Boys Are Wild Animals, and 10 Other Truths the Parenting Books Won’t Tell You

November 26, 2012 | By | Comments (15)

Boy with a moustache

Random observations from a mother of three boys who grew up with two sisters, and so was wholly unprepared.

1. Boys are wild animals. Just watch any nature documentary footage of lion cubs wrestling, and imagine human bodies instead of cat bodies. Really, there’s very little difference.

2. They never get tired of having their hands down their pants; they just eventually grow old enough to know there is a time and a place for that.

3. When you ask any boy over the age of seven for a hug, he will give you that weird, unsatisfying, half-shoulder, barely-touching hug thing that they teach you in boy school.

4. For a five-year-old boy, there is no more wonderful single word than “poop.”  (Although “poo poo stinky fart” is funnier.)

5. At a certain age—13, give or take—boys send out a telepathic signal that they will Simply Refuse to Answer Certain Questions Where Girls Are Concerned.

6. A boy will never tell you that you look fat in those pants, or that you are too old to wear skinny jeans, or that your hair is embarrassing him. And you are extremely grateful for that.

7. No matter which ninth grade girl Mom thinks is incredibly, exotically beautiful, teenage son will always prefer the cute, popular girl Mom thinks looks sort of…boring.

8. Winter coats are for skiing or giant dorks, so don’t even try to make him wear one.

9. MOM is a very easy word to learn to write when you are in kindergarten, which is why you will be touched by all the little scraps of paper that say MOM in various rooms throughout the house.

10. If you ask a ninth grade boy why he did not hand in his science homework, he may very well say “I don’t know.” And he really means it. Even if it’s an answer that you cannot process.

11. Some younger boys are so completely uninterested in girls that they can’t even tell you the names of the girls in their kindergarten class. Just think of all the time you wasted being so completely boy crazy—turns out they didn’t even notice you until years later.

And finally…

12. Sometimes, if you are very, very lucky and listening very, very closely, a little boy will say, apropos of nothing, “You are a queen and a princess and I love you.” Which makes all the wild animal behavior completely worth it.



    THIS IS ALL TRUE — I have survived three of them and have four more (grandsons) to try new tricks on to understand how they think. I still grab hugs when I can catch them. However, there is nothing cuter than a two year old little boy.

    November 26, 2012 at 11:22 pm
  2. RsFanatic

    So true, Kristen. Beautifully written. As always!

    November 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm
  3. Kathy

    Love it! So true. Thank Heaven for little boys. x

    November 28, 2012 at 10:02 am
  4. Mary

    With 2 daughters and 3 granddaughters, I can’t enter this world, but it sounds true enough. I’m sending it to my young friend who has 3 boys. I wonder if she can find time to read it all the way through?

    November 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm
  5. Lynne

    So true! As a girl with 2 sisters, a woman with only a daughter for 12 years…now to have 2 sons is a Wild Adventure! Thanks for making me smile, even when I can’t sleep in on a Saturday morning!

    December 1, 2012 at 9:19 am
  6. Nicole

    So true! The other thing I’ve noticed about my boys is they will poop anywhere and everywhere. In the bathtub, on the floor, while running away from me trying to catch them…. They both also love to run around like wild animals (as stated in the blog) but without their clothes on. Hence the pooping on the floor problem…. Eek!

    December 1, 2012 at 4:51 pm
  7. Sandra

    Love it, and they are STILL like that in college, I have a bear cub and a tiger cub. Still hands in pants and in a pile after the game win or lose, eating together off community plates. They need each other. I have girls too and I teach primary grades. My boys will always be my cubs.

    December 2, 2012 at 7:02 am
  8. Molly Reichel

    Love it! But I can also tell you this. They talk about Fathers and their shot guns when it comes to their daughters dating. But Mom’s of boys…..we have rusty dental tools. Very vintage..rusty dental tools.

    December 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm
  9. karendukess

    Reading this with a certain 14 year old boy who happens to live in my house and who shall not be named…and he had this to say: “2 is completely true, 5 obviously, but 7 is just wrong.” He adds: “We have better taste than you may think. At least this unnamed 14 year old does. I may not be able to speak for the boy who lives in your house, who shall also not be named.”
    And you are so right about winter jackets! If not for skiing, they’d be a total waste of money.

    December 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm
  10. Tiffany

    Love this! I have three boys and a girl and the first few years were quite a revelation. Watching them grow and seeing behaviors that are truly innate has helped to explain so much about my husband. ;)

    December 4, 2012 at 8:57 am
  11. April Silver

    Fantastic! As a mother to a sixteen year old daughter and a sister to four amazing women, I can agree that i’ve been completely unprepared for my nephews and male children of friends! What a joy to see them in action!

    December 4, 2012 at 11:23 pm
  12. Elizabeth Ann Lynn

    Having three sons (two of whom are fraternal twins) I can certainly attest to the accuracy of most of the article. But, it doesn’t say how much your grown sons are protective of you. When they are grown they view you as the most perfect mother in the world, even though you can look back and see your own faults. I love my sons and would not trade them for the world! Oh, did I mention that I now have a granddaughter? She is her dad in a dress. Lol.

    December 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm
  13. Sarah

    Tears in my eyes.

    December 10, 2012 at 9:09 am
  14. cheree peterson

    Love it and would add one more: Boys will manifest all your husband’s annoying habits that you just spent the last 15 years of your marriage trying to avoid or retrain… and this aha moment will make you laugh and cry at the same time.

    December 16, 2012 at 12:40 am
  15. Janet

    WOW! Totally on target!

    December 16, 2012 at 9:17 am

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