I never pictured myself as the mother of two boys. Which isn't to say that I had a specific vision of myself parenting girls, it's just ... I don't know, I guess I was never really able to imagine parenting two kids at all, until of course it became a loud, messy, and exhausting reality.
I have sometimes felt a bit sad about the fact that I'll never know what it's like to have a daughter, but of course I love my boys beyond all reason. Like every parent says, no matter what combination of children they're blessed with, I tell people I wouldn't have it any other way, and that's the truth.
My suspicion is that every parent thinks their own home situation is the craziest, and I have no way of knowing what anyone's life is like other than my own. That said, I still secretly believe that living with two boys -- three if you count the husband, which I often do, especially when it comes to cleaning up other people's messes -- is complete insanity, and here are a few reasons why:
Dicks. Do you remember that scene in Reservoir Dogs when Mr. Brown's talking about his theory behind the lyrics for "Like a Virgin" and and he says, "I'm talking morning, day, night, afternoon, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick"? That is, if you'll pardon the crudeness, what it's like to parent two little boys. I mean, substitute "penis" if that makes you feel better, but what I'm talking about is an uncomfortable INFLUX OF MALE GENITALIA. Even after the diaper stage, when you're constantly up close and personal with the penises, there are STILL so many penises! ALL DAY LONG WITH THE PENISES! Because they're always peeing or yanking their pants down or doing something just totally weird and gross (what's with the Public Al Bundy Adjustments, kids?) and sometimes they loudly marvel OUT LOUD over their TINY MORNING WOOD and friends, no one told me motherhood would involve boners.
Gun noises. Pshew. Pshew. Pshew pshew pshew pshew pshew pshew pshew pshew pshew. Would you like to know how many times a day I hear those noises? Oh I cannot tell you because MATH DOES NOT GO THAT HIGH. The extra annoying thing is that, okay, I don't know if you've ever noticed this, but on the old cartoon G.I. Joe, the one my 6-year-old is totally enamored with, they don't shoot actual bullets -- instead, they shoot these laser things which I guess are less violent or whatever but the point here is that they sound even more irritating that a bullet noise because of the cheesy outer-space laser element and anyway, THAT'S what I hear all day. Laser. Gun. Noises.
Dumb choices. I'm not saying that little girls don't do stupid things, I'm sure they totally do. But in my experience of having been around other peoples' little girls, girls just seem slightly different from boys -- in that they don't have a Whack-a-Mole game where their brains should be. I'm constantly amazed at the bad decisions my children make, from their method of hurrying through crowded public spaces with their heads cranked all the way around backwards like owls so they constantly bash into light poles/shopping carts/carefully-constructed towering pyramids of canned green beans, to their multitudes of Jackass-esque maneuvers that invariably end in someone weeping in agony because my GOD, who could have EVER PREDICTED that riding a bike FULL SPEED INTO A GARBAGE CAN in order to try and do an "endo" would freaking HURT?
Pint-sized machismo. "Ew, Dylan, you don't want to play with that -- it's for girls." "Wow, Mom, I didn't know you could use a wrench!" "I'm drawing a spaceship and Daddy is flying it! You can be the cook and make us sandwiches and stuff." Can someone please make me a T-shirt: I MADE MY CHILDREN IN MY OWN BODY AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY SEXISM.
Of course, there are one or two benefits to little boys as well. Their unabashed enthusiasm. Their grubby, sunny hugs. The heartbreaking architecture of their bodies, where you can almost see the men they will be someday -- their ribs, their shoulders, their strong sturdy selves -- hiding behind their knobby knees and soft bellies. Their pure and utter awesomeness, turned all the way up to 11.
Do you think boys are any crazier than girls, or are all kids just plain nuts?
Image via Linda Sharps
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside