We have a lovely new friend who lives down the street with her 5 year old son. Our sons always ask to play with each other and are beyond excited when we finally manage to arrange our schedules for a play date. But when you put two five year old adhd, accident prone, impulse control-challenged BOYS together a whole new world of adventure opens up to you. In this ONE day I heard screaming in the front yard because the dogs were jumping on the neighbor boy while he refused to remove himself from the situation, loud complaints because my 5 year old sprayed him with the hose (which, of course, my 5 year old claimed was warranted since the neighbor boy TOUCHED him with wet hands), cries for help as he was "trapped" on the other side of the gate at the stairs, shouts of "there's blood, there's blood" because he punctured his hand on a random piece of glass on the back porch. I ran in terror as I was informed the two five year olds were heading, unaccompanied, to his house two doors down along a street where people regularly drive 65 mph! Then after one final attempt of FORCING this play date to happen I hear crying at the front door and open it only to behold this same neighbor child holding his head and stomach complaining that Micah had hit him (which, again, was warranted because...blah blah blah-plus lots of loud protests as he marched himself down the hall). I was done. I sent my 5 year old to bed and attempted to walk the neighbor boy home by chasing after him with the only shoe of his I could find while he cried "MAMA MAMA MAMA!" all the way home. I felt like the worst mom and host in the world!
As I walked quickly behind the neighbor boy, planning how I'd rescue him from a speeding car if needed, the two moms beheld each other with sheepish looks assuming the fault lay on our own sons. I comforted her by telling her that they are simply insane little humans that we have to try and keep alive until they're 18. She asked if I ever swore at my children, admitting that sometimes it just got that challenging. I thought with a little sliver of pride how thankful I was that I do not swear at my children, but that sliver turned to dust when I had to admit I'd lectured them to the point of a pre-coma like state. I'd ranted and guilt tripped them until they cried just to make sure they realized...whatever it was I was trying to get them to realize. Yes, I've been unfair at times in my parenting too.
I assured my neighbor that we do have two very busy, slightly emotional and very dominant boys that will continue to try and be friends even if one ends up in a cast by the time we're done with it all :) By the time I got home and had explained to my husband what had happened everything in the heart of my 5 year old was fine. At dinner I asked if he and the neighbor boy were friends and without hesitation he emphatically exclaimed "of course we are!". Isn't that just boys? They come, they fight, they draw blood and in the end it's all in a day's work like Wile Coyote and the Sheep Dog Ralf in Loony Toons...nothing personal. They clock in, beat each other to a pulp and clock out. All the while us poor moms slowly develop that "mom of boys" twitch that only other moms of boys can detect. If my 5 year old ever grows up and becomes a professional athlete and does the "Hi Mom!" shout out on national television I'll consider it just pay for those twitches, even if it is his dad that throws the ball with him in the back yard hour after hour :) May God bless (AND PROTECT) our little boys!