When God chooses you to be the mother of boys, he throws a good dose of laughter into your heart — just in case. I think he makes us pliable, yet strict, in preparation for what lies ahead.
And let’s face it — we never know what lies ahead.
But being a mother of boys and having a good sense of humor is never going to erase the fact that, yes, I am female, and yes, there’s a certain “gross” factor that still exists, even after spending more than a decade surrounded by little boys.
As any good parent knows, it’s always good practice to keep one ear to the grindstone at all times. I don’t call it eavesdropping, more of a personal protection policy against what’s pretty darn likely to happen next. The problem with this insurance is that it works OK when you’re at home, all hands are free and you can pretty much move in any direction at any given time. Doesn’t work so well when your hands are on 10 and 2, you’re watching the speedometer and navigating busy streets.
Take, for example, the conversation that tickled my ears last week.
I was driving through Bedford with my two youngest sons, ages 4 and 7. We were a few minutes from swim lessons at the Bedford pool when I heard toddler son Alex say, “I have two boogers. Don’t tell mom.”
Mom, of course, is only 18 inches away from toddler son in a quiet car. As soon as I could, I turned — against my better judgment — to see toddler son sitting in his car seat with each index finger pointing in the air, just inches away from his face.
That’s when older and much wiser son Lucas said, “Don’t eat those, Alex. You’ll die.”
Oh, yes, the conversation does get worse.
Being a person who prefers truth to fiction in parenting matters, no matter how little or well-intended it may be, I had a split second (all the while driving) to determine how I was going to convince toddler son not to eat his boogers, while also trying to explain to him that eating them won’t make him die.
The only thing I could come up with was, “Ooooh, Alex. Don’t do that. It’s gross.”
I know that wasn’t a stellar response, but give me a break — I’m still a girl.
“Seriously. It’s really, really gross,” I yelled to the back.
I won’t expand on what happened next. I handed back a Kleenex, and I can’t be sure if it was used or not. Really, though, I don’t want to know. Let’s face it. There are still a few things my parents don’t know, and sometimes, it’s best that way.
It’s why I carry sanitizing wipes in my glove box — I’m not just a mom of boys, but I am a prepared mom of boys.
A lot of people tell me boys are easier to raise than girls. I honestly wouldn’t know. I only have boys, after all. Those same people talk of how boys bring less drama to the picture, and explain that shopping for clothes is easier and less expensive.
Although I’m not entirely convinced all of that is true, boys are just that — boys.
I don’t have screaming, whining and crying, for the most part, but I do have jumping, climbing and boogers. And if you take away the bodily fluids, I’ll gladly opt for the daredevil feats over the drama. (I do have nieces so I’ve learned that much.)
I tell my best friends, who just all happen to have girls, that my biggest dilemma in a day is getting my boys to tame the “eek” factor. It usually means reminding them to change their clothing, take showers, brush their teeth and aim. And we share a good laugh when their girls show up at church camp with suitcases, while my son rolls in with a duffle bag.
I’m sure it’ll get worse, so I’ll just keep carrying the sanitizer and hope for the best.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Seriously? We're going to have four boys!!!
We giggled like school children in bed that night. Hubby said, "Four boys? We're going to have four boys?" To which I replied, "Think about it, honey. Is there anyone more equipped for this adventure than us?" He nodded with a smile.
We found out Monday that baby who kicks mommy constantly and loves to do somersaults within my womb is a baby boy. No question. Emery Keith Shetler is growing within.
And I can only smile.
Little man is beautiful, healthy and mommy is doing good. We're closing in on the 30-week mark, and life couldn't be more wonderful. (Although I am still trying to figure out how my belly has gotten this big, this fast.)
As he kicks me now, I am filled with love.
Life is an amazing thing. You meet your soulmate, fall in love and God graces you with a child. Our family circle is nearly complete.
All I can say, Emery, is that you'll join a family who is ready to welcome you and already loves you. We're a rowdy bunch (after all, we're mostly boys with a mommy mixed in), but you'll fit right in.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Guess I never grew up figuring on having a brood of boys. (And I say that in the same Ellie Mae tone as which it was intended.) I think when I played house, with all my dolls, tucked neatly in the closet that served as my cramped homestead, complete with blue and green flowered kitchen and self-created (used to be a shelf) bunk, I probably had an equal amount of girls and boys. Maybe more girls than boys, perhaps, as dolls usually seem to be a bit more on the feminine side.
Now, I have a brood of boys that is growing ...
Of course, only God knows if No. 4 is a boy, but I suspect he is. I suspect I was meant to be a Mom of Boys ... I mean, seriously, who could do this job with any more sanity than me? Who can laugh in the face of accidental cuss words, and shut up an entire car of screaming, yelling boys with a single stern voice? Who else would let a little boy fall asleep covered in sand and sweat, yet insist he brush his teeth? Who can kiss a slobbery face, seconds before that same slobbery face asks me to see if he has stinky feet, which of course, requires my nose to go where no nose should ever go? Who can do this and still love those little stinkers and laugh about their antics a million times a day?
That would be me, Mom of Boys.
I keep a notebook by my bed. I record antics as they happen, as MOB's memory often fails her. Yesterday's favorite? Alex, "Mom, will you give me a kiss?" Mom, "Of course. You can have a kiss anytime you want." Kiss transpires. Alex, "Thanks. Mommies are supposed to give kisses." Yes, indeed. Mommies are supposed to give kisses. Mommies are supposed to adore little boys, with sand in their toes and bugs in their hands.
Yes, I was meant to be a MOB, but fate only goes so far. After that, we simply must enjoy our privilege. Today, I thank God for making me a MOB.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Jacob has always been my "good son." And I say that knowing that any mother with a first born, parent-pleasing child will understand what I'm talking about.
He is the son who hates to disappoint. Hubby laughed last night when I told him that Jacob never even got dirty as a toddler. A speck of dirt on his hand would send him into panic mode, and he'd run into the house to wash his hands. His room was always tidy; toys never littered the floor. Harsh tones will break him; spankings were truly rare.
Yes, he gets in trouble. Yes, he doesn't always listen. Yes, he's been disciplined.
But, overall, he's been a breeze to raise.
Well, except for his affliction to all things pertaining to school. And his disdain for work.
When we first started giving him chores, Jacob ran screaming in the other direction. We persisted, however, and one day, we realized that no matter what we told this child to do, he did it -- no questions asked.
Granted, we don't ask much -- take out the trash, feed the dog, bathe the dog, clean your room or help pick up sticks and/or trash in the yard. He has very age-appropriate chores. Yet, not only does he do his chores without a gripe, but he often volunteers for more.
Because of this, parental units chatted and decided Jacob deserves an allowance. We settled on $5 a week, with bonuses for extra work. Jacob is thrilled. And we're quite proud of our 10-year-old.
A little work never hurt anyone. Work, in my opinion, has always taught a certain amount of responsibility. For Jacob, this is a big step and a very grown up step.
As Horace once noted, "Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work."