Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Puppy or Boy?

I have never been one to segregate boys from girls. Ben could always play with whatever he wanted. In fact there was one point, much to my father's chagrin, where Ben fell in love with "My Pretty Pony". So my mom and I got him a big pink and purple horse. The kid loved it. And why shouldn't he?
I have, however, found there is one profound way in which girls and boys are different. Their energy. My sister has 7 kids (that's a post for another time) 5 are girls and 2 are boys. Her oldest boy is now 4. For the longest time, she couldn't figure out why after a Sunday of being inside the house all day he would go up and attack an innocent younger sibling or just walk over to his sister and throw down her artwork. The kid was purposely trying to pick a fight. Why? Just because he was bored and his boy juices were taking over. My mom finally told her "Debby, you need to run him!"

Not all boys are like this. My guess is that it's about 70% of the population of young boys need to have this energy in them worked out. Some are content just reading, watching TV, drawing all day. Ben isn't one of those. There were times this winter when I couldn't handle the caged animal that was in my house who was literally jumping off the walls.

So I would take him to the park across the street with one instruction. "Child. Run! and RUN HARD!" After 20 minutes of running and flopping and tackling the snow, he would be sane again. All his little nerve endings happily tucked in once more.

While in Seattle, my cousin Dan's wife Kate understood this phenomenon... as she has two puppies of her own. One day while we were there, we had a lovely lunch and then afterwards she asked "What do you guys want to do now?" I looked at her longingly and said "Um, I really need to run Ben." Luckily, she not only didn't think I needed to be committed. Instead she looked at me and smiled and said "I understand completely." So we off we went to this great park with the puppies tucked in their car seats in the back, panting for their soon to be freedom. We got to the park and they were off.
At one point Kate said "Hey Ben! How fast can you run to that tree way over there?" He replied "SUPER FAST!" "OK, let's see... we'll time you!" When he ran and then came back, I said "40 seconds! Good job!" Kate, being the very smart mom that she is said "WHAT? That wasn't fast! I think you can do that faster!" Sigh. Kate. She is a Wild Boy Whisperer. After five races to the far off tree and back, Ben was finally winded. And I hugged Kate.
This is Ben and his friend Joe who came over to play on Sunday. I ran them. And when they wanted to come inside to play Nintendo I said "Nope, not yet. Your tongues aren't hanging out and you aren't grasping at your chests desperatly trying to get some air." Joe looked at Ben and said "Your mom is weird."

So dear readers, for the love of everything in your home, including the sibling that doesn't want to get hit in the face because she breathed wrong, or the family pet who doesn't want to be ridden like a wild bull or even for the new antique dresser that you just bought who doesn't want to be climbed on like Mount Everest, RUN YOUR BOYS! And when you think they are tired, RUN THEM AGAIN!


The Foval Girls said...

Is that Joseph? He was in my class when I was teaching at PSA!!! What a couple of doll puppies...believe me, girls need to be sent outside to blow off stink too. I think it's the age!!! I remember as a kid my Mom would send us out on the farm right after breakfast. We came in to pee (and most times not even for that), bandaids, and when she called for meals. Other than that, we were EXPECTED to blow the "stink" off until she said it was off. :)

amy said...

Cute post! Your puppy is adorable. But I have to agree with the first comments--not just boys. My boy is pretty much content to lie around all day, but his sister needs to get out and run. She'll never live down the fact that before ballet class, while all the little girls preened in front of the mirror, the teacher had Tali run laps around one of the empty classrooms down the hall. ;)

Becky said...

Ok ok! Girls too! Maybe YOU guys need a run. ;-)

And yes Em, THAT is Joseph from PSA. He's now in Ben's 2nd grade class and on his soccer team.

amy said...

Hey, you're right! I do need a run! I probably have puppy blood in me, too!