Mother’s Day always makes me feel like writing out a lengthy, formal apology to my mom. Sure, I’m good company now, but I incubated in alpha for a long time before I was suitable for polite company. If I were the same kid today, I’d be medicated. But back then, any observer might have just called me “busy” and a “smarty pants.”
My mom’s biggest issue is that I was one of two girls. Nothing our older brother did could have prepared her for raising daughters. It just couldn’t have been easy.
I recently came across a blog written by a mother of two young girls who was horrified by observations she’d made of the boys at various birthday parties and outings she attended with her docile daughters. The Mommy Blogger trepidatiously outlined her perceptions of raising a boy, confessing, “Boys are wilder than girls and, frankly, that scares me.”
Admittedly, when I was pregnant with my first son, I had reservations about having boys, too, but for very legitimate reasons. Number one, I simply couldn’t abide having Ninja Turtles in the house. If Ninja Turtles are good for anything, they make excellent birth control. The mere threat of having any human in the house who might want Ninja Turtle regalia should kill the mood, but no one thinks of Ninja Turtles in the throes of passion (hopefully).
Number two, I had no time for anything that smelled like sautéed onions, and that’s what boys do for much longer than the other oxygen-breathers under the same roof should have to endure. There’s simply no market for that.
[NB: My son just walked by and wants every reader to understand that he never liked Ninja Turtles.]
Having raised a daughter and two sons, I learned the difference early when I scolded the three of them about the mountain of toys on their respective bedroom floors. In response to my complaint, the boys assured me, “OK, Mom. We’ll get on it.” As she stomped off and slammed the door, my daughter wailed, “You can’t stand my happiness – that’s what this is about!” She was seven years old.
My kids have taught me enough to put the nervous blogger’s itemized fears about raising boys to rest … or at least direct her focus to the fears worth having.
1.) Mommy Blogger writes, “Boys break things. Whenever my girls have boy friends over to play, something inevitably gets broken. Fact.”
This is true, and it’s usually one of their own bones. But they won’t screech about it half as long as a girl who doesn’t get the toy she wanted. And, hey, if bones get broken because of it, so be it, she says.
Boys break things, but rare is the boy who burns the carpet with a flat iron or irrevocably mars it with fingernail polish. And they don’t get glitter (the herpes of the crafting world) on everything. I do mean everything.
2.) Mommy Blogger writes, “Boys are super active and get into more. When they’re big, they can’t sit still!”
Yes, they’re super active and I occasionally had to yell at them to get off the edge of the roof, but they like being outside. Make them run with the dog, carry in the groceries and race the trashcans out to the curb. They’ll think these are games and they’ll eventually collapse.
Girls, on the other hand, are super chatty. Every fleeting thought must be expressed. Girls won’t leave your side and they have no “mute” button until they’re old enough to sulk. When she finally collapses, she’ll talk in her sleep. I still do. It’s how I’m wired.
3.) Mommy Blogger writes, “Boys are loud. My noisy girls have nothing on the barbaric yowling we witnessed at the lake.”
Also true. You’ll learn to tune it out, which can only be Nature’s defense mechanism to ensure the perpetuation of the species. Your noisy girls, by the way, are annoying as hell.
Boys: loud. Girls: shrill. (Advantage: boys.)
4.) Mommy Blogger writes, “Little penises are scary. There, I said it.”
And congratulations on being the first to say it in this publication.
Boy parts are uncomplicated. Girl parts, on the other hand, run up the medical bills, the Target bill and clog the plumbing. Fear that.