Men and Boys

There are things in this world that boys need to learn from adults.  I find that as a single mom, some things slip through the cracks, and I’m surprised when I realize The Boy doesn’t know something (like what the phrase “laughing like a hyena” means).  Since The Man has been in our lives, he has often stepped in to teach The Boy something that boys (and really all growing kids) should know how to do, like ride a bike:

First Time on Two Wheels

Today, we had an up and down day, which ended up being mostly up.  Luckily, we were able to turn around a dramatic morning and spent most of the beautiful day at the park.  When we eventually came home, The Man immediately set The Boy to work, teaching him how to wash Mom’s car:

carwash

The Man even points out to me the times when I am doing something for The Boy that he could be doing himself.  I bristled at this at first, but it didn’t take me long to realize that he wasn’t telling me how to parent The Boy, and that he was usually right.  Now I find his insights invaluable, and these lessons he teaches The Boy are so important.  And even more important is the relationship that comes from these lessons and insight.  This stuff makes me smile. :)

Testing His Hypothesis

The Boy has a science project: develop and test a hypothesis.  His wonderful ASD teacher suggested hooking him with a subject he likes.  The Boy and I read through the assignment, and one of the suggestions was “Test what food your pet likes…” — we didn’t even finish the sentence, and he started hopping around, saying we should do that with “Gary”.

“Gary” is his imaginary cat.  Or rather, Fantastic Babysitter picked up a tiny little stuffed kitty, and wrote an adoption letter from the shelter (and included a tiny little litter box, food tray, etc.), and The Boy promptly named him “Gary”.  You know, like the snail.  From Spongebob.  Anyway, when we leave the house now, The Boy has to get on his imaginary phone and call the cat sitter to come over to watch Gary…

Gary, chillin' in the bathroom

Anyway, I told him that if we were to do this, we would have to use a real cat.  I contacted Fantastic Babysitter who has a plethora of animals, and asked if we could, you know, borrow one for an experiment…  No, I explained the premise, and she said yes!  The Boy and I will be cooking up some homemade cat treats, and purchasing some store-bought ones as well, to test his hypothesis that the average cat would enjoy homemade treats more than store-bought ones.

If his obsession is with pets in general, and cats in particular at the moment, then we shall run with it.  I just hope it is relatively short-lived.  He asked the other day when I would grow out of my cat allergy, and it just about broke my heart…

Puberty: Review

GuideWell, The Boy and I just read through The Boys’ Guide to Growing Up by Terri Couwenhoven and I think it was a success.  I didn’t prep him too much, just told him I had a book I wanted to read with him.  We sat down on the couch and I showed him the cover, and we started reading.  At first, he was a little uncomfortable (what 11 year old boy wouldn’t be, reading about puberty with his mom?), especially at the illustrations, but as we kept going, he seemed to absorb the information, and be more comfortable talking about it with me.

It was a lot of information all at once (it took us about 20 minutes), and I know we will have to review a few times, but we did hammer home the difference between public and private, as well as who are the people in his life who are OK to answer questions about this type of thing.  These two things are the most important of all, I think, and this book does an excellent job explaining, as well as creating opening for discussion in both of these areas.

In my last post about this book, I mentioned that it doesn’t talk about sexuality, and it doesn’t.  However it does talk about having a crush, or sexual feelings toward another person, and what signals that person may give if they do not feel the same way.  It also talks about ways to manage these feelings, which I think is appropriate to add in a book like this.  I prefaced this subject with The Boy as being further down the road, in high school, maybe.

I felt like we had a successful conversation about the changes he is or is about to go through, and I feel like both of us are more prepared, which is about all I can ask from any book of this type.  I highly recommend this book as a way to start the conversation.

Happy Birthday, Little Man

Eleven years ago, on this day, at 1:06pm, I gave birth to the light of my life.

Love at First SightThe nurses quickly named him “Red”, as he was born with a full head of hair which looked red.  When dry, though it turned out to be blonde, and to this day, The Boy’s hair looks red when wet, and blonde when dry.

Hair

He was a tiny little thing, just under 5 1/2 pounds, and took his sweet time coming into this world. I had to roll up the sleeves on his tiny newborn-sized clothes, he was so small.

IMG_1098

The other day (probably the day I had to buy him size 4 shoes!), I asked The Boy what had happened to my little baby, the one I could fit on my forearm.  He said, “Mom, it’s just life.  It’s the life cycle.  I’m growing!”  I said, “Well, you will always be my baby, no matter how much you grow, right?” and he said, “Yes, I’ll always be your baby.”

My Baby

Damn skippy.

Happy Birthday, Little Man!