He looks like a sweet kid, right?
I thought so too, until Thursday.
Turns out if you poke my gentle giant enough, he'll poke back.
Apparently my man-child finally figured out size matters. Especially when you are his size.
Middle school hell finally caught up with Frac and he found himself tussling with another boy*. Both kids ended up getting suspended from school for a day and in the end there were two momma bears wringing their hands over what to do with their stubborn juvenile sons.
And since my husband was off starting a new job and unavailable for guidance and/or growling, I was navigating these uncharted waters solo style.
For the very first time ever while parenting my son, I felt like I was out of my element. I just have a terrible time seeing the world through the lens of teenaged boy since you know; I've never been one.
Those testicles, they are tricky things.
I needed to drive the message home to my son that I loved him and supported him no matter what. Even when I didn't necessarily agree with the choice he made.
But I also didn't want to be the mom who high fives her teenage son and say 'if you're going to fight, you darn well better win' while raising his arm victoriously like the refs do in the boxing ring.
Even if I may have wanted to, just a tiny bit.
(Cue the theme music from Rocky.)
The thing was, I was less concerned with the whole boy on boy whooping he engaged in and more concerned with the fact my son lost control of his temper. Even if, from all accounts heard, he had reason too.
I blame the testicles.
So I needed to come up with a punishment that said, 'Hey son, I stand behind you no matter what, but the next time you decide to engage in teenaged tom foolery I'm going to be here to remind you why your testicles are often wrong.'
It's just easier to blame the testicles I tell ya.
I've since refined the art of creative teenaged boy punishment over the past weekend. Punishment which included but was not limited to, how to swim the sea of feminine products including purchasing his very first box of tampons, how to navigate Sephora to find the perfect lip gloss, why kitten heels are a fashion necessity for me and how to flirt with the Apple store dude to get your phone fixed for free.
Then there was the pedicure he learned how to give (using my hairy toes of course), the trip to the local fabric store, his lesson on why I prefer real wool yarn as opposed to the acrylics, and the four hours he lost when I made him watch multiple episodes of The Secret Circle with his sister as his eyes started to bleed.
I finished it off by making him wash the insides and outsides of ALL my kitchen cupboards as well as hand wash everything inside them (whether it needed to be washed or not.)
My biggest regret? I never got the chance to take him to the local retirement home to play Bingo with the retirees.
This morning as Frac was getting ready to head back to school I asked him what he had learned this weekend.
He thought for a second and then he replied, "I learned you really want me to think before I act, no matter what. I learned that you think it's okay for me to stand up for myself but to not do it in anger because I've lost control of my temper."
I looked at him; impressed he paid attention to me this entire weekend.
"Is that it?" I asked him.
He furrowed his brow and then grinned, "Oh ya! I've learned that if I spill jam in the fridge I should wipe it off while it's fresh because that's stuff is nasty hard to get off once it's hardened."
I was waiting for him to promise this would never happen again, but heck, that jam lesson was important to learn too.
*I know the other boy involved in this mess and I'm hoping both boys will work out their issues and become friends in the future.
**And thanks to each and everyone of you who helped brainstorm creative punishments with me over on Facebook. Frac may not thank you but I sure do. Wink.