Monday, May 10, 2010

Cliff notes for mother's of boys

When I was younger I spent many hours dreaming of motherhood.

I only had sisters, so naturally I dreamed of life with my daughters.

I dreamed of playing barbies with my girls, having tea parties, playing dress up and spending hours shopping together. I dreamed of their adorable pink and purple clothes, dance recitals with tutus and glitter, and princess birthday parties.

I wondered if we would have sleepovers filled with painted toenails, putting on makeup and giggling about boys.

And God laughed.

When our 1st son was born I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

What was I supposed to do with a little boy?

I was scared to death that I would ruin his life because I knew nothing about raising a little boy.

Fortunately God did an excellent job creating an amazing bond between a mother and her child so strong that it doesn't matter what lies between their little legs or what color their itty bitty clothes are so madly in love with them you can't imagine life any different.

That is exactly what has happened to me.

Then you learn all about boys and begin filling your brain with important boy facts.

If you are a fellow mother of boys you can relate. If you are a new mother to a little boy or have never had boys you better take notes. Chances are this information may be beneficial to you in some shape or form.

I decided I am going to make cliff notes for mother's of boys...if only I had been privileged to this information earlier...hopefully I haven't scarred them for life.

  • Boys have only one volume level: LOUD. Do not waste your energy trying to compete with this or trying to understand why they came with no other volume choices. Also, they are only capable of being quiet for a very short period of time. Save the precious moments of quiet for emergencies: church, funerals, or baby brother's nap times.
  • Burping and farting will occur in your home. Voluntarily and involuntarily. We all know that ladies do not fart. They burp, but in a ladylike fashion. Boys, however, do both. After many frustrating moments trying to stop these horrible habits or at least decrease them, I have since focused on not allowing them at the dinner table. It is a work in progress. Bottom line: Pick your battles.
  • There are magnetic forces that attract boys to three things: 1) themselves, 2) anything that may possibly be dangerous, and 3) everything that will make a mess. Don't try to understand it ladies. It is just how they are made. You can try to depolarize the magnets, but it doesn't work either. Instead I offer you these suggestions that have helped me cope with this reality.
  1. First, when the magnetic force between their hands and their boy parts can't be severed, make them wash their hands...every time you find them in this predicament. I have found this curbs the behavior for the most part because they hate washing their hands. Most importantly don't make a big deal out of it.
  2. Secondly, I have spent countless hours instructing the boys on safety and what is acceptable to me. Pretending you are a superhero is great, but trying to jump off your bunk bed and fly with your cape is not great. Having a "sword fight" with your brother is great, but using metal bars you found outside to do so is not great. The other part of this is realizing that God is in control and you can only pray they will chose to follow your safety guidelines when you aren't around. For those times when they are with their father and allowed to do "unsafe things" in your eyes, look the other way, take a deep breath and pray.
  3. Thirdly, boys can be cleaned. It is no easy task, and the color of the water after is enough to make a person nauseous, but it can be done. Don't allow them to wear nice clothes on a daily basis. This way you can celebrate with them when they want to show you their "creation" in the backyard after 6 inches of rain and lots of mud. They are also able to make messes at catastrophic proportions. Use this to your advantage: like allowing them to "wash" the floor. They will inevitably get water everywhere and get themselves soaked. In the end you have a clean floor and clean boys.
  • Shopping = death. Unless you are planning on picking out something special for them or a friend. I do have to say Elijah might be the exception to this rule. He is an excellent shopper and loves to just go along for the ride. Jonah, however, hears the word and his world is ending as he knows it. He is on the floor moaning, groaning, and writhing about. Fortunately this is how Richard behaves when he hears the word so I had some prior experience with this area.
  • It doesn't matter what it is supposed to be, little boys can make a weapon out of ANYTHING! A stick, a hanger, a sock, etc. They come with a software installed in their brains titled "101 ways to turn ordinary objects into weapons"
  • Boys are attracted to things that are fast and blow up. Especially if it is a movie and one involving superheroes. Despite efforts you may make to shield your little men from these facts of reality, it will do no good. Instead, I encourage you to embrace this reality and start studying up. The movies are actually quite entertaining and it is a fun way to spend time with your boys. Isaac has proven that this bond begins in utero. Towards the end of my pregnancy with Isaac we watched lots of movies (that will happen on bed rest). Including ones that involved lots of action and explosives. He would kick like crazy during these moments. Not during the chick flicks. On Mother's Day we all went to Iron Man 2. I fortunately brought a bottle with and was able to watch the movie, only because Isaac was happiest facing forward, leisurely drinking his bottle and taking it all in. He is only 2 months old!
  • One of my favorites is if you ever see your son fly through the house into the bathroom and you ask what they are doing and their response is "just washing my hands" don't ask them why or what for. Mainly because you don't really want to know the answer and also because it is best to just encourage a good habit and pray they won't contract any horrible disease from whatever they touched or whatever they did.
  • You also should make a habit of not only checking your little boys' pockets for "treasures" before washing them, but the washing machine in general. I have found many interesting things in there. Who knows how they got there? My boys don't seem to know!
  • The best part about little boys is they love unconditionally. Their short-term memory loss allows for them to forget if you had to discipline them or if you happened to loose your temper a few minutes before. They will dish out hugs and kisses in between fighting off Batman's enemies, or saving the world as a brave warrior. They also spend most days pretending I am a princess and make sure I am protected and safe. You can't beat that!

I may not be able to name all the Disney princesses, get to have tea parties, or play barbies.

The only toenails I paint are my own and my shopping partner is my mom.

I can, however, reenact most movies involving superheroes, build pretty much anything out of Lego's, and make a mean PB &J shaped like the bat signal.

My days consist of disputing feuds between brave warriors, being "rescued" from bad guys, and the only costumes at our house are ones worn by superheroes.

The clothes in my kids closets aren't pink and cute, but have knees tattooed with grass stains from the latest wrestling match or sleeves stained from dinner or dessert.

My life as a mother is nothing like I dreamed it would be when I was a little girl.

It's so much better.

I would have laughed at you if you told me I would be the mother of 3 boys someday!

I have no idea what God has in store for us down the road.

I do know that I am one happy momma of 3 amazing boys and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

P.S. I am thinking of starting a support group for Mothers of Boys...the M.O.B maybe?

Sounds fitting doesn't it? If you are interested in joining let me know.

1 comment:

Stacy said...

What a great post! Fortunately or unfortunately, I'll live the life of boys through you. I'm not sure I could handle all that fun:) Hope to see you and the Superheroes soon:)