I have heard it said raising boys is harder when they are younger and easier when they are older.
The exact opposite is said about girls.
Being a father of both, I can say without hesitation “Yikers, were they ever right.”
When the boys were younger they were nothing but a mass of kinetic energy, always having to do something.
One of their favourite pastimes was wrestling. Not professional 'wrassling' where they hit each other in the head with chairs, but just good, old fashioned wrestling around on the ground like young lads have done since the beginning of time.
They would wrestle in the livingroom, the front yard, the backyard, the mini-van and on occasion, even in the grocery store, much to the horror of their mother.
I was a popular target for their wrestling attack and I spent many a moment fending off two tiny grapplers as they tested their strength against dad.
After one particularly energetic match, my wife, who was watching with an amused look, asked why they never wrestled with her.
“Because we love you,” said my eldest before going for another headlock. Only a five year old could devise such logic.
They were not bad boys, just your typical energetic lads looking for an outlet for all that pent up enthusiasm, but they did take constant watching, guiding and correcting.
The term 'perpetual motion' was conceived by a father watching his young sons as they tore around the estate.
My daughter on the other hand was content to calmly play with her dolls – of which she had roughly a gazillion. Everyone would comment about how quiet she was and what a little angel she is.
That is if we could hear each other over the roar of imitation car sounds, explosion sounds and other noises made by my sons and their friends who invaded my home on a daily basis.
Boys took a lot of attention in their younger years, mainly because they never thought things through and dove into situations without considering about the consequences.
“Um, dad, I wanted to help you out so I decided to move your motorcycle for you and it kind of fell over...on the lawnmower.”
“Why did you even try to move my motorcycle?” was a rather exasperated reply.
“I dunno, because I thought it would help.”
After picking the bike up and looking at customized dent in the tank, I figured there was no point in getting angry because he was just trying to do something nice. But I was once again reminded how you have to watch young lads every second.
Meanwhile my daughter was pretending to make cookies in her room – silent as a little lamb.
Fast forward a few years and my daughter is...well, let's just say raging hormones can be problematic at times – like all the time.
Suddenly the boys were the easy ones to raise. They were quiet, well quiet-ish, and were logical in their discussions.
But take a pre-teen girl with hormones raging through her like a torrential flood, tsunami and tornado all rolled into one and a look out.
“Honey, could you please get all your dirty laundry from your room please?”
Simple request, right?
“Why is everyone always bossing me around? Why does everyone hate me? I'm moving out and never coming back.”
Dealing with a young woman with newly installed hormones is like trying to baptize a cat - there is just no easy way to do it.
I was not prepared for this hormonal hurricane.
And of course all of her friends are going through the same process, so the girl drama is enough to make me want to take a job as a yak herder in Peru.
I asked my wife how long this would go on for. She just smiled and patted me on the shoulders.
Did I say 'yikers' yet?