As the lone female in a house of boys, one of which is my husband, I get to see the difference between the sexes on a daily basis. Let me preface this with the fact that I have always been considered a Tomboy. My main staple on television is sports, I only own a few pairs of shoes (most of which are sneakers), and I love to drive my husband’s pick-up truck. I am guilty of frequently leaving the house without make-up and wearing an oversized sweatshirt (which is most likely my husbands). It’s not that I don’t care about the way that I look; it’s just that I don’t have time. Occasionally I will pass a mirror and notice that it may be time for a trip to the salon, just so I can have two eyebrows instead of one. Despite all this, I love everything about being a woman and a mother. I often remember almost feeling bad for my husband that he couldn’t experience pregnancy, although given the opportunity I’m sure he would have said “Nah, I’m good”. My feelings of sympathy quickly turned to resentment when I couldn’t sneeze or laugh without peeing my pants, or sleep because our little bundle of joy was attempting gymnastic moves all night. I would frequently press my belly against his back when we were in bed just so we could “share” these moments. He didn’t even wake up…..
Being the mother of boys is certainly very interesting. They are silly, rambunctious, and can occasionally be really gross. They are also extremely LOUD in everything they do. I will often be on the phone and have people ask me if I have birds because they have a high pitched screech when they get excited. I can deal with all of these things, except the gross part. The amusement that they have with their bodily functions has really become ridiculous. The word “poop” can lead to hours of giddiness. Let me add that their father is no exception. Whenever one farts, the other two will laugh. This tends to lead to farting contests. I do not participate in them, but I do need to pay attention just to make sure one of them is not trying too hard to participate. I’ve always wondered if the difficulty in potty training boys stems from the fact that being dirty doesn’t bother them. They would wait for the last possible second to warn me that they needed to use the bathroom. The words “I have to go potty” were immediately followed by “oops, I just did”. Most times I didn’t even get a warning; I would just notice that the front of their pants were completely soaked. I’ve heard stories about little girls that are training that would cry if they peed or would actually ask for a diaper because they needed to poop. I wish that my boys would have done me that courtesy. Instead I had to result to sniffing butts to find the guilty culprit, and even when I found him he would claim that he didn’t do it.
The lack of shame that they seem to have also stands out to me. I have tried, on numerous occasions, to explain the purpose of the hole in the front of their underwear to no avail. It should eliminate the need to drop their pants in order for them to relieve themselves. I can’t tell you how many times I have looked out the window into the backyard and found one of them, bare butt hanging out, peeing on the lawn. I am guilty of shrugging it off, simply because the act did not create additional laundry for me. As a matter of fact, while I was writing this, I noticed that my four year went into the garage. When I opened the door to see what he was doing I noticed a big wet spot on the floor. “Did you just pee in here??” “Yeah, I couldn’t make it into the bathroom” Funny, you made it into the garage though…the bathroom was closer. It is a different story when they are across the street, facing the road, pants around their ankles, peeing. Again, if there aren’t any witnesses I tend to be OK with it. Once, while we were on an outing with my son’s Kindergarten class, my younger son brought me over to a pond that had fish in it. While pointing out the fish to me he said “See the really big fish over there…when I peed in here he came right to the top!” WHAT??? You peed in there?? I was mortified, yet not so much so when I realized there wasn’t anyone near the pond that could have seen him do it. Considering the fact that I did not have a change of clothes for him I thought, no harm no foul.
I have always felt pressure with my boys to raise a “man” and not a “wuss”. When they fall my husband feels the need to say things like “shake it off” or “rub some dirt on it” (never understood that one). But I still feel the need to hold them and kiss it better. When they cry, they are told not to be a baby. They are taught that they shouldn’t cry, or be sensitive. It’s ironic that the things I feel pressured to teach them, are the things that adult women hate about adult men. I don’t want to raise “men” who don’t have feelings. My oldest son told me one day “Mommy, I like you so much that it hurts my belly sometimes”. How could I ever discourage something like that?? I’m sure one day, my Daughter-in-laws will be grateful that I felt this way.
I am often asked if I wish I'd had a girl. Given the fact that my Doctor refused to sign a contract stating my next child would be a female, I have decided not to try. A family of four works for me...we fit comfortably in a booth, and can easily travel in my compact car. I do sometimes think of the bond that I have formed with my own mother now that I have children and long for the opportunity to share that with a daughter. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason though, and I will take what was given to me- two beautiful boys that make me laugh everyday. Plus given the choice between going to see Monster Trucks, or Princesses on Ice, I'd take Monster Trucks all day long....