Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Bringing up Boys: when being thick skinned is a virtue

The other day I was at a friend's house, just for a catch up, a bit of company. It was the middle of the week and for some unknown reason I got the feeling we weren't exactly welcomed with open arms. I felt kind of guilty for foisting myself on them all when we were all probably a little tired.
Now my friend has two lovely boys, one a bit older than The Boy and one in the same class. Of course they all wanted to travel back in the same car from school but there was only room for three not enough room for Bog Boy, not that the older lot wanted him there. So in order to be fair I suggested that we split the boys up. Mr Friends boys didn’t want to go in HER (i.e. my) car and in order to stop a fight between my boys I hoicked the elder out and we all went in our own separate vehicles.
On arrival at my Friend’s house we all bundled out and trooped in, me telling the boys to find the other two and play while I anticipated a good old girly chat. However, of the other two boys there was no sign; they’d gone off playing elsewhere. A none too subtle hint that we weren’t wanted.
I told the boys not to worry and that if the other two didn’t want to play with them never mind, watch a bit of TV until they came back. I was a bit annoyed to tell the truth as I felt it rude. I longed to go home there and then but I’d promised to buy a take away for supper as a treat for all of us...
The Boy’s class mate came back and soon they were all happily playing on the Wii. Bog Boy came in to the kitchen demanding cakes for tea and we iced some buns and made a cheesecake as he drifted in and out.
When it was time to go and get the take-away, we decided to use my car and after a bit of: “No way not in HER car!” we all bundled in with S9YO, my friends eldest mollified by being allowed to sit in the front while his mum squashed in the back with the rest –all very sick parrot.
I think I tried too hard to engage S9YO and there is nothing worse, is there than a grown up trying too hard. Problem is I couldn’t help myself I needed to get this boy on side but I forget how young he is, only 9. You can’t reason with a 9 year old or try to get him onside if he is determined not to allow it for one minute. There were one or two chinks but they were swiftly closed up and the butt of the anger and frustration being felt was directed at Bog Boy, the youngest.
Bog Boy is nothing if not thick skinned, would that I was too, and the cross words and sarcastic comments seemed to go over his head. Any complaint about him was directed not to me but to S9YO’s mother as if I was not there. And Bog Boy’s name was never used, just the euphemism HE. I loathed it and said things like do you mean Bog Boy? as innocently as I could, while bearing up under the frankly haughty gaze of a nine year old.
Supper was OK, but strained and afterwards I hoped that all would be well. I so longed for a chat. However things that I thought were going well patently were not. Having a nearly five year old tag after one is not tolerated even for a few hours and the evening was cut slightly short by a tearful wail from my youngest.
It wasn’t until yesterday that I found out why. Bog Boy had been put in a wardrobe to get rid of him; I gather he thought it was a game. His elder brother knew different. I was shocked and have promised myself that I will not get Bog Boy in that situation again. He’s not unduly upset by it, but I am. I am very aware of the slights and nuances of dislike and have no wish in making it worse for either The Boy or Bog Boy. Best we are looked on in a favourable light and our visits anticipated with good humour than I ever force a meeting that is quite obviously resented.
It’s a small incidence that shouldn’t make a hap’porth of difference but it does. I feel very uneasy….why didn’t my youngest say anything? How could my eldest let it happen? Apart from nearly going off in the deep end when I heard last night I haven’t and I won’t be mentioning it again. Maybe it’s a boy thing?

10 comments:

Cara said...

Ah, how stressful for you. I think the age gap with children ebbs and flows. It seems to diminish when they get beyond the toddler stage, but definitely widens as they get to Tweens. I wouldn't be too harsh with your eldest, he probably was under a lot of peer pressure not to grass anyone up. Do you think your friend was aware of the tension that was apparent?

Jude said...

Sounds like a painful experience all round. It's the same with my youngest - he always wants to play with the big boys, but while his older brother might be accepted, he isn't always welcomed himself. You feel for them. We always tell his older brother that he should look after his sibling, but he's usually too busy having fun.
Personally I think some thick skin is great - especially since mine is way too thin.

Tattie Weasle said...

Cara - Thank you for pointing out the tweens stage. Boys are such an anethema to me not liek girls at all! Being friends, making friends and being part of the gang is such a hard thing so I promise I will go lightly on The Boy!
Jude - exactly! My skin is way too thin too esp when I am tired.

muummmmeeeeee...... said...

It could be worse - you could have girls - they are seriously nasty at times! I've nearly bitten my tongue off trying not to get involved in my daughter's squabbles with one of her "friends" who is a nasty piece of work. I think we get more wound up by it then they do though!

Tattie Weasle said...

muummmeeeeee...- you are so righ Girls, I know this of course as I am a girl with a little sister myself. I think I was unusually violent towards her when we were growing up!

kratosellas said...

http://kratosellas.blogspot.com

Jo Beaufoix said...

That would have upset me too. My two girls are a similar age gap and I've had to intervene a few times when Miss E and her friends have been less tolerant of Miss M than I'd like.

Thick skin is good, but I'd have been also upset by the 9 year old boy's behaviour too. The words 'little git' come to mind. (bad Jo). Miss E has just turned 10 and I am sure at 9 would never have been so obviously rude or unpleasant (or at least not that I've seen). I'm amazed your friend didn't intervene and make him apologize. 9 is young, but it's old enough to know better.

Tattie Weasle said...

Jon Beaufoix - Not bad Jo at all - Just exactly what I was thinking! But everyone brings up their children differently and one never totaly understands workings of another household. I'll just be very wary in teh future mostly because I know how vile I was to my little sister!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Poor little Bog Boy ! Not quite the Lion , The Witch And The Wardrobe experience he'd expected .

Tattie Weasle said...

SmitoniusAndSonata - Not a good adventure I fear but Bog Boy is more resiliant than I give him credit for he has no qualms about going visiting...

Go on you know you want to...

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin