Everybody was so glad to have him back, and he was ready to be back. Still a few days of "taking it easy" at home (and doing make-up schoolwork), but other than that - we are blessed; there seem to be no signs of infection and he's in very little pain. I don't think he's taken a Tylenol for 2 days now.

So I learned some things this past extended weekend, things about my son and things about the male species in general...

Nine-year-old boys are fickle when it comes to dignity. Wearing a hospital gown and needing help using the toilet is not cool, but farting, mooning, and toilet talk IS.

Nine-year-old boys do not like to shower and keep clean*. Under ANY circumstances. In sickness or in health!

Nine-year-old boys can never get enough Legos. Ever.

Nine-year-old boys can endure a lot of pain without much complaining.

Nine-year-old boys like to watch the needle going into their vein and see what comes out.

Nine-year-old boys can come up with some pretty cool insights about themselves and others.

I also learned some things about high school boys over the past few days:

High school boys, if given a nudge from one or two leaders, will take the time to sign a card and throw in a dollar to make the coach's son light up (and the coach, too)!

Cy is on the road to healing, and we thank everybody for all of their help, calls, prayers, cards, and gifts. It is overwhelming and God shows His goodness through so many people in so many ways. The hospital staff was excellent to us, and their food is pretty darn good, too!

I've been re-reading "Gender Matters" by Leonard Sax, and man is it a good book. (no gender pun intended in that expression) Every parent and teacher on this planet should read it. The chapter on discipline is especially useful to me, but the entire book is interesting, eye-opening, and applicable. Some of it you just "kinda knew" deep down, but Dr. Sax goes onto explain the scientific/physiological "whys" behind everything. For example, I always just "kinda knew" that boys liked to take risks. But what I didn't know is that boys literally have a higher pain tolerance in most instances (except for a woman in her 3rd trimester of pregnancy), and that they are more apt to feel exhilarated when in pain (versus nauseated or frightened, as studies show in females). This is not to say that girls are wimpier than boys or that ALL boys like to inflict pain on themselves, but it does explain why they seem to be less sensitive to it and even intrigued by it. I know that is certainly the case for Cyrus!

The other thing that I always "kinda knew" but was confirmed in my thinking was that boys over-estimate their abilities, while girls under-estimate theirs. I don't know about you and your kids, but I have a boy who thinks nothing of climbing up our windmill or riding his bike over big rocks with little repurcussion. He thinks he can get his homework done in five minutes while eating a bowl of cereal and watching cartoons and still be a straight-A student. He thinks he is entitled to snacks at any and all hours of the day, and he doesn't care if he eats them all with none left over for his sisters or parents. He operates from the base of his brain for most things, the most primitive part of the brain. He has needs and he meets them!

Speaking of base-of-the-brain needs, we have 15 other boys out here to deal with. This morning I had to coax our two bull calves back into their little paddock and fence them off so they would no longer destroy our pumpkin patch. Ally was crying and very upset yesterday; she had been watching those pumpkins every day after school, making plans for how many we would need for Halloween, how many we could share, how many we could sell. Those dreams were dashed when she discovered our boisterous young bovines chomping up the biggest orange pumpkins we had. Most of the pumpkins were fenced in the garden, but of course some of the vines had grown through the fence and were producing beautiful orbs of autumn. Oh, the plans my little girl had! The produce stand, the decorating, the carving...all in jeopardy because of a few boys who couldn't find enough to eat on the other 7 acres of pasture, apparently. So this morning when it was feeding time, I led them into their old paddock with a bucket of corn and was almost stampeded by the 13 ram bulls (or bull rams?) as I scattered some corn in the shared feeder. No courtesy, no hesitation or fear of me--just "I'm hungry" and "I don't care who else gets any food; I want my food NOW!"

Then they all looked up at me--all fifteen boys--with that same look of expectation I get when my son comes home from school. "You got anything else?" I didn't have my camera at the time, so these pictures don't quite capture the essence of the male beast.

Once they figured out they just traded 7 acres of pasture for their old paddock and a bucket of corn, Potosi and Chieftain weren't too happy about the arrangement. They bellered and I chided them, saying "That's what you get for messing with my girl's pumpkins!"


*I should post this in "Cute things they say" but I don't know how cute it is. When I was trying to wash Cy's hair 2 days post-op with a wet washcloth and tiny amount of shampoo (it stunk so badly), he leaned his forehead against the bathroom wall and kept muttering, "I'm going to kick you, Mom. I'm going to kick you." In his defense, he was still a little weak from the surgery, and he hasn't kicked me yet!

I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God lives in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.--1 John 2:14b


Blogger Astrid said...

I'm so glad that Cy seems to be doing better and is back home now. Ugh. I also hated playing catch up with homework after being sick. No fun!

September 16, 2009 at 10:02 AM  

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