Raising Boys

Boys and girls are not just plumbed dif­fer­ently, they are also wired diff­er­ently.  Those of you who dif­fer with me on this state­ment may now recog­nize the irony of writ­ing me off as “just a guy” and move on.  Some of the dif­fer­ences can be attrib­uted (or blamed) on upbring­ing, but it is a sci­en­tific fact that cer­tain other diff­er­ences are in there before they are even born.  Please note I said diff­er­ences, not that one gen­der is inher­ently “bet­ter” than the other.

The fol­low­ing is based on a list was writ­ten by an anony­mous Mother in Aus­tin, Texas.  There are many dif­fer­ent versions of this list on the Internet, but these are my favor­ites.

Things I Have Learned From My Boys.

The mind of a 6-year old boy is a won­der­ful and amazing thing, and you find out inter­est­ing things when you have sons, like...

  1. There is no such thing as child-proof­ing your house.
  2. If you use a water­bed as home plate while wearing base­ball shoes, it does not leak.  It explodes.
  3. A king size water­bed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. foot house 4 inches deep.
  4. If you spray hair spray on dust bun­nies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.  (I won­der if this isn’t based on the roller blades made for Mattel’s Barbie dolls.  They were made to pro­duce sparks.)
  5. A 3-year old boy’s voice is lou­der than 200 adults in a crowded res­tau­rant.
  6. If you hook a dog leash over a ceil­ing fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42-pound boy wearing Bat­man under­wear and a Super­man cape.
  7. It is strong enough, how­ever, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20 × 20 ft. room.
  8. Base­balls make marks on ceil­ings.
  9. You should not throw base­balls up when the ceil­ing fan is on.
  10. When using the ceil­ing fan as a bat, you have to throw the base­ball up a few times before you get a hit.
  11. A ceil­ing fan can hit a base­ball a long way.
  12. The glass in win­dows (even dou­ble pane) doesn’t stop a base­ball hit by a ceil­ing fan.
  13. When you hear the toi­let flush and the words “Uh-oh,” it’s already too late.
  14. Quiet does not neces­sarily mean don’t worry.
  15. A six-year old boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.
  16. A magnifying glass can start a fire even on an over­cast day.
  17. Certain Legos® will pass through the diges­tive tract of a four-year-old.
  18. Duplos® will not.
  19. The words “Play-Doh®” and “micro­wave” should never be used in the same sent­ence.
  20. Super glue is for­ever.
  21. No matter how much Jell-O® you put in a swim­ming pool, you still can’t walk on water.
  22. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.
  23. VCRs do not eject peanut butter & jelly sand­wiches, even though TV com­mer­cials show they do.
  24. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox® makes smoke, and lots of it.
  25. Mar­bles in the gas tank make lots of noise in a mov­ing car.
  26. You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.
  27. Always look in the oven before you turn it on.
  28. Plastic toys do not like ovens.
  29. The fire depart­ment in Austin, Texas, has a 5-minute res­ponse time.
  30. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earth­worms dizzy.
  31. It will, however, make cats dizzy.
  32. Cats can throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
  33. Garb­age bags do not make good para­chutes.
  34. A good sense of humor will get you through most prob­lems in life (unfort­unately, mostly in retro­spect).
  35. 80% of Women who read this will pass this on to almost all of their friends, with or without kids.
  36. 80% of Men who read this will try mix­ing the Clorox and brake fluid.

Two anec­dotes prov­ing nothing:

When my girls were little, they used to play with the boys next door.  On one occa­sion, I saw the older boy walk along our fence until he got within 20 feet of the gate, then turn and start to climb over.  When I pointed out that there was a gate nearby, he looked at me like I was a total idiot* and said “I know.”  He then com­pleted his climb and walked away.
* No com­ments, please!

A large building I once visited had the wash­rooms in pairs, spaced at regu­lar distan­ces.  I conduc­ted a quick sur­vey as I walked down the hall, and found the brass kick-plates on the bot­toms of the doors to the men’s rooms were scuffed up, and the ones for the women’s rooms were not.