Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

Mother of a Man-Child: Testosterone Power Surge in Melbourne Suburb! June 10, 2011

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If it was possible to measure the output of testosterone in males, I swear my boys would be world record holders and probably blow up any machine that attempted to gauge it.  Such is the surge of testosterone in our house I can almost feel the electric-like current running through the place sometimes.

I grew up with three wonderful sisters – yes, one of four girls.  Naturally I always wanted brothers and envied my friends who had them in spades.  I therefore thought it was appropriate that my first-born were a) twins, since I am one myself and b) boys, since I had no brothers and was a complete tomboy as a child.  Some would say it served me right!

When my men-children were growing up, we always joked that our gorgeous boys were really just like dogs – always happy when outdoors and definitely better behaved after a good run in the park.  Growing boys just seem to need to burn off some of that energy and testosterone which courses through their veins during key phases in their life.   This is in stark contrast to raising girls, as we learned with the adorable sister of a man-child.  Females are just so different to males, but both equally enjoyable I must add.

Now the men-children are enduring yet another testosterone surge during adolescence, they don’t seem to be able to burn the hormones fast enough to keep a lid on it.  Even with sport virtually every second day, they seem to have plenty in reserve.   Which means that most nights they use it to “play-fight” amongst themselves.

Those of my readers with brothers will know what teenage boys play fighting looks like.  Others of you without brothers or men-children might be surprised to know how severe it can be.  “Play-fighting” by its very name sounds like light wrestling, some muted punches, a bit of nudging, and general pushing and shoving.  But no, that’s just the appetizer for my men-children!

Play fighting in our house involves two 15 year olds literally holding each other in death like grips, using every ounce of their strength in order to deliver harm to their opponent.  I kid you not I once found them entwined, one with legs wrapped around the other, and one in a choker hold, and them thumping each other on the ground to try to extract themselves from the other’s grip.  Neither would give up – no wonder they’re good at competitive sports!  I am still waiting for the hole in the wall, an elbow through the new TV, or a head split open on the corner of the coffee table – it just seems inevitable sadly.

The other night, having listened to the dulcet tones of play fighting from upstairs (yep, all we’ve done is move the noise and testosterone to a new location) I ventured up with the intention of putting an end to it.  I then made the stupid mistake of getting involved – bad idea, when I’m a) shorter, b) lighter and c) prone to excitement and extreme frustration.  All I ended up doing was screaming, getting madder, and earning a physical injury myself.  The lesson for me – I cannot physically win anymore – do not even attempt it (although hair pulling works as a last resort – for some reason they find this EXTREMELY painful)!

We had play-fighting again the following night, and they literally made their way downstairs as they fought.  So I tried a new tack – I threw them out of the house – the freezing winter air in Melbourne soon cooled them down, and took the heat out of their aggression.

Is this normal behaviour?  I think so, or at least I hope so.  It’s probably exacerbated by them being very different personalities.  I recall my girlfriend’s brothers once chasing each other around their kitchen table – I was sure they would kill each other, but I was probably only 10 years old so it made a big impression on me.

Will they be the best of mates one day?  I think so, or at least I hope so.  The testosterone will slow down its relentless pace and the aggression will give way to mate-ship and a lifelong bond between brothers.  Now that would make me happy. 🙂

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2 Responses to “Mother of a Man-Child: Testosterone Power Surge in Melbourne Suburb!”

  1. Jodie Says:

    Hey Kelly, Yep, I’m in the category of no boys growing up in my family and only having 1 boy, he has nobody to doof ‘n boof! I met some young brothers whilst traveling and they were trying to kill/harm eachother and the mother was just letting them go for it. I didn’t understand it… and not growing up with boys…. Apparently normal! Love the idea of throwing them outside in the cold. I will share that one with my friends… Keep up the good work! 🙂


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