Male puberty. It wreaks havoc on mothers everywhere. A mother in an exclusive Dallas suburb with a pubescent son could meet up with the mother of a teen in a third-world country and both would be digging through their translation books for the term ... “HE’S DRIVING ME NUTS!” If no translation books are nearby, the universal hand signal is to point at the young male, then with the same hand, bring the finger to your head and make circular motions around the temple area.
I was a good boy for the most part ... until puberty hit. I think a boy’s puberty is a pretty easy process to understand though. It goes like this ... a new hair pokes through the armpit, sending a signal (like a fuse) to a brain cell, which then explodes. The blast flings shrapnel to the decision-making cells, which also explode, producing black holes. The resulting black holes fill with very toxic gases, which must be expelled. The gases need to be coaxed out at times (like a duck call) by the boy cupping his hand on the inside pit of the opposite arm and pumping said arm repeatedly. This extraordinary process is hastened if other young males are close by. The louder these sounds are, the more males are attracted to it. When practiced in the visual perception of a parental unit, especially the female, it evokes loud responses such as “You’re just like your Father!” or “What’s happening to my sweet little boy?” The male parental unit reacts quite differently and usually emits a sound called “laughter.” The males will keep up this behavior until red-hot beams are emitted from the female’s eyes, withering the males into a useless substance.
I really don’t know how my mama got through it all. I put her through the ringer. Here’s an example of one incident. I found a bullet once. I had never seen a real bullet before. My parents didn’t have guns around the house. With the way they argued, if they’d had guns, we kids would have grown up in foster care. Anyhow ... I found the bullet on top of a shelving unit. It was hidden inside an old model ship my grandfather had carved. I think my grandparents DID have guns in the house—thus the reason I never met Grandpa. He obviously should have hid at least one more bullet in that ship. Well, I had the overwhelming desire to hit the bullet with a hammer. Don’t ask why I did this. A boy’s thinking process is like this: “Bad idea ... bad idea … good idea!” All I know is that I heard a deafeningly loud bang. My mother rushed out to the back porch and asked me what was going on. I told her I had hit a bullet with a hammer. She just kind of stood there … then she goes:
Mom: “You’ve been shot.”
Me (defiantly): “HAVE NOT, HAVE NOT, HAVE NOT!”
Mom: “Then why are you bleeding?”
I looked down to see blood trickling down the leg of my white jeans. My leg then gave out from under me and I fell to the floor. I was convinced I was about to go meet Jesus face to face ... and I was pretty sure he was gonna be too mad to let me in.
Mama rushed me to the hospital and I was operated on. The only thing I really remember was being awakened, then brought home where my dad lovingly carried me inside the house from the car, gently laid me down on the couch, tousled my hair and said ... “You know I ain’t your real daddy ... dont’cha boy?”
I would eventually fully recover but still carry with me two small scars on my left leg as a reminder. Punishment? Well ... nothing really ... unless you count the subject being brought up at every single family gathering for the last forty years.
I honestly don’t know how Mama made it through three boys. One thing a woman must know about male puberty ... we never stop going through it. This is a scientific fact figured out by honest-to-goodness real scientists, who just happened to have tween boys.
MOMS! Do not be afraid! There is a solution! Wait for your mini-male to walk by and study him closely. Try to engage him in conversation. If he is hesitant to talk, give him a household chore. This will get him flustered and he will begin to loudly converse in an increasingly animated fashion. Your goal is to listen for breaks in his voice that fluctuate at least four octaves within a five-second time period. Also, look for extra hairs that may appear on his legs or face. If you determine that he is indeed beginning his decent into manhood, THROW HIM OUTSIDE AND LOCK THE DOOR BEHIND HIM. Assure him you love him and occasionally throw him food (and by “occasionally” I mean every 5–10 minutes). Do not worry that you will be accused of child neglect because your male child will not notice he has been thrown out of the house—as long as you throw food to him. Puberty is well-known to cause temporary loss of hearing when an adult is talking, as well as an aversion to being in close vicinity to one.
This is an incomplete guide and there are many more processes that happen during this metamorphosis—but I am limited by time constraints and what feel like tiny explosions in my brain.