Yesterday Ryan had a disc golf tournament, so I had the whole day alone with my boys. Somehow, I had a stroke of luck, and on this day a good friend of mine (Lisa) was home with her two boys and not on call for work. Also a stroke of luck was that the sun was shining brightly and the rain kept away for the entire duration of our stay. After much debate on what to do and where to go, we decided to spend the day at her house, as she lives in the country and has lots of room for the boys to just be boys. So, I packed my boys up, made only a few quick stops on the way out of town for gas and juice boxes, and headed out to their house.
It was a perfect day. Lisa and I sat in lounge chairs and soaked up the sun. (Which reminds me,a tip to the wise, ALWAYS shave your legs before you get them sunburned….) The boys were slow to warm up with each other at first. Jake immediately went to work finding a place to plug in his Sony Playstation Portable (PSP), and Ben tried to figure out how to use the slip and slide. Eventually, Lisa’s oldest son, Jadon, was giving Benjamin demonstrations, but somehow Hunter and Benjamin decided instead that driving trucks and tractors along the slip and slide as if it were really a car wash would work better.
When the heat was starting to get to us, we’d head in the house for a cool beverage and some popcorn, and then we’d head back outdoors again. Jake and Ben learned to play with the dog. (BIG dog, looks mean but is super friendly…. even when you’re throwing rocks at him, oddly.) Lisa’s younger son, Hunter, let the heat and the play get the best of him, and he went down for a nap. At this point, Jadon and Benjamin, who are very similar in age, figured out how to work together, and they played creating a river which lead to a lake in their sand box. Jake even stopped in to help out a few times, though his efforts were thwarted when he kept hitting his head on the playscape, because he was so much taller than the younger boys were.
Eventually, we wrapped the day up with some pizza and Popsicles, which are a favorite of pretty much all kids in general, and I rounded the boys up and headed back for home. I was amazed they both made it all the way home without falling to sleep, though they certainly slept well from a great day of play when it was bedtime. They even slept through some thunder rumbles.
While the kids were busy learning social skills with one another, Lisa and I were busy taking note of the truth about raising boys and birth orders. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concepts of birth order, let me give you a quick run down. “Birth Order” is a term to describe the rank that you take with your siblings, and it is believed by experts to have lasting effects on psychological development. If you look at theories developed on such ideas, experts generally break birth order down into rankings like “first born”, “middle child” and “youngest”. Advanced theories take “only children” and “twins” into account also. Their hypothesis is that there are common traits in personality and development among people who share birth order rankings. I will use myself as an example. I am an only child. Here is what one website listed for traits of an only child: (and my thoughts when compared to myself.)
- Mature faster (yep- have to if there’s not kids around and only adult to keep you company)
- Get along well with older people (uh-huh, see above)
- Responsible (generally…because who else can you blame things on without siblings?)
- Self-Centered (ugh. Sadly.)
- Perfectionists (relative, I suppose.)
- Attention seekers (I do blog, don’t I…?)
- Use adult language (um, I use a LOT of language.. swearing included, I suppose..)
- Prefer adult company (I did when I was younger. Now it’s optional.)
- Have difficulty sharing (this is the only one I completely disagree with. I’m better at sharing, it was the only way to get people to play with me…)