Here, let me give you some examples...
While at the grocery store, our eight year old stops dead in his tracks as we pass by the toothpaste section. "MOM! I saw this on TV! Can we GET IT?!"
If you've ever taken kids into a grocery store with you, you know that in almost every section of every aisle they're going to find something that they want to get...but toothpaste?
Feeling a sense of pride in the new found awareness that my son was thoughtful about his hygiene, I smiled at the fact that we were raising him well.
"Buddy, we don't need toothpaste today. We have plenty. Let's go."
"But MOOOOM! This stuff is new and it's really cool! Look. It says right here, whiter teeth in one week. ONE WEEK MOM!"
Stopping the cart, a series of questions shot through my mind. (Why is he interested in whiter teeth? He's eight! Has the bombardment of advertisements already started to affect his sense of self? His self esteem? His little personality?)
"Ethan, why do you want to have whiter teeth in a week buddy? Your teeth are perfectly fine."
Again, remember, we're dealing with boys here...
"No mom! It MEANS that you don't have to brush your teeth for a WHOLE WEEK and they stay clean and white! A WHOLE WEEK mom! That's AWESOME!"
Then you have our ten year old son. This summer I pulled him into the kitchen with me, kicking and screaming. I made him learn how to cook, read instructions and follow the measurements of recipes as we made dinners together. He hated every minute of it but I promised him that one day when
he was older, the chicks would dig it.
Fast forward to yesterday, he yelled upstairs to ask if he could have a snack. Again...feeling the pride in the sense of independence and knowledge that I've instilled in our boys, I yelled back down that it was fine.
A few minutes later, I wanted to check on him and see how he was doing. As I walked into the kitchen, I found him leaning against the fridge.
"Did you eat your snack?"
"No. I'm still waiting on it."
"Waiting on it? What are you waiting on?"
"The salsa. I'm going to have chips and salsa but I have to wait."
"Christian, I don't understand why you need to wait on salsa? What do you mean?"
Raising his hands, he looked at me with surprise. "Mom, you're the one who told me I had to read everything to learn how to make it...and well...the salsa said, refrigerate after opening. I just opened it soooo now it's in the fridge."
Aaaaand there you have it. There's nothing quite like the mind of a boy and I don't know if I'll ever be able to figure them out. Like I said before though, I'll have to
remember that there are no rule books...just everyday training...with lots and lots of toothpaste and salsa.
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