Book review: Speaking of Boys

I’ve read a couple of books on boys and the best by far is Speaking of Boys: Answers to the Most-Asked Questions About Raising Sons.  It’s set up in a question and answer style and it answers questions like:

  • why are brothers competitive?
  • does my son really mean to be that mean to his sister?
  • why is my son preening like this and will it ever end?
  • what to do as a divorced mom breaking up with someone
  • what do do when your son starts acting abusive or violent
  • how to react to your son (or his friend) lying

But I found it most useful in understanding boys’ humor.  I don’t find most "boy jokes" very funny and I struggle on how to respond and I struggle with understanding why they are funny – from farts to knock-knock jokes.  (I’d like to be in on the joke!  It looks like fun.) Michael Thomson did a really good job of explaining how boys use humor to gain status with their friends and in their social groups and he even gave some good advise to people like me who just don’t get it. 

I learned a lot from this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who is occasionally baffled by boys – small or big ones.

How Jacob used his windup flashlight to save the day

For unknown reasons, Continental gave away all of our assigned seating on our first flight out of Denver.  The only two seats together that they could give us were in the last row of the airplane.  So Jacob and I sat in the last row and played Uno and checkers.  As anyone who has watched kids not sit still would understand, some how all of the (magnetic) checkers ended up spilling off the table and onto the floor.  After collecting all the ones we could see, we were still missing one, so Jacob crawled behind the seats with his wind up flashlight, and found the missing checker stuck to one of the seat legs.  I’m sure Jacob would tell you that his windup flashlight is an indispensible tool on any trip!

Jacob’s first travel crisis

Remember what I said about getting behind children in line
in security? Well, I was wrong.  On our way to the British Virgin Islands last week our six year old, Jacob, caught the attention of the TSA security agents.  In his Scooby Doo backpack he was carrying, in addition to the normal
treasures, a metal box of travel games, a metal Bob the Builder box to
collect treasures in and a wind up flashlight – oh, and a metal bell without
the clapper. When his
backpack hit the scanner’s screen the TSA agent stopped the conveyer belt, stared at the image for a while and
then waved over one of her associates. The second guy stared for a while and then pulled out his radio and
called for a third person! The third
person collected Jacob’s backpack and took it over to the explosive testing machine.  By this time, Jacob was starting to look really worried.  The agent took eveything out of the backpack, much to Jacob’s concern, examined it all, tested it for explosives and then took all the contents and the backpack back to the scanner.  Jacob bravely fought back tears and asked why were they taking his backpack?  We got it back shortly after that and the agent explained they had never seen a wind up flashlight or a metal travel games box before.  Jacob is now sure he does not like security and that they take things from you!

Book review: Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs and Sharks

These two books make great presents for boys.  Our son got his first one when he was five years old and he loves them.  Each page has a great big pop-up in the middle and lots of smaller pop-ups in the corners.  There’s also lots of interesting information – I usually just read a couple of sentences per page.