I have often said that young males are a different species from females. Some people still maintain that behavioral differences between girls and boys is only because they are raised differently. I have received some correspondence that contradicts that view. My grandsons are spending the summer in the small mid-western town in South Dakota. I have received this correspondence regarding their behavior which I believe is typical of young males. I might add that I have never observed any of my female grandchildren choose a gun as their preferred toy. I want to share this letter with my readers to illustrate:
If you ever wonder what it’s like to parent boys, feel free to come out and parent our boys and their crew of lil’ miscreants for a day or two.
The babysitter is out for a few days, so we decided to simply let them run feral. It’s our two boys (plus GV as a bystander), the two boy cousins, and Braxton and Johnny (kids of friends).
The boys all have Air Soft guns. Air Soft is the next generation of BB guns. However, instead of shooting lead BBs, they shoot little biodegradable neon-colored BBs that don’t hurt THAT much. Air Soft accessories include face masks and protective eyewear that seems prudent when shooting BBs at another human. So, our little men roam the neighborhood having “Air Soft Wars,” as the lads call their activities. Night time is best, as darkness is, well, just so much fun. Seemingly, they can not tire of shooting each other.
When they aren’t Air Soft warring they are playing Wii games, like Rock Band. Often, they sit around with their iPad/Pods, etc. all playing different games, but talking to each other about how each is doing on his particular game. It’s weirdly social, actually. Watching them play Rock Band is a hoot, though. They are very supportive of each other. And they do it for HOURS.
The house looks much like a college dorm room. Clothes everywhere; sofas taken apart for fort building; food strewn about. It’s truly awful. They don’t see any of it. Last night was a sleep over. I really didn’t give them any rules, just told them to be quiet and not keep the rest of us up. They were up until 1 or 2. All were sleeping on the floor in a true rat’s nest of clothes, blankets, potato chips and Air Soft ammo. They seem to subsist on a diet of Cheez-Its, potato chips, and candy. We have an account at the grocery store, which is only 1.5 blocks away, but I can see they buy only Jello Pudding.
I must give Genevieve a shout-out, as she cooked for them today. Cooking consisted of her melting chocolate chips in the microwave, then drizzling the chocolate over potato chips. Truth be told, it was quite tasty. She was very proud of herself.
I must say, though, that I love their freedom for them. They are having such a wonderfully small-town summer this year. They ride their bikes downtown – or walk. They have earned some money, which is being spent on Air Soft Ammo, of course. In fact, Ian took his money in a small-ish lime green grocery tote that he calls his “Murse” – for Man Purse, down to the hardware store to buy more ammo. I thought the ladies were going to pee in their pants trying not to laugh at that little rascal. Note: the only reason I was along for the ammo buying is that it requires an 18 year old to purchase. Other than that, they need no adults.
I don’t know when they last bathed. I’m not asking, either.