I don't know what I was thinking. Boys aren't more difficult, but they have their own set of trauma-inducing chapters in their lives. I am starting to get a little paranoid about these lessons that I am supposed to impart to my child. I have realized that I have no idea how to teach many of the finer points of being a boy. When I was growing up and my brother said or did something completely idiotic, my dad usually just slapped him upside the head. I'm not sure what sort of lesson a slap upside the head is supposed to impart, nor am I sure that any specific lesson was learned in that instance. So how do we do this? How do you raise a boy who doesn't shy away from challenges, but one who isn't a bully? How do you raise a son who stands up for themselves without knocking anyone else over? How do you raise a boy who treats others with respect?
How do you teach a five year old boy to be a gentleman?
Yesterday, I was getting my son ready for bed. He was putting on his Very Special Skylanders jammies(I don't know why they're so special, that is just what he calls them), and I was walking around the room, picking up socks, shirts, and pants, so they could be washed and taken to Goodwill. I occasionally had to bend over to get my fingers on some items. It was as I was bending over that my son laughed at me.
"Mama, you've got a big butt!" Zane giggled. I was horrified. Where did he get that? Did he hear that from one of his friends? Should I make a big deal about it?
Where he got the sentence doesn't really matter, I decided. I do have what is colloquially known as "Junk in the trunk"; I generally like my extra cushioning. However, I thought that Zane should understand that what he said wasn't a nice thing to say to other people.
"Son, when you say that someone has a big butt, it's mean and you hurt their feelings," I began.
But Zane had moved on to a new topic: the extremely voracious Army Ant. My words were not getting through. I needed to make an impact, because I needed Zane to know beyond a shadow that it was not okay to tell someone they have a big butt. Even if it is true. So I had to get a little creative.
"Zane," I made my eyes as wide as I could. "When you tell someone who is not your mama they have a big butt, do you know what happens?"
"No, Mama. What happens?"
"They will SIT on you!" I lowered my voice, trying to make it as scary as I could. "And sometimes...they pass gas!"
"EEEWWWWWW!" Zane looked horrified, but thoughtful. I considered my job complete, at least until the teen years.
Later, as I was relating this tale to Larry, I noticed that he was just staring at me.
"Stop looking at me like that." I said. "You have no idea how hard it is to come up with this stuff."
Prompt: Incorporate the phrase "stop looking at me like that" into your post.