I grew up with my dad, my mom, and my one sister.  So my family as a youth was heavily weighted on the female side.  Now married and a mom of two sons I’m experiencing the flip side.  My life with boys.

In my childhood family, if someone said, “I dare you to drink that vinegar right now” there would be no takers.  So in that family we rarely said things like that.  I must be getting somewhat used to my life with boys, because I said some very similar words at dinner tonight; but not entirely used to my life with boys because when I said those words, I didn’t actually expect anyone to do it.

Let me back up for a moment.  Yesterday, Brother and Young Son received in the mail a package from their paternal grandparents containing science kits.  Brother’s is all about energy and this morning he powered a propeller with a solar cell and built a battery using little plastic cups of vinegar with a pinch of salt.

energy science kit spread out on the table

Here is the photo I took, so we could show Grandma what fun we were having learning about energy.  See the little cups of vinegar and salt?  Each one is holding, I’d say, roughly one tablespoon of vinegar.  (Rice vinegar, because, as you will recall if you read my post on how to make your own mayonnaise, that’s what we have on hand.)

So, fast forward to tonight again.  We were at the kitchen table, enjoying a meal together as a family.  Young Son, who is often restless sitting still, got up and walked to the kitchen counter, where the little cups of vinegar from this morning were still sitting out.  What made me imagine him drinking one?  I don’t know.  The words just slipped out, “I dare someone to drink one of those cups of vinegar.”  I didn’t actually think anyone would.  Why would they, really?

Well, Family Man only had to sit for a moment with that challenge hanging in the air, before he reached behind him, grabbed a little cup and swigged the whole thing.  All the while keeping a totally straight face.  Then he put one in front of my plate and urged me to do so, too.  No way.  Just a sip, he says. If I can drink the whole thing, you can take a sip.  Life with boys.  So I took a sip.  About a third of it.  I made a face.  Now the remainder was placed in front of Brother’s plate.  Go on, his dad says, smiling.  Like, hey, your mom and me tried it, its not so bad.

Brother, who refuses to even take a bite of his dad’s burrito with all the fixings and won’t eat lettuce with salad dressing, wouldn’t do it.  Would he?  Yes!  After first demanding a cup of water to wash it down, he took up the cup and tossed the whole thing into his mouth, just as he’d seen his dad do.  Boys!!

P.S. Thanks for the science kit, Grandma!

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