Take for example the question of the day from DS1: "Mum, when you go swimming, why doesn't the water go up your butt-hole?" And when Daddy interrupted my careful but simple explanation, to assert that some people do manage to control their sphincters to 'suck in and expel water', it produced an awe-struck "Can YOU do that?" The answer may have been 'no', but I guarantee the experiment that DS1 will be carrying out next bath-time...
... and then there was the enthusiastic description from DS2 of the compost toilets that he and Daddy used at the campsite - and who also, when he came home, headed out into the garden with a water gun to spray the trampoline so he could bounce in time to a loud song (sorry, neighbours) that appeared to be titled "get my bum soaking wet!"...
... and then again we have DS3 who obviously when he needs to wee would rather go outside, drop his trousers and sprinkle the lawn than use a flushing, hygenic toilet (I should be grateful I suppose - at least I stand a better chance of the seat being dry next time I need to use it). He is the best raspberry-blower in the house, and is totally in awe of his big brother's ability to do "armpit farts".
I was chatting to a lovely friend today about the difference between educating boys and girls (she has two boys as well) - being very aware that these are all vast generalisations: of course there is no 'one way' for boys and another single way for girls. However, just as boys are generally more prone to talking about bums, poo & other less-attractive bodily functions, there are also pithy truths that seem to apply to many more of them in comparison to girls... (if these offend, or totally do not apply to your beautiful children, feel free to read this as just things I have learned about my own boys, compared to girls I have cared for/ taught)
- Boys are more likely to get bored quickly (unless they're on the computer, in which case the opposite is true).
- Boys are less likely to humour you when you think you're delivering an extremely interesting lesson. It may be humiliating to have them walk off when you're just getting into what you're saying, but at least you get instant feedback on whether they're actually interested!
- Boys are more likely to need frequent breaks for physical activity. 'Can't sit still' sound familiar? I was amazed once when we met up with my sister and niece (at the time a 6yo) to do some pottery painting. She sat still and painted for almost an hour!!! DS1 (who was 8) concentrated nicely and produced a nice piece, but even he had had enough after about 20-30 minutes).
- Basically, if you want to get a boy's attention, make the lesson/ topic as gruesome or hands-on as you can... or bribe him with computer games! ;)
PS It's OK - I was the mud-pie building kind of girl... I secretly love the gross stuff too! (maybe not as much as my boys, but enough to keep them happy and me sane).