Today I’m excited to introduce you to Peyton, Author of Suburban Haiku: Boys to Men. As a mom of two boys, this collection captures perfectly what being a boy mom is all about.
Grab a cup of coffee, cozy up on the couch, and enjoy this great read. It will make you laugh, cry, and you’ll be nodding your head the entire time (I totally get this!).
If you aren’t sure what haiku means (and I wasn’t at first) it’s a three line poem with seventeen syllables—five, then seven, then five.
Suburban Haiku: Boys to Men: It’s a collection of more than seventy humorous and heart touching haiku describing a year in the life of two growing boys and their beleaguered parents. It’s also our family’s version of a photo album. Flip through quickly and you’ll see it happening: boys becoming men.
My drama tween is 12 and my mean teen is 15.
Describe your sons.
At the moment, my drama tween is the sweetest, snuggliest, yellingest, door slammingest member of our household.
The mean teen has gotten past all that–he keeps his head low so as to escape our notice whenever possible, except when he’s testing out his sarcastic sense of humor by calling me out on even the slightest inconsistency.
How do you stay calm when surrounded by ALL that energy?
Well, I don’t always. I’m sure my neighbors have stories about hearing me or my husband getting loud.
But I am trying to set a good example for the drama tween so I can say, “I am very angry also, but do you hear how calm and quiet my voice is?” Even if I’m hissing it.
How do you maintain a close relations with your boys?
Talking talking talking. Keep trying, even if it doesn’t seem to be working. You never know.
The mean teen is still dependent on me and Dad for rides, so when he’s strapped in and captive, I take advantage of the chance to connect. He’s interested in politics and current events, so we discuss the day’s news and have some friendly debates. I’m proud that he thinks for himself and can express his ideas well and I think he might be slowly realizing that I am a person.
The drama tween is a little tougher–he’s at the stage where he’s offended by everything his parents say and do. The eye rolling! The accusations! The stomping out of the room! And that’s just me and Hubs.
What do you like to do with your sons?
This is the tough part of being a boy mom. I could care less about sports, which accounts for about 80 percent of the conversation and activity in our household. When I have the chance to plan a day, we do something non-sporty in a scenic or “arty” location.
How do you instill gentlemanly behavior, actions, thoughts?
I actually tell them to “Be a gentleman.” I ask “Have you ever seen your dad act like that? No. Then you shouldn’t.” I also have a look that stops them dead in their tracks–very important tool in the boy mom toolbox.
Unfortunately, there are many opportunities to discuss the rude behavior of others as examples of what not to do–pretty much every time we’re in the car on the way home from an outing.
None of these techniques is even remotely effective at stopping them from farting and burping at me inside our home every chance they get. I welcome all suggestions.
What type of sports/activities are they involved in?
Right now, baseball and basketball. We’ve also done soccer and swimming. Both boys play an instrument.
The teen is doing some public service and academic after school activities–I love that he’s selected clubs where his peers are a positive influence.
Where do you like to shop for your boys?
We don’t like to spend a lot because they grow so fast and are so hard on their clothes. Kohl’s, usually.
They like trendy sneakers, and chip in their own money when they want something over Dad’s budget. If they “need” something we consider too expensive, like an Under Armour hoodie that they’ll probably lose, they use birthday gift certificates or the money grandpa slipped them on the last visit.
What are some books/series your sons like to read?
Right now, the drama tween is reading Hunger Games. (I caved.) The teen is reading Freakonomics.
How do you handle violence in play? Some of this is normal “boy” behavior, but when do you feel it crosses the line? How do you guide them?
If the other person isn’t having fun, you’re done.
Biggest mess your sons have made.
A cracked TV!
When did you let your oldest start “dating” and what are safe dating activities for young teens?
My 15-year-old is going on what I consider group dates (but he doesn’t consider dates at all.) Something like a dinner or movie, sometimes at someone’s house.
We absolutely insist that a parent be present at any home where our boys are, and do not allow our kids to entertain any friends (boys or girls) in our home unless we are here. We get push-back on this from the kids and from parents (I’m going to run out to the store, is it OK to leave them for a little while?) but we don’t budge on this one. It’s too hard to negotiate–this kid, but not that kid, or boys but not girls, or just this one time. No.
When the teen goes out, we remind him: No alcohol, no drugs, no smoking, no one gets pregnant. He hates it with a white hot passion and says the other parents never say anything like this. We don’t care.
Give us your best tip for other moms of boys.
Keep your sense of humor. You’re gonna need it.
I love being a boy mom because______
I’m their number one girl.
Here are a few haiku from her ebook, Suburban Haiku: Boys to Men :
Before we had kids
I misunderstood the phrase
“Bring the outside in.”
Slapping each other
while running wild through the house
is NOT a real game.
Accents, sound effects
and Jim Carrey impressions:
boys doing homework.
My son’s changed so much.
He used to wear No Show socks
but now he wants Crew.
I love how he says
“You look like you need a hug”
when he needs a hug.
Snuggling with my tween
my eyes filling up with tears
because he smells. Bad.
Thank you Peyton for sharing your advice and tips for parenting “tweens”.
And make sure to read about the other boy moms and their little men!
If you are interested in being featured, please fill out this form. Remember you don’t have to be a mom of all boys just one. NOTE: there’s a waiting list and I will contact you about a week or two prior to your scheduled date.
Thanks for reading!