I am the first to admit that I always envisioned myself having a girl. Or girls. I pictured myself with girls all around me.
A daughter! All sugar and spice and everything nice just waiting for me to share my vast knowledge of lip gloss, boys and fashion with. A girl who would be strong, independent, have a great sense of humor and big hair like her mother. Just like me. A girl!
Aaaaannnd...sometimes what you envision isn’t what ends up happening. At all.
I have two boys who are 9 and 11 and today the only thing I would change, is most likely the same thing other mothers of boys only would want to change, which is the question. The inevitable, “Are you going to try for a girl?” thing that people seem to still think is cute/funny/acceptable. As if I’ve failed somehow by not doing something I have no control over. Or that what I have isn’t quite right or enough.
Seriously...at this point in my life I cannot picture myself with anyone but boys all around me. I cannot fathom not being the only girl in the house (besides our yippy Pomeranian who is by no means the best representation of the female gender.)
Here are some basic things that I have learned — so far — about parenting boys.
Never in my life have I encountered two people – adults/children/creatures of any kind that require more food. These two have endless appetites, as soon as dinner is over they are ready for a treat. Once that’s done how about a snack? And before bed they require what we’ve always called “night bread” which is just that; bread eaten at night. When I fast forward in my brain to them both as teenagers I envision myself in the poorhouse, rocking back and forth clutching the longest Costco receipt you’ve ever seen.
I alone am keeping the disinfecting wipes business in business.
Speaking of pee, penises exist and they are hilarious. If your last name is Johnson or your first name is Willy, if someone mentions any type of ball or God forbid you mention you once knew someone named Dick, LOOK OUT. My children are choking back tears trying to contain themselves.
People often say these seven words to me: “I don’t know how you do it” ― which I think is mostly in regards to the noise level that comes with boys. Honest to God I don’t even notice it anymore. I can drink my wine and carry on a conversation with you as they roll around on the floor wrestling, have passionate (loud) discussions about fort building techniques, or debate who is superior to who at something specific/in general or when they decide to turn the family room into a bowling alley. Just maintain eye contact with me so I know we’re still talking because this is just what it is right now.
I’m sure this is not a boys only thing but my god...my back hurts just thinking about all of the socks I pick up in every room of my house and sometimes car, every day of my life. Do girls wear this many socks? Do girls not know that socks don’t go on the living room floor/the kitchen floor/on the floor directly in front of their dirty clothes basket? Why do socks need to be peeled off smelly feet the second we walk in the door? Maybe this is unique to my children? Anyway, socks are everywhere. Thank you for listening.
6. ANYTHING CAN BE A LASER/SWORD/SHIELD/WEAPON
A broom is always a light saber. A couch cushion is a barricade. Counting down the microwave timer leads to explosions. The dogs lick will give you powers (eeew) and a detachable vacuum cleaner nozzle is going to suck you into an alternate universe, which sometimes I beg to actually happen.
My youngest one still writes me love notes and draws pictures of me and him. He still reaches for my hand on the way to his classroom in the mornings. My older one is getting cooler by the millisecond but when he asks if I’ll be home tonight and I say yes I hear him whisper a very Napoleon Dynamite “yesssss” under his breath, liking that I’ll be around... that makes me feel good. He says thank you when I do little, nice everyday things for him and I can tell he means it.
As we head toward those preteen/teenage years I realize that the appetites as well as the socks will continue to grow. I look forward to the new discoveries.