RSS Feed

Tag Archives: lessons from our children

What’s a Girl to do? Act like a Boy.

If there are any boys reading this, please stop immediately. This is not about you. It’s for girls’ eyes only. Really, no big deal. You’re not missing anything. In fact, I think there’s a ball game on. Yep. And I left some chips on the table as well. That’s right, go on.  Good boy.

Okay.  Now that we’re alone, I’ve got something to tell you guys, uh, girls. I honestly can’t believe I’m going to say this, because it goes against some deep rooted beliefs, not to mention the dynamic of my marriage, but, brace yourselves – there are actually a few areas where girls could learn a thing or two from the boys. I know, I know. But, it’s true. Being the mom to three boys has taught me, that we ladies are not always right. Oh, man. Did I just admit that out loud?

Well now that I’ve gone and said it, I might as well give it you. Who knows, maybe one of you will actually listen and wind up a happier person. BAHAHAHAHA! Anyway, here’s my top five areas where I believe the boys have got us beat.

1. R E L A X I N G

I rush around, preparing them to catch the bus, ushering them to put on their shoes, finish their food, get in the car, while they meander about, moving in slow motion and half hearing my panicked pleas. It’s like they just don’t care if they’re late to school or a game or to pick up daddy at the train! They have an internal clock and it is set on laid back. While I think their time management kind of sucks, I am the stressed out one, and they are smiling goofs as I tornado around them in a storm of efficiency.

2. And on that note… Delegating

Work smarter, not harder. I don’t know any guy who gave up his chance at marriage and kids by being the office schmuck, but I do know a few girls. They’re really smart girls too, always willing to stay later, to prove themselves, to get it done right, and most importantly, to do it all themselves. For some reason, girls don’t like to share, even work. I guess, it’s because we think we do everything better. And, ahem, even if that’s generally true, the boys are doing less and walking away with more.

3. Confidence

Day in, day out, I am semi-consumed with my weight and my appearance. I study how my arms flab out, my skin gets pink and prickly, or how my stomach no longer seems completely attached to my stomach, but my boys, even the adult one, seem blissfully content as they pounce around naked, happily displaying themselves. Boys just beat each other up. We beat ourselves up.

4. Appearance

“Here, wear this.” I throw some sweats and a tee shirt at my son. He grabs it off the floor without looking and puts it on. I do that every morning to each kid, and each kid accepts my offering, in exactly the same manner, without complaint or interest. There is no feet stomping, laying out outfits days before, or refusal to wear any color other than ‘purple’. There’s no, I just must have Ugg Boots and Lululemon pants or I won’t fit in! (Oh wait, that was me). Boys don’t define themselves by what they are wearing, or use it to make themselves or others feel inadequate.  Clothes are just clothes. Although, I would appreciate if they made the effort to at least not wear them inside out or backwards.

5. Simply Simple

Comparing boys to girls of the same age is like comparing kittens to cubs.  They are both cuddly and cute, but the girls have claws and are dangerous, while the boys are just spitting puffs of fur. As the boys run, skip, barrel and roll all over the place, the girls are slowly licking their paws and stalking their prey. Sometimes, it’s nice to stop the grooming and calculation and just jump on the pile up. Roll around, get dirty, and say what you want! “I need to poop!” might be the frequently verbalized expression in my house, followed closely by “Mommy, can you get me…” And “I need a hug.”

There’s not a lot to figure out there.

Of course, my boys (besides the grown-up one) haven’t hit puberty yet, so this can all change in a few short hormones. But I think these generalities are actually pretty standard, just as, what just happened in my house a minute ago.

Boy 1 – Mom, can you get me a snack?

Boy 2 – Mom, can you find my other sneaker?

Boy 3 – Mom, I need to Poop!

And there I go, getting snacks, finding sneakers and appreciating his shit. So I’d say, for everything I know, I pretty much haven’t learned a thing.


Forget I said anything.

Now, that's confidence.

He’s sexy and he knows it! Dirt pile, here he comes!

Just Say No!

It’s the word most often used by children, an easy, mono-syllable that’s fun and expressive. We’re brainwashed to it at a young age from parents and teachers. There’s a whole campaign telling us to just say it. Whatever the reason, one thing is for certain; my kids certainly know how to say, “No.”

“Michael, it’s time to get up.”


“Julius, did you brush your teeth?”


“Tyler, do you know where your homework is?”


This morning, I’m finally leaving the nursery school after some harrowing negotiations with Julius.

“I don’t want to go to school today!” Floppy-curled, chubby-cheeked four year-old stands tough.

“I’m picking you up in just a few hours.”


“You have to go.”


Heavy sigh.

I had a 9:15 spin class and didn’t want a battle this morning. He was going. I was late. There was only one thing left for me to do… bribery. Yup. Plain and simple. I got low and whispered in his ear. “Go now and I’ll take you to the candy store at pick-up.” I threw some sugar on the sugar, “You can pick out TWO things!”

Julius easily took the bait. We were both solid candy addicts. With a big hug, I was out.  Genius parenting, right there.

I maneuvered my way through children and moms like an all-star obstacle course racer, waving here and there, trying to quickly get to my car without stopping. I was outside, almost there, when the Rabbi spotted me and beckoned me to him. I had a momentary fight or flight reaction; I wanted to run to the car. First, because I was going to miss my gym class and second, because nothing good can come from our conversing. I have a long history of inappropriate commentary, but when the Rabbi beckons, one can only submit. So I take one last longing look at my escape vehicle just feet away and walk over. So close.

As it turns out, it was worse than me embarrassing myself.

Rabbi – “I was wondering if I could count on you to get a little more involved in the Hebrew School.”

Me (Smiling painfully, nodding in the negative and backing slowly away) – “I have a lot on my plate right now.”

Rabbi – “Yes, yes, I know you do a lot for the nursery school but it’s time you transitioned your efforts.”

Oh no, he was using Rabbi mind games on me, it was like the Force, only stronger! I felt myself nodding up and down in agreement.

By the time I got into my car, I had no idea what I had agreed to.

On the elliptical machine at the gym (yes, I missed my class) a friend from the elementary school approached and asked if I would help out on a volunteer project for the kids.

“I don’t know.” I demurred. “I’m already over-extended.”

She assured me it was nothing. Cake. Just need a name to put down.

Again I found myself nodding. I was going to have to consider wiring my head to my neck.

Finished with exercise, I stopped at the supermarket and the dry cleaners for Howard, then home for a shower before nursery pick-up. My phone rings. It’s my father. He needs me to call a doctor for him and maybe figure out this problem he’s been having with his home health aide. He’s in a decent mood, which is a plus, but I sigh and add the chore to my list.

I go to pick-up Julius, checking my emails while I wait. There’s already one from the head of the volunteer committee, the “name only” gig. Uh oh. I’m distracted when Julius runs out with a hug intended to knock me over and almost succeeds.

“Hey! Did you have a good day?” I ask.


Of course not.

“So, do you want to go to the candy store?”

“YES!!” came his exuberant reply, accompanied by another knock down hug.

Finally, a yes from my boy! Now here’s a kid who knows his mind. I think about it. He’s a genius. He simply says “yes” to what he wants, and “no” to what he doesn’t. What a concept!

Hmmm… I wonder if I’m going to learn anything from this?