It's been another week of fun and games at our place. School finished early this week which meant Noodle's friends were all free to play. I was happy about it on Tuesday. A nice collection of polite, fairly well-behaved boys turned up.
Wednesday afternoon started out much the same way. Things started to get out of hand when a bunch of girls showed up.
There was a rowdy game of dodgeball going on in the front yard. A few boys were sitting on the deck playing with gameboys, telling jokes and trading cards. The arrival of these girls sent the shy boys around to the side of the house, out of sight. The dodgeball game suddenly got rowdier and a little out of control. Two boys were yahoo-ing on top of our high brick fence/our neighbour's carport roof and one boy was strutting around with a real golf club in his hands.
The girls stayed just out of sight and just outside our gate. Giggling and whispering. Stirring the boys into a frenzy.
I could see that the tone of the afternoon had changed so I went outside to (a) let the girls know that I was home and was keeping an eye on things (b) to tell the boys not to climb on the fence (c) to confiscate the golf club.
A few minutes later I poked my head out the window again. I was confronted by a boy crying hysterically as he'd been hit in the face with the ball. His glasses had broken. It must have been a pretty hard hit as his face swelled up and bruised, his bridge was cut by his glasses and he was very upset. I ended up having to do some first aid, dole out a few cuddles, ring his mother and eventually take him home.
I was pretty upset myself for the rest of the evening. I decided I had better read "Raising Boys" again.
Today I have a new plan of action. Noodle and I have spent the day chatting. It's just been the two of us here. We went out for lunch and I purposefully chose a table near a couple of girls around his age. I joked about listening to what they were talking about so we could learn what girls are into. In the book, there's a short chapter about how boys learn how to handle girl-boy relationships from their mothers.
Arrrgghhh, Noodle is only ten and really has no interest in girls in that way but I can see that they freak him out a bit mainly because of their confident, mature ways. He knows which of the boys the girls are most interested in. I can see that a few of the boys in his gang are more girl-savvy. It won't be long before the men and the boys part ways.
It's another challenging stage in our parenting journey.
(Mr. Mee a Bee - typically un-fazed - I guess he is a boy afterall).