I was the mom who, when pregnant for the first time, said over and over again, “I don’t care if the baby is a boy or a girl, as long as it’s healthy.” My husband, however, was captain and head cheerleader of Team Boy. He was so excited about the idea of having a namesake, a little mini-me. He knew all about the fun of boyhood. The adventures and the messes.
I, on the other hand, did not. Being the only child in my home (my siblings were much older) and a reserved bookworm at that, I had no idea what a childhood similar to my husband’s might look like. Well, as a mom of two boys, I have now found out. Here are five phrases I have uttered most frequently in the near-decade since claiming the title of “Boy Mom.”
1. “Don’t climb on that!”
This will be used in a variety of situations. Your son might be on your furniture, countertops, a roof. You just never know when you’re going to have to take this phrase out of your back pocket, so keep it handy.
2. “Why are you naked?”
One time, when I asked my son this question, he matter of factly told me, “I just don’t feel like wearing clothes.” Fair enough, my son. Fair enough.
3. “Did you wash your hands? With soap?”
You have to add that follow up question, you see, because nine times out of 10, your son will assume that his job is done if he at least gave his hands a millisecond-long rinse under water. Cold water, at that. But you see, dear child, it doesn’t count unless soap is involved, so stop trying to skate by without it. Someday I hope this step is automatic, but until then, I will continue to ask. (See also: (”Did you brush your teeth? With toothpaste?”)
4. “What is in your nose?”
Is it a pea? A Lego? A marble? Their finger? The options are endless.
5. “Come here and give mommy a hug.”
And they will. Every time. Because a little boy loves his mommy with the power of a thousand suns. (Sorry, I can’t resist puns…) And it is the sweetest thing. And if they stop doing this when they are teenagers, I might explode with tears. So, I’ll take the messes and the Legos and them climbing on the back deck railing to jump into the bushes, because I love these little hooligans with everything in me.