Thursday, October 9, 2008

Boys...and Girls

Let's face it. Boys don't talk much.

I read somewhere that when you plan to have a conversation with a boy, it's best to be doing something like shooting hoops, driving in the car, playing a game, etc. I also read that it's important for them to be emotionally connected to Mom and they will want and need to talk to Mom, but timing is critical.

They are likely to start talking about something when you least expect it. So you're supposed to be prepared for it at all times. When they do start talking about something important; stop everything, listen, and take advantage of the moment because you may not get it again.

Jack and I had such a moment the other day. Here's how it went.

Me: "Jack, I need you to look at me for a second and listen to what I'm saying..." (Jack puts down his book and makes eye contact.)

Jack: "Oh, I'm listening, Mom. I'm getting better at listening."

Me: "You are?"

Jack: "Yeah, my book says its really important to listen when you talk to girls."

Me: "Oh, really?"

Jack: "Yeah, it says you're supposed to ask a girl a question about herself and then really listen to what she says."

Me: "Which book is it?"

Jack: "The 'Dangerous' book in the bathroom." (I always put books in the bathroom that I want Jack to read...)

Jack: "But it says you have to be careful not to listen TOO much cuz what if the girl has been given the same advice and she's trying to listen to you? then you're both listening to each other...and nobody's talking...then you get an awkward silence and they're REALLY not good."

Me: "No, you're right, they aren't very good. I usually just ask someone another question about themselves if that happens. What other advice does it have about girls?"

Jack: "Oh, I don't know. Stuff."

And the moment was gone.

So yesterday when I was in the bathroom, I picked up the book to see what it says. I had no problem finding the page since it was the only one that was dog-eared. Here's what it says about girls....

Unfortunately, Jack knows about awkward silences. Last year Jack went to his first (and only) mixer. He spoke to one girl the entire night. It happened after 2 hours of not speaking to any girl. Finally, the one girl walked up to him and asked him his name. He answered, "Jack."

That's it.

Didn't elaborate, didn't ask her her name.


Trust me, he knows about awkward silences.


Debra said...

LOL! truer words were never spoken (or listened to) What a sense of humor that author has and I know it must have sunk into Jack's head somewhere!

It's so true about guys not talking to Mom. If I want to know anything I ask Laura. She'll talk for hours to one little grunt from Brent (until he gets wound up and then he can talk for hours about every little, tiny, teeny detail--yawn!)

Allison Ann Aller said...

It's either not enough or too much information! But yes, my best conversations with Max were in the car...
It is just poignant sharing your son's coming of age. What a fine man he will be one day!

Carol said...

Gosh I love your posts!

My 13 year old grandson lived with us for about 6 years until he recently moved back to his mom's house. (Step father thats now gone problems). He and I are very close and your post is so true. I watched him close me off as he approached the teens. We talk quite a bit, really, but I always wonder what he's NOT telling me.

Judy S. said...

So true, I remember the hours our girls spent on the phone compared to the one-syllable ones our son had with his buddies.
Don't you wonder what the female equivalent of this book (and there is one)says about boys?

Vicky aka stichr said...

I have to laugh, just last night my mother said to me, "What would your son do if he didn't have you to talk to?"
So I get more than my share of info.

paulahewitt said...

I enjoy these posts about Jack - it gives me some idea of what to look forward to (our boys are 9 and 7)Just the other day we mentioned that soon they will start to like girls and the youngest went yuck, but the oldest blushed and told us to shut up. hhmmmmm. i will have to get that book - love the advice about breaking wind - id pay for the book just for that

Elmsley Rose said...

I just LOVE point 7 ("surreptiously test the weight of the object....)

Thanks for the insight in the "dangerous book". I've seen it and the girls' version on Amazon, and thought "why didn't they have them around when I was a kid/teenager"

Robin said...

How beautiful that you had this moment with Jack and recorded it! Does he read your blog? Robin A.

carolyn said...

this post is so funny! oh i miss jack so much. we will have to hang a lot over winter break and i will torture him by asking him lots of questions. we don't have that many awkward silences except when he is mad at me because i am bad at driving in columbia.

i just put up some pictures from oktoberfest! this weekend we are going to the smurf exhibit at the comic strip museum and next weekend we are going to normandy! only two weeks until spain and greece...

miss you!

Jacqui said...

My experience with my Son, is that he listens to them too much. He had 2 serious girlfriends and countless 'girlfriends, so far in his life. He puts all of them on a pedestal as far as I can see.

His girlfriend at the moment, has him wrapped around her finger and if she clicks her finger, he comes running. Fortunately she is very nice young girl but I do miss his company.

I actually feel very sorry for any girlfriend Alan has because not only does she have to get on with me if she is to survive but she also has contend with 2 very possessive sisters who aren't shy about letting him know what they think of 'his girl'. It works the reverse way as well. I find that intriguing as being from a family of girls, we couldn't careless about each other boyfriends other than they had kept away from him!

a2susan said...

I learned you have to ask questions that need a specific answer, like, what was your music lesson today? But in general, I still get the monosyllable answers, and my boys are 20 and 23! It's so frustrating! But...when the older one talks to his girlfriend, he actually talks, and with energy and enthusiasm. So I think part of it that we are just the parents.

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