Having been a boy (technically I still am, I suppose – at least my wife says I act like one) it was a bit of an adjustment for me when Gail and I had six girls. Frankly I was baffled at my daughters lack of enthusiasm when I suggested that we re-enact battles from the Civil War with toy soldiers and they stared at me blankly, then asked if I wanted to help them do Barbie’s hair instead.
It took a few years, but eventually I settled into the “girlie” stuff. I resigned myself to the fact that it was going to be training bras and not jock straps drip-drying in the laundry room.
Instead of football games, I went to more “Daddy Daughter Dinner Dances” than I can count. And, of course, six girls and no boys meant “The Talk” (you know the one) fell to Gail and not to me. (Which, given the fact that my artistic talent starts and stops with stick figures is probably a good thing).
It was all girls all the time.
And then came the grandkids. We have seven (so far) and surprise surprise, FIVE of them are boys! Matthew, Preston, Charlie, Adam and Jack.
Finally, I thought, someone who would understand the simple joys of Indian Wrist Burns and Atomic-Wedgies!
But nothing quite prepared me for an incident that happened while the family was away for “Spring Break” last week.
Let me set the scene… Gail, and my daughters Jackie, JoAnne and Jessica were all in the living room while four of the boys, Preston and Charlie (both 9), Adam (8) and Jack (7) were taking a break from the sun and playing Super Mario-Something in the bedroom.
Suddenly, we heard a wailing cry … and then a door slam.
It only took a split second for the mom’s in the room to figure out that the cry belonged to Jack (Jessica’s son) and that the door slam meant somebody didn’t want us hearing what was going on.
Moments later Jack emerged with his brother Preston. “Okay,” Jessica said. “What happened?”.
“Well,” Jack said wiping away his tears, “Adam (JoAnne’s son) said that if I wanted to sit with the other guys on “the cool bed” I had to (AND THIS IS A DIRECT QUOTE) punch myself in the balls.”
Suddenly I was eight years old again and had to keep myself from laughing out loud.
I then overheard Jack saying his mother, “But then Preston said he thought he should be the one to punch me in the balls.”
“He agreed to it!” Preston insisted. “He agreed to it!”
“Yeah, but I said you had to do it softly and you totally punched me hard”, Jack protested.
At this point Adam and Charlie entered the room. Guiltily, Adam admitted that it was he who had issued the challenge, while Charlie (Jackie’s son) took credit for slamming the door so nobody could hear Jack crying.
Charlie , “Hey… am I in trouble? I didn’t do anything! I just stood there and watched the whole thing go down.” (He was like a mini Joe Pesci pleading with the cops in a dingy interrogation room).
The boys’ mothers seemed a little bit stunned by the turn of events and sat everyone down to figure out exactly who to punish for what - and what punishment might fit the various degrees of “the crime”.
While the girls sorted out exactly what to do with their boys, I excused myself to the balcony and smiled.
It’s good to know that no matter what else in the world changes, “Boys will be Boys”.
Preston and Jack in pool pre-punch!
Gail and I are “The Cats In the Hats”…
The kids playing a different kind of “pool” (JoAnne’s daughter Lauren is the rose between the thorns!)
Charlie trades “Googling” for “Goggling”“Yes! We want fries with that!”
Vacation is Exhausting…