I've always heard boys are so much easier to raise than girls. I can see that in some respects. I mean, you don't have the mood swings, the drama, OH THE DRAMA!, and the shopping for bras and other delightful, coming of age, girl specific experiences. Hello, puberty talk of 5th grade, I'm looking at you. But easier? Well, that depends on your definition of easier is. If by easier you mean, less drama and mood swings, more dirt and roughhousing, then yes, I would say easier. BUT, what all those wise scholars forgot to mention is that raising boys has its own set of joys. Joys that include but are not limited to, a constant bathroom battle (if you have boys you understand) to not knowing what you may find in the washing machine after you wash their jeans, ex: fishing lure, a once living frog, fruit rollups, worms, etc. Also, in the Raising Boys manual there should be a warning sign similar to those in front of the scary roller coasters at amusement parks that says, "Warning: For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure."
It's becoming increasingly apparent this week especially that raising boys is not for the faint of heart. And mine is getting weaker by the second.
It all started with a nail biter football game on Saturday morning, in which Blade's team pulled out the win in the final 50 SECONDS of the game. 50 WHOLE SECONDS wherein I couldn't breathe and thought my head was going to explode. Now I fully understand why my father in law had 2 heart attacks shortly after his sons graduated high school. Clearly, it was from watching his boys' football game all those years (and other sports contributed too I'm sure) because my word, at the intensity. My sister Heidi, sat next to me during the game and said at one point, "Wow, this is so STRESSFUL and INTENSE and it's only 4th grade!!!" Preaching to the choir sister, and to think we have at least 9 more years of this. Better step up the cardio workout in preparation. (As if.)
Then there was Monday. Monday, the first day of our "Free Week." It was our free week because football ended on Saturday and basketball and wrestling haven't started yet so that meant that Mama could take the taxi meter out of the Princess Mobile for the week because the only place I had to chauffeur anyone to was Dakota to piano lessons on Wednesday. Which sure beats running someone somewhere 4 nights a week as I've been doing for the past 2 months. I was so looking forward to staying home once I got home from work on Monday night. I had high hopes of pajamas, quality time with the Tivo, and perhaps some cupcakes thrown in for good measure. Because I'm borderline OCD, I can't fully relax until the house is tidied up so I sent the kids to their room with the simple task of straightening them up. I gave them 30 minutes to do so because they weren't that bad just needed some minor cosmetic work aka picking up the underwear off the floor. I kept hearing loud pounding, yelling, and such from that area of the house but ignored it because I was cleaning the kitchen. I even gave them an extra 15 minutes to get their rooms presentable just to make sure they had plenty of time.
Oh they had plenty of time alright. Plenty of time to LOCK THEIR SISTER IN THE CLOSET.
Finally, the pounding and slamming got so incessant that I went to the boys' room to investigate. There I discovered Dakota was locked in the closet and the boys were pretending to clean their room while conversing with their sister.
"THE BOYS LOCKED ME IN THE CLOSET!" a muffled Dakota said thru the door.
"She walked in there! We just shut the door behind her!" the boys retorted with *innocent* smirks on their faces.
We don't actually have locks on our closet doors so I figured it couldn't be that hard to open it. But it was. Somehow it was jammed and the doorknob acted like it was stripped because no matter how many times I turned it nothing happened. I found a screwdriver and thought maybe I could jimmy it open but no such luck. I got out the drill thinking I would take the door of the hinges, which would've been a great plan except that the hinges were on the inside of the door so plan failed. I was getting exasperated and irritated. Not because I was concerned for my daughter's safety but moreso because all I wanted to do was lay on the couch in my cozy pajamas and watch CSI, dang it!
It didn't help matters that Dakota was in the closet saying things like, "Blade, when I die, tell Vicki she gets all my Pokemon stuff. And Ryder, when I die, you STILL can't play with my Pokemon DS game. I may not make it out of here alive!"
Remember what I said about girls and drama? Case and point.
I called GI Joe who was working late to gave him the lowdown and also to see if he had any helpful tips for getting the door open. He LAUGHED. I was not in the laughing mood but I'm glad he was entertained by it. He told me a few things to do, which I did, to no avail, and then said he'd leave his office and be home in 30 minutes. The only comfort to Dakota that she would remain imprisoned for another 30 minutes was Ryder slipping her DS under the door for her to play. See? He really does care!
You know how when you tell your kids to do something and they don't and then something bad happens and then it's really hard for you to feel sorry for them? Umm, yeah that's how I felt. No sympathy here. If she'd been in her own room cleaning it like she was supposed to she wouldn't have gotten locked in her brothers' closet. And as for the boys? They stuck to their "she walked in" story but don't think I bought it for a second. They got the "if you would've been doing cleaning your room like you were supposed to, you would've been done by now and wouldn't be going to bed early tonight for LOCKING YOUR SISTER IN THE CLOSET!" talk. To be honest, I was actually trying to figure out which closet to lock THEM in!!! I tease...maybe.
Finally, GI Joe got home and rescued her. It took a sawzall to get her out. A SAWZALL?!? Our boys don't do anything halfway. Well, EXCEPT for cleaning their room.
So last night when I came home to find a cute, little gift wrapped package that said "To: Mommy, Love: The Koons Kids", taped to the front door, I figured they were trying to make up for their prior infractions. They had gotten into the Christmas wrapping paper, ribbons and all, so it was one good looking package. My heart swelled with love as I gushed, "Oh you guys are so sweet! I can't believe you got me a present!" Blade watched me like a Hawk with this small, sweet grin on his face. He seemed so excited and proud of himself. I began opening it, slowly, because I was savoring the moment, this outpouring of love from my children.
I peeled away the paper and saw something, something that did NOT look sparkly or shiny or handpainted in art class. At first, I saw packing tape and then I slowly peeled back more paper. And then I threw that sucker up 10 feet in the air and ran away screaming. Why? I'll tell you why. Because *they* had gift wrapped a DEAD MOUSE and given it to me! A DEAD MOUSE! A REAL LIVE DEAD MOUSE! Blade and Ryder thought it was the funniest thing they'd ever seen and were laying on the floor laughing hysterically. Finally, Dakota made an appearance and said, "Didn't you hear me telling you not to open it?" Obviously, I didn't. But I appreciate that she at least made an attempt to save me. We girls have to stick together at our house.
When Blade was finally able to breathe again after laughing so hard, he said to me with a big, mischievous grin on his face, "That's your payback for making us go to bed early last night. You don't want to mess with us."
Never mind that they went to bed early because they LOCKED THEIR SISTER IN A CLOSET!!!!!
I'm not even safe in my own home with these 2 boys around. And I have a feeling it's just the beginning.
They're so much like their father it's frightening. Seriously, it's ALL him. I'm as straight laced as they come. Or will be just as soon as I figure out how to get them back for the gift wrapped dead mouse stunt. Ideas?!? ;)