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Posts Tagged ‘boys’

Boys, Boobs and Bears

    For three nights I slept in a bear cave.   I went to Nashville to visit my son, Jack, who is 25. ( He and his band,  Natural Outlaws, put on an kick ass show at the Exit Inn.)  Before I got to Nashville, Jack asked if I wanted to get a hotel room or stay at his house? 

“I want to see you guys, I’m staying at the house.”

“Ok,” he said and I could hear the smile in his voice. “I’ll wash my sheets.”

While I was there a handful of guys from the band were in and out of the house, watching football, playing Madden, drinking, playing music, eating and sleeping( among other things) I was reminded of three things I already knew about boys/men living on their own.

You see, guys are actually bears with pants and guitars and we should all stop beating guys up for being…..guys. At twenty five all of these boys have graduated from college, they have jobs, pay their own bills on time and have car insurance. They take care of themselves. But they are not like us. They are bears who do what ever they want to do, when ever they feel like it. They don’t have to answer to anyone, they take care of each other, they are beautiful and powerful, like bears, in their natural habitat. But their rules and lifestyle are completely different from the rest of the world’s.

1. Guys don’t mind sleeping in their clothes and they don’t bathe as much as women…because they really don’t care about being clean or how they smell. Most women are compulsive about being clean. We shower two or three times a day. Guys shower when they have to or when somebody tells them they smell bad.

2.  Guys like looking at and trying to talk to hot semi-slutty looking girls. It’s in their nature.  Several of Jack’s friends ended up sleeping on the couch after a really, really late night. The next morning they explained what they could remember and James a crazy-smart brillant pianist explained  that around 2 am he absolutely had to go to a bar down town that’s something like Coyote Ugly where the girls dance on the bar. He knew it was dumb but he said he just wanted to see those hot dancing women. This boy had no intention of dating, sleeping with or even talking to any of the girls (I’m assuming) . He just liked looking at them and dancing like a fool…cause he’s a guy and it’s fun. Girlfriends and wives need to remember men don’t want to run away with hot girls who dance on bars or strippers. But they really like looking at them.

3. Guys like to fight, for them it’s fun.  I woke up at two in the morning and heard lots and lots of really loud yelling. Because I didn’t hear Jack’s voice I went back to sleep. The next morning two of the guys tried to remember what happened. They  thought they got in a fight over Madden NFL, then, just because they are dudes, they starting fighting. They beat the hell out of each other, then went to the ground, they rolled through three rooms, until one tapped out.

The next morning they were both a mess, sore and bruised but they were laughing.

If two twenty five year old girls had a fight at 2am the next morning their would be an arctic like chill in the air. They wouldn’t laugh or tease each other. They would drink their tea in hostle silence. Maybe after several hours of cold shoulders they would cry and hug but there would be no laughter.

Guys like fighting, it’s fun and they don’t care if they get hurt. Fights aren’t personal, they are recreational.  Women need to understand that.

And finally, guys don’t care if food is healthy, they don’t care if it’s loaded with salt, fat or chemicals. They just want it to taste good. And dudes don’t care if they get fat. Generally, they eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full, like bears. And they don’t understand why girls obsess over weight, why we can’t stop nibbling and we eat when we are upset. When guys want to lose weight they stop eating and play basketball. Maybe we could learn something from them.

 We need to stop beating dudes up because they act like bears. God made them that way and maybe we can learn something from them.

My Kid is a BAD Sport

    The fourth grade Cobra team lost their fourth game I a row. 14 to 9.  It’s a great team but desperately needs some new offensive moves.

    During the game my son, Sandor , had some monstrous tackles, brutal, effective but clean. The game announcer even said his name four times. Sure, they butchered the pronunciation of his first name but they got Hampo right. Still the Cobras lost. 

    As Sandor walked off the field he pulled off his helmet then threw it on the ground. I was stunned. What the hell was that from a 72 pound linebacker? I caught his eye and nodded toward the helmet. He was wise enough to turn around and pick it up before stalking down the field.

    As he walked, coaches pounded him on the back and said things like, “great second half Sandor” and “good game man, you were in there.”

    Sandor, who has really good manners, ignored them. I caught up with my boy in the in zone and turned him around by the shoulder pads. “Hey, what’s the matter, you had an awesome game.”

    His eyes were red and tears rolled down his sweaty, dirty face. “We lost again, we lose all the time. We’re a bunch of losers.” He was almost yelling.

“And the other team was really mean, they were saying bad stuff about us and they laughed every time one of our guys got hurt. I just want to grab them by the facemask and punch them in the face. They are a bunch of retards.”

I was horrified.  My kid was melting down and acting like a total jerk. Kids who pull this kind of stuff make me crazy. And I think really bad things about their parents because I figure the punk attitude comes from them. I’ve always been so proud of my kids because they were good sports and kept things in perspective.  “Stop, right now, don’t say another  word. You’re about to get in huge trouble. Listen,  Buddy, you can’t turn on your own team. Those are your guys, those are your brothers, win or lose. You’re gonna be playing ball with them for the next eight years. And guys talk trash in football. You just have to ignore them. “

“But we always lose and it sucks”.

“You know what?  You might as well quit the team right now. You have to play football because you love the game and you love your team. If it’s all about winning we should go tell the coach you want to quit. Is that what you want?”

He shook his head and sniveled. “No, I love football.”

“You’re a black belt. You’re the kid who should be telling your buddies to hang in there, not feeling sorry for yourself.”

He nodded as though he understood then climbed into the back seat of the car. Did he hear or understand anything I said? I won’t know until next Saturday morning, after the pee-wee game.  One thing I do know, if we don’t come up with something new for the offense, Sandor’s attitude, sportsmanship  and heart will once again be put to the test.

Road Kill…Two Ways To Look At It

Every single day I see dead animals on the side of the road.  I live in rural Arkansas so road kill is not surprising. I don’t pay much attention to dead stuff, though I do swerve  so I don’t have to thump and squish over it again.  I hate the idea of guts and fur in my tire tread.

When Lexie was a little girl, but old enough to look out the window and pay attention, road kill became a real problem.  If she saw a dead creature she fell into a little girl well of despair. She wept and cried for the dead animal’s family, it’s mother and brother and babies. If it was a cute dead animal, a kitten or a raccoon, things were even worse.

So, for several years I looked for roadkill in advance. If I saw a dead dog up ahead I would do anything to distract Lexie. I’d throw gummy worms on the floor board, ask her to find a pen in my purse or I’d say, “close your eyes, I’ve got a surprise”. Then of course I had to make up something. “Look, here’s a dried up green Life Saver left over from Christmas.”

Sandor, on the other hand, is a boy. He loves dead stuff. Ok, dead dogs still upset the kid, but for the most part if something is run over on the edge of the road, he wants me slow down so he can get a really really good look.  Then he gleefully says stuff like, “oooohhh, it’s eyes are still open!” and “did you see those guts? I think even the brains were mushed out.”  He’s not a bad kid, he’s just a boy and Lexie was a girl.

God made them different and roadkill proves it. Lexie is a lot tougher now and Sandor is really tenderhearted. But their visceral three year old reactions to dead animals on the side of the road proves that God has a plan. 

 However, it doesn’t explain why armadillos always seem to walk half way across the highway at night, stop,  stare directly at me with their beady glowing eyes and wait for me to run over them.

Playground Bullies and Spiderman

Yesterday, as I drove past the playground with Sandor, who is in third grade, I spotted a little boy crouched down, all alone. He looked like he was crying.

“You see that boy over by the swings, all alone?”
“Yeah”.
“Will you go make sure he’s ok?”
“Ok” Sandor said without much conviction.
“Thanks,” I stopped the car so he could get out,”Remember, with great power….”
“Comes great responsibility,” he said and laughed.
“Hey, you have cool power,” I yelled as he jumped out of the backseat. “Go live up to your name.”
Sandor’s name is Hungarian and literally means “defender of mankind”.  He has a lot of work to do.
I forgot about the little boy on the playground until it was bedtime. Sandor hadn’t brought the kid up but my son rarely makes a big deal out of anything.
I laid down on the bed, next to him,”So what happened to that kid I saw, was he crying?”
“Yeah, a kid in my class, Payton, was bulling him That’s why he was crying. Payton is a jerk and thinks he’s all big and bad. He’s mean to everybody.”
“Did you make him feel better?”
“Yeah.” he snuggled under his blanket.
“What did you do?” I wanted to hear the whole story.
“I went and found Payton and made him say he was sorry. I grabbed his sleeve.” H
“Really, he did what you said?”
“Pretty much, it felt really good?”
“Making that boy feel better felt good?”
“No, grabbing Payton.”
“Ok, well good, I’m glad things worked out. I’m proud of you.” I kissed Sandor and left his room.

Sandor is a really nice boy and a cool kid but he’s not a saint. He’s just a boy.  I think, if we give our kids a little instruction they really want to do the right thing. they want to help people. But they don’t always know what to do or how to spot the problem. If we give them a nudge, maybe a little instruction and we remind them that THEY HAVE THE POWER to change things, that’s exactly what they will do. In third grade most kids like doing the right thing, they want to be the good Spiderman and they don’t like mean kids.

Our kids are the ones who have the ability and power to fix a lot of the problems in schools.  I’m a busy body who wants to fix everything but my kids are actually a lot more effective at getting things done.  So it’s our job, as a parent to make sure our kids understand what’s right and wrong and that theyhave the power to make a difference, even if it’s just to one little boy on the play ground.

Boy Brains…Are Soooo Messed Up

Boys have funky little brains, that’s why they do the goofy and crazy crap they do. In three days I have collected so much new  evidence to prove my point.
I’ve always said teen-age boys have more bad ideas in an hour than the rest of us have all year. Ill say it again, because IT’S TRUE!

Case study #1 Howard, a nine year old friend, comes to visit my son after Christmas. Howard is one of Sandor’s best friends. The boy got a touch screen  I-pod for Christmas and it’s a beauty! (My son is eatten up with jealousy but I’ll write aobut that in another blog).

The boys, who are in third grade, are messing around in the living room. I hear a thud sound. Once, twice, three times.

I yell from the kitchen, in my friendly hip mom voice, “What are you guys doing?”
“.
My son is laughing, “Howard is dropping his I-Pod!”

“Why?” I loose the cool voice and head towards the living room. “Buddy, you are gonna break your I-Pod, don’t do that!” I hate when expensive toys get busted at my house.

Howard shakes his head, he’s laughing too. “No it won’t it’s got this cover on it.” The cover is not titanium, just black rubber.  He drops the I-Pod again and the boys melts into a pool of laughter.

“Seriously Howard, it will break, the screen will crack. Cut it out, please.”
“Ok,” he says and shrugs. Then they start practicing their choke holds.

A little girl would never every do that. I’ve known thousands of them and their DNA simply would not allow them to drop a cherished I-Pod on a hard wood floor over and over just because it made her friend laugh. In fact, if another girl was watching she would tell her friend to stop because the I-Pod would break and it was a stupid thing to do.

In little boy land this activity is  just fine. Howard was convinced his I-Pod would never break and dropping it made his buddy laugh and think he was cool. So it was totally worth the risk.

Case study #2  My husband Alex and I were driving to a friends house in separate cars.  Sandor was with me and we followed Alex on a winding dirt road, at night.  The road widened just a bit.  Sandor got so excited, “Mom, you should pass Dad, that would be so awesome, he’d freak out. Go for it.”

“That’s nuts.”

“Ok, just drive up next to him real fast, I’ll roll down the window and yell at him, do it, come on.” He was shaking with excitement, like a jacked up Chiwawa.

“”No way, Sandor, why would I do that.”

“It’ll be cool, please.”

“The road narrowed and he knew the opportunity had passed. I started to explain things to him and ask him questions about his numb skull request but I just mulled things over. 

In “boy land”, and especially in”teen-age boy land” if I guy did something like that his buddies would think it was great. They would smack him on the head and tell him how sweet the move was. He could have run off the road into the lake, he could have side swiped the other car. It was awesome. It would prove he had guts, and wasn’t afraid of anything. So he  would move up the food chain.  Girls would tell him he was a fool, but they would actually think it was cool too and he might get laid. The boy brain never for a second considered he might crash, get hurt or trash the car. The option of failure simply and literally never entered his mind.

But in my “mom land” all I could think about with the potential for danger, I would never risk my son’s safety. I was thinking about insurance premiums and damage to the cars.  If I had been a daredevil nobody would think I was awesome. My husband would have been furious and my friends would know for sure I was a moron.  

If a teenage boy pulled off the stunt he would get praise and admiration. If I pulled it off, nothing good would happen in my world. I would just be “super idiot mom/wife”.

We can’t fix boy brains, we shouldn’t fix boy brains. They are designed that way for a reason.  But I think by helping our boys understand how and why they think the way they do.  They might, and I stress MIGHT, be better equipped to make good decisions.

*PS my 24 year old, college educated, son thought putting a grossof bottle rockets in a bon fire last week was a good idea.

* Write to me!  hampoland@gmail.com

Why That Boy Acts Like A Boy

I recently read a blog entitled “Why Our Sons Wear Pink”.  A mom explained why she encourages her sons to be sensitive and gentle. She thinks people like boys who are rough and jock like.  But I think things are going in the opposite direction.

 A lot of folks get mad because little boys act like little boys. They are too rough, too tough and too violent. And it’s not politically correct.

But boys are boys and girls are girls. We don’t get mad at little girls for being too “girly” . We don’t get mad at girls for wearing pink and taking care of their baby dolls. We don’t fuss at them for being too sweet or too nurturing.

But boys take a beating for being too aggressive and too violent, for pretending to shoot things and beat up dudes. I love it when my nine year old plays in his room, when he draws and listens to music. But i try to be patient when he’s a screaming, hollering crazy guy running around in the yard with his bb gun and jumping off the playhouse onto the trampoline with a foam sword.

 I’m the first parent to jump into a hot messy situation about a kid that’s a bully or too aggressive. When that happens I start calling parents and principals. I hang out on the playground. And I don’t let my kids play violent video games.

But boys and men were were made to be hunters and protectors. Girls were designed to take care of their young. Sometimes the boys have to take care of the babies and the girls have to go hunt down dinner, so a person who can do both is invaluable. But for the most part that’s how humans were designed. Seahorses and birds are different but we are humans. (I know I break the rules I’m reciting…I’ve been involved in Martial Arts for years and love boxing, but taking care of my kids is the most important thing I do.)

I agree we have to encourage our boys to be sensitive and compassionate. We must teach them to respect everybody, not just the alpha males.  Parents  need to encourage boys to appreciate the arts, music and literature. But as a society we need to stop blasting our boys for being boys. 

My oldest son, Jack is 24 years old.  When he was born I was a very tan hippie chick who hated guns.  I wouldn’t let Jack play with guns…ever.  So the boy turned everything, from Legos to bannanas, into a gun. My daughter, Mary, who is 16 months younger had absolutely no use or interest in guns.

Parents, this is on you, insist and encourage you boys be respectful and kind but don’t beat them up if they want to sword fight, wrestle, and hunt down bad guys. Let those boys be boys.

*Important Note: If your child is gay, understand God made him that way and love him just the way he is. If you’re child is mean or a bully make him stop and don’t make excuses. Don’t use the line “he’s just being a boy” if he’s actually an obnoxious punk.

Tell me what you think, comment or write to me! Thanks, diana

hampoland@gmail.com

Good Manners…A Competitive Sport

If you want to teach little kids anything, you have to be tricky, all the  time. This is especially true if  you want to teach kids, who don’t belong to you, how to act.

I had three little boys in the back seat of my car, squirming like puppies. One kid was mine, one hangs at our house a lot, the other was a new addition. I like this new boy but he doesn’t have bad manners. He’s got NO MANNERS.

“No Manners”, means I can’t get mad at him right away.” No Manners” means nobody in his life ever insisted he act right. Nobody, including his parents, ever looked at him crossed eyed until he said “thank you” or “yes ma’am”. “No Manners” means I have to explain to him how I expect him to act at our house for a couple of weeks before I can get mad at him for being rude.

So, I’ve got three smelly eight year olds in the back seat, rolling and laughing.

“Everybody got their seatbelt on?” I holler.
‘Yes ma’am” I hear from two boys.
“How you doing Joey? You all belted up?” I ask of the third boy, who has “No Manners”.
“Yeah.” he says.
I watch my kid elbow Joey but he doesn’t get it and I realize I have to try a different tact.
“You ready for some food, Jacob?” I ask of the kid that stays at our house all the time.
“Yes ma’am!” he shouts like a tiny blonde Marine.
“Good answer,Jacob!” I shout and stick my hand into the back seat for a high five.
“You guys ready for some food and football?” I yell at them all.
“”Yes ma’am!” my son and Jacob shout, competitively, trying to outdo each other. And then they laugh.
I say, “I’m pretty sure Jacob won that time, Son,”  Jacob does a little hapy dance in the back seat.
Our new boy watched Jacob and my kid, he was figuring out what was going on, It was the Good MANNERS GAME It’s a competitive sport. He wants to figure out how to win. That means he’s interested and that means I can train him.

I know that sounds weird, that I would try to train a rough cut little boy to have better manners, like a dog or a boxer.  But as the great MMA coach Danny Dring says, “You have to work with what you got.”

What have I got, a little boy with terrible manners, but I still like him.  The key is he’s a little boy. That means he’s competitive and likes to be the winner. If having good manners means he’s a winner, he’ll yell “Yes ma’am” in a heart beat.  Little girls like being winners but they really like the praise.  

At the end of the day Joey’s manners were much better, mainly because he wanted to beat the other boys. But even when we were alone, in a C Store and I asked him if his drink was cold he said, “yeah,” then changed it to “yes Ma’am”. I gave him a thumbs up and he grinned. Everybody likes to win.

How To Get A Boy To Clean A Room

Parents, I’ve figured out something huge. If you have a little kid, especially a boy, you’ll realize how brilliant I am.

When you tell your kiddo to clean the living room he might say “ok” but then he wanders around the living room, not seeing any of the mess or clutter, until he finds an object he can turn into a gun to “pretend shoot” the dog.

Guess what?  He’s a kid and he’s a boy so he doesn’t actually see any of the mess. Therefore, he’s almost incapable of cleaning up.

So, instead of telling the poor dude to clean up the living room try this.

Give your guy individual instructions. Here’s what I did today and I swear, it worked.
Me: “Boy boy, clean the living room and then we’ll go swimming.”
Boy: “Ok.”
Me:”First clean off all the tables”
Boy: “Ok”, he says as he places a napkin on the dogs face. But he does in fact, take the bathroom stuff to the bathroom, the dishes to the kitchen and the toys to his room.
Me: Boy boy, pick up all the stuff on the floor and put it in the right rooms.
Boy: “Ok” he says as he ramps a Hot Wheel on the cat’s back.
Me: “Boy Boy take all the blankets and stuff that are piled up on the couch and put them back in your room”
Boy: “Ok” he says as he captures a cricket and puts it on the dog’s head.

You get the idea, right? If you tell him to do one thing at a time there’s a much higher chance he’ll actually get a room cleaned up for you.

Yelling at a kid over and over to clean up a room is just stupid and mean.  I don’t think little kids actually see a mess or know what one is so you have to give them very clear instructions. And you can only give them one job at a time or everything gets gobbled up in their 7 year old brain.  If I say “make your bed, unload the dishwasher and feed the dog” there’s a really chance he’ll put the dog food in the dish washer and the dishes under his pillow. My children aren’t morons, they are just kids.

So, if you want things done think like a kid and then you have to take everyone swimming.