Friday, September 06, 2013

Things My Mother Never Had to Say

My mother had girls - three of them. And she only had three girls, not eight. So, my adventures in parenting have been different from hers. This has, on more than one occasion, provided great comic relief. Yesterday's story is particularly entertaining.

As the mother of eight children, and two boys, cleaning is a full-time job. As quickly as possible, I begin to enlist help, from anyone who can move. The latest recruit for sweeping is my six-year old son. He doesn't enjoy sweeping nearly as much as he enjoys climbing on his fort. But, it is an essential skill for anyone to learn, and he is plenty old enough to start perfecting his technique.

In the process of supervising my son, I was chatting with my mother on the phone. Of course, the conversation was interrupted by breaking up fights, giving directions, and correcting behavior. It was the later that gave my mom so much entertainment; I told my son to take the broom off the table.

Having raised three girls, who somehow knew brooms don't belong on the table, she found it completely hilarious that my son didn't understand that simple concept. And once she started laughing, of course, it wasn't hard to keep that theme going. Shortly after my six year old removed the broom from the table, but before he'd finished his job of sweeping, my two year old was walking stomping through the dust pile! More peals of laughter rang in my ear, as my mother enjoyed the antics of her grandchildren, albeit at a distance. 

Her joy was contagious, so before long, both of us were laughing as we remembered her parenting adventures with me (let's just say I wasn't the easiest child to raise) and comparing them to my own adventures in parenting. Obviously, with the addition of five more children, my life is a bit crazier than hers was, and she wasn't taking little ones to therapy multiple times a week like I used to, but the biggest difference, by far, is having boys. Raising boys really is different than raising girls, in spite of what the social scientists engineers  experts will say. And, as much as the world discounts the value of girls, I sure love mine! Without the help of my older girls, life with my youngest would have secured me a nicely padded room with a cozy white jacket that buckled in the back.

Children are a blessing, and can be an amazing source of entertainment, especially if you can laugh at their antics instead of crying, or figure out how to do both.

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