Is this ‘normal’?
Do you ever worry that your kids aren’t like other people’s.
That their behaviour isn’t ‘normal’ … whatever normal is.
I have these thoughts from time to time … usually when I’m in the midst of a particularly gruelling schedule of work, school, homework and extra curricular activities.
It’s been a bit hairy here over the past week as I’ve juggled one son at a new school, one son starting school for the first time, a new bus schedule, some new extra curricular activities, work and an absent husband.
As I listen to my boys talk about shooting, guns, killing, taking people out, and as I try to stay clear of their play fights I have wondered from time to time … is this normal? Do other people’s sons do this? I may have also silently wished that they sit quietly in the lounge room and have a tea party (Deluded? Me? Surely not!)
I hate guns. Have never held one, want nothing to do with one. I have tried to limit the use of toy guns in the house and have – with limited success – tried to limit the boys’ exposure to shows which glorify killing.
On the weekend things came to a head when our youngest son started muttering something about ‘acid in your face’. What did you just say, I asked him.
‘Acid in your face,’ he repeated. WTF? Apparently it’s a line in a Lego Bionicle movie. I find this hard to believe and will have to endure watching the movie to confirm this.
I explained to the boys that ‘Acid in your face’ is an awful thing to joke about and that in some countries it is used to punish people – often women.
Of course that just encouraged them and set them off again. So between their non-stop energy, their furniture gymnastics, their indoor soccer games and their use of my hallway for practicing tic-tac on their skateboards, I was rather happy when Monday rolled around.
On Tuesday I volunteered to help out in our seven-year-old son’s classroom. Just me, another mum, the teacher and 20 seven-year-old boys. Help!
The hours from wake-up to school start were a challenge. Do you ever feel in need of a sleep by 9am? I do.
I was chanelling Marco Pierre White as I repeated adnauseum … ‘Put your shoes on, put your shoes on, brush your teeth, brush your teeth, BRUSH YOUR TEETH!!!!’
As we arrived to school I heard the teacher do her own Marco rendition: ‘Boys, swap your books, swap your books, swap your books. Sit on the rug, sit on the rug, sit on the rug.’
Glad it’s not just me, not just me, not just me.
My job for the morning was to work with four groups of boys to help them use language to describe water. It’s cold, fluid, liquid, blue, powerful … you get the picture.
I read them a poem about water. One of the lines was, ‘Red water, Black water.’
I asked: ‘What would make water red?’
Four groups of boys and every single group gave me the same answer: ‘Blood in the water.’
Huh?! I would NEVER have thought of blood being the cause of red water. Clearly I am not a boy.
Then we discussed the sound of walking through mud.
‘It sounds like a fart,’ said one boy.
Cue hilarious fits of laughter. Fart, fart, fart, fart. Hahahaha.
I left the classroom feeling relieved and at peace. I am mother to two healthy NORMAL boys. Fart jokes, shoot-em-ups in the lounge room and wrestling on the dining table … it’s all the norm when you’re raising boys.