Sugar and spice and everything nice. That’s what little girls are made of, right?
I have actually heard women tell the mothers of little girls, “oh sure, she’s cute now. Just wait until she gets her period! You won’t think she so cute then!” And then the moms panic and begin dreading puberty.
To be honest, I get it. Girls can be dramatic and grouchy and irrational and all of those things we’ve been raised to believe. I have been ALL of those things on a given day. It happens.
But before the moms of boys get too smug, I’m here to tell you that those little bundles of testosterone have cycles too. Over the past several months, I’ve been tracking this and it has helped my life immensely. I like to call it, the Manstruel Cycle.
Here’s how to tell:
1. Weird Food
My son is almost 16, is almost 6’1″ and weighs 190 lbs. He is an eating machine. Nothing pleases him more than a full frig and pantry. But for about 5 consecutive days every month, he eats weird food combinations. I don’t mean pizza with Ranch. That’s a given. I’m talking about shrimp cocktail with a Kit Kat. Franks & beans with a bowl of cereal. My hope is that if his future wife has weird food cravings while pregnant, he’ll be more than accommodating.
Speaking of food, my son’s need for chocolate during this time raises exponentially.
Son: Mom, do we have chocolate candy bars in the house?
Me: No. No chocolate candy bars.
Son: Chocolate cereal??
Me: No. No chocolate cereal.
Son: Hot chocolate???
The struggle is real. And then, when I buy chocolate on my next shopping trip, I get this:
Son: Mom, why did you buy chocolate?
Me: Because you just asked for it a few days ago.
Son: Mom! I’m in training. I can’t be eating chocolate while I’m training! Which brings me to………..
3. Irrational Behavior
During this 5 day, um, period my son will forget things. He will lose things. He will say things, but swear he never did. He will bump into things. I always pray that he won’t have to take finals during this time or he’s pretty much screwed.
4. Mood Swings
This kind of goes hand in hand with the irrational behavior, but it’s more about emotions. LOTS of emotions.
Me: Are you going to wear a belt?
Son: What do you mean? What are you trying to say?
Me: That I can see the waistband of your boxers. Your pants aren’t staying up.
Son: Are you saying I’m faaaaaaat?????
Yep, it happens to boys too.
5. Skin Issues
It took a whole of cajoling on my part, but my son finally takes his skin care regimen very seriously. But during this 5-day stint, it doesn’t matter what he eats, how much he washes, or how much product he applies, his skin suffers. And to hear him tell it, so does his hair.
Luckily, I’m always prepared for his “time of the month” and I’m able to sympathize. Puberty is serious business and boys have their issues too. Of course, if he asks me to write him a note to get out of gym class, I might not be so sympathetic.
I would imagine that in a few years, when he is fully grown, many of these aspects of puberty will have subsided. Hopefully, he will be a sympathetic husband and father, especially if he is the father of a little girl.
Otherwise, karma will get him. I like to call that……MANOPAUSE!