Boys: Do They Get Easier?

 

Before I answer the question, "Do boys get easier with age," allow me to back up a minute. If you have at least one son, you understand what it's like to be on your toes every minute. As soon as they start walking, there is no such thing as "down-time." (Not until nap time or bed time.)

When my son was a toddler, he was an active and adorable little guy. I think he ran circles in the womb! He started walking around furniture at 8 months, running at 11 months, and he honestly hasn’t stopped since. Through the years, I can safely say I never sat down to eat a full meal. I never had a complete adult conversation. Nor could I shower, work, write or visit the powder room in peace.

My son always had to be doing something. He always had to know where mommy was. He always wanted to play. To race. To climb things. Get into things. To get into mischief when Mom was on the phone. To play with friends. To watch this, but not that. He liked going on certain errands with Mom. Like the bank (for free lollipops). The dry cleaners (for free candy). The post office (for a free dinosaur stamp). The coffee shop (for not-so-free hot chocolate). We’d go to the zoo, and he’d want to see everything FIVE MINUTES AGO. “The gorilla is cool. OK, let’s go see the tigers now, Mommy.”  He had an attention span the size of an old man’s bladder.

We literally flew in and out of museums, aquariums, libraries and zoos in record time.  He’d probably zip through the Louvre in 35 minutes had I ever taken him to Paris. (With an occasional, “What’s that leaf doing THERE, mommy?”) I used to PRAY for nap time. (For both of us, because I was so incredibly exhausted and I was pregnant with my daughter when he was 2!) Now, my son is 12. And I can assure you, boys get easier with age.

It's true. But it changes from physical to emotional exhaustion.

They start out exhausting you physically with their active imaginations and little energizer bodies. Then before you know it, their khakis are floating above their ankles because they grow another two inches, they start hinting that they like girls and they want a cell phone for their birthday. Then in a few more years, the cell phone turns into a driver's license. Oy! Before obsessing over what's to come in the teen years, let's review the positives. Because I promise you, boys DO get easier. 

Here's my take on how boys get easier with age:

  • As they get older, boys will stop following you around the house like a puppy dog. In fact, they won’t want to be seen with you in public (unless they are at a high school football game asking for money for the concession stand).
  • The older boys get, the less they want to go on errands, so there’s no need to stress about shopping with them. My son is 12 and he actually tells me, “Mom, go. Have fun. I’ll stay home with dad!”
  • When boys are home, which is VERY often in the tween years, they are not nagging you as often because they’re either shooting baskets or playing Xbox with their friends.
  • As they get older, boys are 100% potty trained. So you can rest-assured that this won’t be a problem when they reach junior high. They also hate wearing clean underwear, so you won’t have to do as much laundry.
  • When boys become tweens, they calm down. REALLY calm down. In fact, some days, trying to get them to move from one room to another is like pulling teeth.
  • Boys only interrupt your adult conversations to ask for money or food.
  • If boys could stay inside the entire weekend playing video games with friends, they probably would. But I am obviously the “fun eraser” because I “force” my son to have fun outside with his friends after doing his homework. (My son stayed home sick recently and I let him have full reign of the electronics to help cheer him up. Aside from meal times, if it were not for the occasional flush, no one would even know he was home.)
  • As boys get older, they don’t talk as much. And they no longer over-share. The “I peed in so-and-so’s yard" and "Oopsies, I accidentally broke something” becomes “Whatevs, mom” “Can I buy this App?” and my personal favorite, “Good night, mom. I love you”.

Jackie Hennessey is a local writer and pr professional who blogs about her take on motherhood at www.ventingsessions.com and writes about it in her book, How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker.