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Boys and Girls

February 11, 2008

On Saturday, Little IT and I took IT Boy to a Valentine’s show at our local library.  It wasn’t quite a musical, not quite a theatre presentation, but a little of both.  When Little IT was a baby and we would attend these things, she would sit politely on my lap, clap her hands in time with the music, and giggle on cue, delighting those around her.  And if you had told me I would have a second child who was the polar opposite of her, I would have laughed heartily.  No, the little kids who crawled around, screamed and generally disrupted public performances like that were simply not disciplined.  It’s the parent’s fault, you know, that their kids are running amok.

Uh huh.

I admit it.  I WAS WRONG.  Oh so wrong.  Boys are different.  The more I looked around these days, the more I see the faces of the mothers of boys trying to keep them in line and out of trouble.  When I catch the eye of one of those moms, you can see it.  We get it, and we understand what the other is going through.  Because we have BOYS and they’re different.  I say this only sort of in jest – if you’re having more than one child, you should have the boy first when you still have a measurable energy level.  Which I don’t currently have and certainly didn’t on Saturday. 

Try as both of us did, Little IT and I simply could not contain the force of nature that is IT Boy.  He was fine during the first song, which was only to lull us into a false sense of security.  As soon as the music stopped, he screamed, squirmed, and broke free of our confines to start trolling the room.  I grabbed him and pulled him back as best I could, and for at time, I was able to keep him pacing like a caged lion in the back of the room.  I held him while everyone danced, which worked for a time.  Finally, when the performers announced last song, I allowed him to go native, whereas he crawled up to the performers and sat down at their feet.  The guitarist knelt down and sang right too him, and he bubbled over with delight, before he set about dismantling her music stand.  She laughed and thanked him for helping her pack up.

Did I think about taking him out of the room?  Yes, for a second.  But here’s the thing.  It’s a free show at the library.  And if there ever was a place to try and acclimate him to these things, this was it.  He sat for 2 out of the 8 songs, which is a new record.  But it’s 1.5 songs more than last time.  And for the most part, he’s really happy to be there.  He would just rather experience the event in motion, rather than comfortably ensconced on my lap.  So, we’re going to keep going to these things and who knows, maybe we’ll find someone who encourages little boys to run around during the performance.  That will be our watershed moment for sure.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2008 12:47 pm

    Ellen, It’s not just boys. Girls can do that too. Trust me on that. LOL I have lived through so many library storytimes as the lone mother whose daughter was circling the group, climbing on and off chairs, trying to take the book from the librarian (oh yes). You name it, she did it.

    But, like you, we persevered at the library because, as you said, it’s FREE and it was a chance to try to get her used to that kind of setting.

    I love the way your wrote this! Great post!

  2. February 11, 2008 12:50 pm

    Raising boys is quite different than girls, yes indeed! Twin boys feed off and fuel one another – so dwell on that! Boys need tons of physical activity which is good, healthy and part of being a boy.
    Next time you take IT boy to a seated performance, free or admission required, try to take him out to a park prior, give him free reign to run loose and then attend the event and one of you will more than likely sit still or snore!
    Just a bit of free advice for an already super IT mom!

  3. February 11, 2008 2:23 pm

    Trying to “contain the force of nature” will just age you. Channeling the chaos is usually the goal with my boys. Boys are a lot like chimps. Set a few limits that allow them to climb the trees but stops them short of flinging things at people.

    In an endurance match like a concert they’re likely to spend the last half testing their limits, which is where bribery comes in. Better parents probably don’t use this method, but for me “cookies if you’re good, the biggest cookie to whoever doesn’t embarrass me” works very well.

  4. February 11, 2008 8:22 pm

    I know the time will come when ZW will not sleep through all of our outings. Right now, we have a “divide and conquer” attitude with our two boys. I really wish that David had told his balloon popping story!

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