Snips, snails, puppy dog tails, body odor, boners and BOOKS: A blog about boys

In 6th grade, some mean girls made fun of me for wearing an undershirt in the locker room during P.E. I’m over it now, thanks, but still when I think of it I FEEL the heat spreading over my cheeks and the powerless ness I felt over my boob-less-ness. Growing up is hard. Speaking of things that are hard, I have an almost 12 year old boy that is increasingly hard for me to communicate with.

I can’t even get a full sentence out before he has that glazed over look indicating that I’ve lost him to some random internal distraction that is most definitely more interesting than what I’m telling him, but quite possibly not as important. I don’t even try to pretend he is still interested in having a Harry Potter movie marathon, going to the park for a picnic or making side walk chalk murals with me for hours. That ship has sailed. On occasion, feelings of longing for those days wash over me and I grieve a bit before reminding myself that he is doing exactly as I always dreamed he would do; growing up.

But growing up doesn’t mean that he can completely ignore me. I’m still his mom and part of being my kid means tolerating some of my yammering about stuff that makes BOTH of us squirm. I don’t know why the hell he thinks I enjoy all of these awkward conversations, so I explained to him that I am  responsible for making sure he is safe, well informed and cared for, even if that sometimes means embarrassing the shit out of him in the process. And I did that yesterday. I embarrassed the shit out of him because I bought him this:

There was no glassy-eyed gaze when I put the book in his hands. Nope. It was more like he wishing he could pop his eyeballs out of the sockets and use them as weapons that could throttle me like slimy fists of fury. Of course this is just a guess based on what I DO know about his creative mind and newly discovered skill in using it to say and do all kinds of crap that makes me feel like I have a complete stranger living in my house. A stranger who looks like my kid, sounds like my kid and when he is silent, could very well pass for my kid. It’s just that when he opens his mouth I can’t be sure anymore. Has nothing I have taught him soaked into that blog of neuro goo between his wax encrusted ears?

So it was such a gift from the universe to read this blog by Perspective Parenting called, “Why don’t you listen to me?” as a reminder that the shit-storm that often accompanies adolescence is as predictable as the rising sun.

And then of course that whacky universe kicked The Boy’s Body Book my way. I didn’t buy because I don’t want to talk to my kid about being clean or his ween. I bought it because it is an easy to read, comprehensive book about everything. It talks about pubes, pot, parents, feelings, friends, family, fights, feet, food, tears, teachers, testicles, jobs, jock-straps and says, “Learning begins when you say, I don’t know.” It says THAT on page 59. I bought the thing so that I’m not the only voice banging its way into his brain, trying to provide him with as much information as possible so that he can make good choices occasionally despite the reality that his belligerence is heavily biological.

Disclaimer: I purchased the book, The Boy’s Body Book: Everything you need to know for growing up YOU, written by Kelli Dunham and Illustrated by Steve Bjorkman. I receive no compensation for telling you about this book. I don’t know them, they don’t know me. What I do know is that as a parent of a 12 year old boy who is also a psychology professional, I think it KICKS ASS!



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  • As a parent of a boy about the same age and a teenage girl, I'm all too familiar with the glazed over look and the difficulty with teaching your children what they need to know. I think I've come up with the perfect solution.

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    I just happened across your blog via Moms That Drink And Swear... first time reader... and you hit me square between the eyes. I have an 11 year old son. His voice is changing. He is almost as tall as I am (I am 5'8"). He is getting boners. Worse, I walked in on him the other night and embarassed the f!@# out of us both. I went to him later after my nervous-maniacal-laughter-fit subsided, and explained without looking him in the eye, that I didn't SEE anything and that from now on he needed to close and probably LOCK (he has an 8 year old younger brother) his door from now on. Please help me not fuck my son up. Thanks.

  • In reply to Meppie:

    WELCOME LOVELY. we have fun. and now you get to share your fun. i like your prayer too. i pray that 10 times a day and add my daughter to the list of people i need help not screwing up.

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    In reply to Meppie:

    I think this IS MWDAS, lol.

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    I know - I messed up. I follow her on FB,,, I thought she was recommending this "new" blog - didn't realize until after post it was HER new blog. lol

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    I have to say, I have a 13 year old son and I completely relate to your story. I bought that exact same book for my son in December. I also bought the girl version for my 11 year old daughter, who, officially became a "woman" last month. So many changes all at once in our household and those books are very informing for the child and for the parent.

  • In reply to tigerakp:

    tiger - don't cha love it? perfect snippets for the attention span of growing kids. so glad your kids are benefiting from having a mom who gives them BOOKS!

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    I have a 6 year old son that masterbates everyday, and has done since infancy, he dosen't do it out in public and hes not a hands down his pants kind of kid but when he lies on his stomach I know whats coming, so I have stared to tell him if he wants to do that he should go to his room and do it, omg I have no idea why this kid is always at it and will it get worse when he actually gets hormonal? Ive done all the "OK, I know that feels good, but your body is only for you and its never ok to share this with anyone, etc etc" Am I doing the right thing even discussing this at all? Am I making it a thing by acknowledging it? Who knows what the fuck I'm doing????I sure as hell don't

  • personally and professionally i think it's always best NOT to ignore things. discuss all kinds of things, but kids are great at leading the way. if you are worried about the masturbating frequency, talk to your pediatrician.

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    As a Mom of a now 23 year old man, I remember those days. You will come out on the other side smiling. My son is awesome, hugs me & tells me hevlives me every day. I love hanging out with him & listening to what he has to say but those teenage years were rough. And anybody who tells you boys are easier is lying.

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    I am lucky that my 13-year-old still calls me "mommy" when his friends are around and doesn't care what they think, and tells me he loves me all the time. Now if he would apply that same willingness to showering daily (WITH SOAP AND SHAMPOO) and using deodorant, it would be nice. Oh, and he doesn't seem to get that it does not impress me or my husband when he tries to explain something sexual to us, or when he lets us know that when something sexual is alluded to on TV or in a movie, that he "gets it." /facepalm

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    Oh what memories this brings of my own sixth grade "education"! The day in school that we got the birds-and-bees lecture, they gave us a pamphlet and told us to take it home and discuss it with our parents! So - my friend from across the street [who's mother had died a while back] and I approached my mom... being the good little student I was I quoted what I was told: "They gave us these at school and told us to talk to our parents about them."
    My mom took the pamphlet, and quietly perused it while my friend and I stood by in utter horror. She set it down and said: "This doesn't have any good pictures. I'm going to get you something with good pictures."
    Needless to say we ran googly-eyed to my room and giggled our heads off...then about a week later, I came home from school and there it was, on my bed. "The Fundamentals of Human Sexuality." It was a TOME. With an INDEX! So of course I called my friend and she ran right over!
    We looked up "french kiss", then we looked up "blow job". But blow job wasn't in the index! This book literally had pictures of EVERYTHING. Damn I wish I knew where that book was! My sister and I have been blaming each other for losing it for twenty years at least.......

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    I was JUST looking at that book a few hours ago, my son is only 2, but I am already planning on the future and what I may need to have on hand for those moments.

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