Time to Talk about IBS

Let’s be frank and discuss something that all to many find uncomfortable–IBS, or, as we moms call it: “Irritable Boy Syndrome.”

For far too long it has been the girls that shoulder the weight of unpredictable hormones and mood swings even though many of us have grown up with brothers that were equally as temperamental.

In my case I have TWO sons now that qualify as being stricken with IBS. The seven-year-old will burst into tears or fits of anger at a drop of a hat. The one-year-old is a never-ending wailing English ambulance. What’s a mother to do?

I can’t talk it out with my eldest son. He will burst into cries of “I caaaaan’t!” And the youngest just wants to cling to me like a monkey, afraid that if he lets go, I will disappear into the bathroom never to return. (And some days he has good reason to fear this, let me tell you!)

There is certainly no doubt that once they discover this column and realize it’s about them, there’s going to be a cold front that will last for months. Hmmmm. Maybe I just solved my problem. The silent treatment I can live with at this stage….

Nobody ever told me raising boys would be like this! In fact, my grandmother insists that boys are easier to raise than girls. I’d like to know how! But have I just set myself up to be cursed when they all hit their teens?

Perhaps it’s true and the boys will eventually outgrow this stage only to have it resurface as adults when it might be particularly useful. Unlike girls, who have to succumb to the crankies because they are at the mercy of a cycle for this and a cycle for that for the rest of their lives.

Have you ever had a man ask you if the clothes he is wearing make him look fat? Have you men ever had your buddy burst into tears because his wife didn’t pack him the right kind of sandwich? At some point the male will outgrow the waterworks. I believe that.

What I want to know is WHEN this is going to happen?! I can’t take anymore! It’s getting so bad that when my husband comes home from work and asks me how my day went all I can say is” I-I-I-I don-n-n-n-n-n-n’t kno-o-o-o-o–w!” Everything is a whine from me. I have to purge. It’s all I hear anymore!

I’m lying in bed at night and I hear it in my sleep. “Mo-m-m-m-m-m-m! I ne-e-e-e-e-e-e-d you-u-u-u-u-u-u!” And my husband can’t sleep because I’m yelling at the kids in mine.

How do you sleep with a woman that keeps bursting out with “Knock it off already!”?

“But I haven’t tried anything yet, dear!”

The worst part about the whinies is that no matter who has them, they are contagious. I might have a happy houseful, but then a few more come home from school, and one starts in with the whinies, and the next thing I know all five are whining!

Now, I’ve seen this ad on television that claims it can cure IBS. I thought I’d give them a call. How much should I give to a seven-year-old boy and his one-year-old accomplice, do you think? Will it induce sleep? And if it does, HOW SOON?

After twenty minutes of my questions, their customer service responded: “I don-n-n-n-n-n-n’t kno-w-w-w-w-w!”

I’ll just have to suck it up and deal with it until these boys are grown.

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