My Ode to Boys

There are certain things a Mom of Boys must accept.  Hot Wheels cars are in your life for many years to come.  And they breed overnight, I swear to you.  Regardless of how many carriers for these cars you purchase, you will be stepping on them every day.  You will have to learn the correct pronunciation of most Dinosaurs.  3 years ago I had no idea what any dinosaur outside of T-Rex, and perhaps Tricerotops was.  Now I can easily prounounce, identify, and describe characteristics of the Pacycephalosaurs, Coelophysis, Apatasaurus, Iguanodon, and Dimotroden.  I know which are carnivores vs. herbivores.  Weapons are part of your life.  You may be one of those parents that swore you would never allow a toy gun in your house, but it won't matter.  They will fashion a weapon out of sticks, blocks, golf name it.  It's in their nature.  They need weapons to fight the never ending intrusion of monsters and bad guys.  Bruises and scrapes will be on your child's body until at least they leave the house for college, if you're lucky.  And nothing is funnier than potty talk and bodily functions.  Nothing. 

I'm not saying girls never do these things, because I was a tomboy as a child, so I know differently.  But generally speaking, boys take these things to a whole different level.  Our friends have a daughter that has all boy cousins, and most of our friends have boys, and that girl can hold her own.  She can take them out without losing the sparkly, matching purse over her shoulder.  Despite this, when those same friends had a son the second time, it really through my girlfriend for a loop.  I remember smiling to myself at the look of panic on her face when he'd tumble, or climb things every time she turned her back.  She was always on guard.  I'm not a more relaxed mother, or better mother, it's just that this wasn't my first rodeo.  This was boy #2.  I knew that they jumped off EVERYTHING, and that boo boos happen every 5.6 minutes.  She had to readjust her Mom experience and ideas.  She's adapted now, believe me.  It was a learning curve is all.  Had I had a girl my second time, it would have been the same in reverse for me.

While girls can, and should be, in these early years very active, boys define it.  They own it.  My Mom tells her friends my 5 year old still hasn't learned to walk.  She's never seen it.  He runs everywhere he goes.  They have such a hard time sitting still.  My goal, from the moment they open their sweet, sleep filled eyes, is to exhaust them.  And it's not easy.  My boys do not have ADHD, they are perfectly normal.  They do quite well in preschool and pre-k.  They just are normal.  Some part of their body is moving at all times.

A hug is never just a hug.  If a boy is running towards you with his arms out and a smile on his face (usually devilish) you need to take "the stance" and fast.  Legs slightly spread, knees a little bent and soft.  Tighten your core and prepare for impact.  They will run into your arms, full speed.  Despite your careful preparation you have about a 50/50 chance of them still taking you down.  They do not know how to do anything unless it is at full speed.

I enjoy girls.  I have two extraordinary nieces, a couple friends have daughters, and I think they're fantastic in their girlness.  Most of them are not mindless little princesses like little girls can be portrayed.  They're tough, active, smart girls that play hard, too.  They just have more accessories on while doing it.  I do not hate girls at all.  But I am a Mom to boys, so that is what I know, and I embrace it.  I'm all in, and I celebrate the boyness.

When I give my boys a bath, the amount of testosterone coursing through the veins of the house is so evident it's overwhelming.  There is not a bath that goes by without either the monkeys from the barrell hanging off of one or both bubble covered penises, or the start up of their absolute favorite bathtime game of taking turns laying on their bellies while their brother tries to cup his wet hand just so to get the loudest slap possible on their back echoed by peals of boyish laughter.  Repeat this about 50 times.  The loudest and most painful sounding slap declares the winner.  I have never in my experience of babysitting, aunthood, or conversations with fellow Moms heard of this game even occurring to a little gir.  Never.

I remember a bath before pictures I gave to my sister's twins.  My niece had this incredible, tight curly hair that we all loved.  I told my sister I wanted new pics of her kids, so I booked a photo studio for them.  After playing and splashing around I announced it was time to get them out and dressed.  My adorable niece stood up immediately with her arms raised.  She allowed me to towel her off, then ran and got her diaper and assumed the position.  Then she handed me the new dress I'd bought her for the occasion.  Then her socks and shoes.  I then opened the door to the bathroom and released this sweet little breath of fresh air into the house.  We then turned our attention to my nephew.  20 minutes later he FINALLY emerged dressed and handsome from the bathroom, grinning ear to blond little ear.  My sister and I looked down and surveyed the bathroom, which looked like a frat party had taken place there, or a natural disaster.  Water was everywhere from his kicking protests at ending the play time in the water.  Our hair was damp with sweat and frizzy after the two of us wrestled him out of the bath, into his diaper and dress clothes.  We laugh about that experience to this day.  I cannot look at the pictures without smiling at the memory preceding them.

I know I'll be stepping on blocks and cars and dinosaurs for years.  We will have trips to the emergency room in our future.  I will have broken windows, and hear fake fart and pooping noises for years to come.  Balls, clothes, anything they can find will be thrown into moving fans to see them fly.  They will be sweaty, dirty and stinky every day, even 15 minutes after their baths.  Bugs, toads, worms and snakes will be brought in and proudly displayed for my approval.  I will be watching superheroes instead of "real houswives" for my foreseable future.  I will be kissing and bandaging scrapes and bruises like I'm an ER nurse.  I will be cursing every retail store I enter for the lack of real estate devoted to boy clothes despite the entire store being filled with hundreds of options for girls.  I've accepted these truths.

I've also accepted that little boys cuddle their Mom's like mad.  They may not stop all day, but when they do slow down and get ready for their bedtime stories, they are on me like glue.  They will climb into my bed and press against me like they cannot get close enough.  I will be the happy recipient of "treasures" every day as they show me their love.  I'm the one they run to when they are scared, or sick, for comfort.  I am the one they proudly protect from fierce Mommy-eating bugs when Daddy is not there to "do his duty".  I am their first love.  There is much we will miss out on not having daughters.  Mommy-daughter talks and shopping trips, giving her away at her wedding.  My husband will never have to learn how to braid hair or paint toenails, never be sent back in the house for the correct matching purse left behind.  But I have no regrets having boys.  I'm not lacking in any way.  Boys enrich my life, and bless my loud, crazy insane-asylum home.  I am a mother of boys, raising young, strong men for our future.  And I could not be more proud, or more happy, to do so.

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