Monday, November 5, 2007

Shhhh - Don't Tell Mom

Once a year, John’s mom and three sisters travel to St. Louis from Jefferson City and Columbia, Missouri to spend a day shopping and a girls’ night out at the Fox. We have seen 42nd Street, The Rockettes, Wicked, Spamalot, and this year it was the Drowsy Chaperone. I always look forward to our night at the Fox, since it is pretty much the only exposure to culture that I get.

This year’s night out was last Friday night. I told the boys earlier in the week that their grandma and aunts would be coming in to spend the night with us, but that the girls would be going out after dinner. When Friday came and I reminded the boys that it was a girls’ night out and they would be having a boys’ night with daddy, they immediately started chanting, “Streak, streak, streak.”

Streak? What’s that all about? It either meant: a) They thought they could convince their dad to let them go streaking, or b) Every time I leave the house and they have a boys’ night, they go streaking. John was mum on the subject. Don’t I spend enough time trying to get them to keep their clothes on? Now they’ve turned nakedness into a fun game to play when I’m out that is guaranteed to land us on Social Service’s watch list.

That chant started me thinking about the things that my husband lets the boys do that I never would. When I say no to something it is usually due to one of two reasons: Because I am a chicken and don’t want to do the thing myself, or because I do not have the boy gene that replaces rationality and clear-headed thinking with testosterone and blind courage.

Here are some of the things that would never have happened if it had only been mommy around and daddy was not there to let them:

Climbing onto and into things – The boys love to climb up on the roof of our house. They consider it a special treat. They also like to climb over the tops of cars and into any space, as long as the space doesn’t allow for escape and would smother you to death in a matter of minutes if you got trapped inside. Check out the roof and car top carrier pictures here.

Cave dwelling/small spaces – I like a good cave tour as much as the next person. That is, as long as it is a guided tour with trained professionals in a cave that doesn’t require me to belly crawl through tunnels that are barely larger than my head. Whenever the boys head to City Museum, famous for striking fear into the hearts of claustrophobics at the mere mention of the place, I usually sit that trip out.

Parasailing – Jack and John went parasailing last year in Florida. No thank you.

Roller coasters – Every year, we go to Six Flags for my boys’ birthdays in May. When Jack turned four, he was tall enough to ride the Screaming Eagle. And he did. With his dad. Twice.

The Tree House – John built this wonderful tree house in our backyard. I was worried about having it, especially when he added the second level. Couldn’t we just get a nice, safe swing set? I needn’t have worried. They hardly ever play in it.

I did take Jack up on the ski lift in Colorado when he was four. I am not too fond of heights, and he was wiggling around like crazy. But, I couldn’t resist. Can you blame me? Look at that view!

Mothers have a special bond with our children that fathers will never have. Not to say that fathers don’t have a bond, but a mother’s bond comes from growing her children inside of her body and then begging for mercy through 18 hours of excruciating labor. Dads have to find other ways to bond, and what better way than being co-conspirators in a fun adventure that mommy does not know about? If my husband and I had daughters, he would bond with them in a different way. Like taking them out of school to go get their ears pierced without my knowledge (I’m pretty sure my mom didn’t know that my dad was doing this with my sister and me when we were young). It just so happens that we have boys, so bonding takes on a riskier role. I just hope my husband doesn’t bond so much that the kids end up in body casts.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

wow 3 boys! + one more. that is a house full. you must feel sometimes out numbered.
my boy once climbed up the neighbors ladder and onto his roof. when it was time to come down the little genius JUMPED! yes jumped. when i asked him why he did such a thing he replied, "i thought the ladder felt unsafe and shaky." the ladder was not safe, so he jumps off a roof!! that was years gone now, and nothing was broken, and we both remain in one piece.
i think even without a dad around to encourage it, boys just do crazy stuff. they are fearless it seems. the photos from this post are stunning, admittedly places i wouldn't mind crawling into or onto.
i would never jump off though.
nice to come across your blog. i shall stop by for a read again soon.
much respect~d

Loth said...

Wow, that tree house is impressive! If your boys don't want it, you could always send it over here.......
I agree about the stuff dads and boys do together but what I have also noticed, on the plus side, is that my husband is way better at getting the boys to do stuff for themselves that I would normally do for them. I was at a late meeting at work a week or two ago and my husband got the boys to make their own packed lunches for school - it just hadn't occurred to dim-witted me that a 9 year old and a 7 year old were capable of such feats!

Be Inspired Always said...

Love the tree house :)

Your boy are precious.


Mrs Furious said...

WOW that is some tree house... my daughter is jealous!