I have been “mothering” for a little over six years, now. Actually, if you want to be real about it, I’ve been “momma bearin’ it” for a little over six years. I’ve done a lot of things I had previously said I’d never do. I’ve said a lot of things I never thought I’d say — or have to say (one of my favorites: “Please stop trying to lick your brother’s eyeball”). I’ve slept more than I thought I would have, and I’ve also slept much less than is probably necessary to function. I’ve figured out that I’ll cover pretty much anything in ketchup if it’ll get my kids to eat and that I may be an enabler to my two-year old’s fruit snack addiction. That said, I have learned quite a lot living with little boys. I’ve Google’d, Bing’d, Wikipedia’d, and WebMd’d pretty much everything there is to Google, Bing, Wikipedia, and WebMd regarding kids (and on how to maintain my sanity sans booze).
I posted a status the other day on my page about needing to learn to check the inside of my shoes before putting them on thanks to having Things 1 & 2 running around. That got me to thinking, “What all have I learned since I’ve been a boy mom?”, which inspired this post. This is the kind place my brain goes to around 10 o’clock every night instead of closing up shop for the day. But it’s to your benefit this morning that my poor old brain is overactive, because here are my top ten things I’ve learned while living with my little
- It is absolutely vital that one check one’s shoes before putting them on. It is in my house, anyway. I’ve killed many a toe thanks to Lego blocks and even small action figures finding their way to the deep, dark recesses of my footwear. I check those bad boys with a flash light and, some days, even something pointy so I don’t have to sacrifice my fingers. My kids think they have jokes these days and I’m just waiting to “find” a frog or something in there.
- No matter how long and hard you preach, socks and underwear will likely never make it to the washer. Shirts, pants, and even a stray tennis shoe will at least get to the floor in front of the washer. I’ve washed plenty of change and even a wallet or two (oops…). But I have to check under beds and other pieces of furniture for undergarments. Connor, the two-year old, has taken to throwing his socks away these days, so I also raid the trash. It’s pretty fantastic.
- Your kids will never need you for anything of dire importance once your buttocks are firmly planted on the toilet. They will, however, need you to open a jar of pickles (why are you even in the kitchen?!), to ask about the theory of relativity (relatively speaking), and “why is brother wearing a blue shirt, because wasn’t he in green earlier?” (<— that happened).
- Sleep is a distant memory that I’ve grown to resent. A night without the kids? Sleep! Not. even. close. Housework? Yep. Binge Netflixing? Naturally. Simply sitting in the quiet? Sure. But sleep? Not I. I don’t sleep when my kids are home, and I physically cannot sleep if they’re gone for the night. I’ve learned that I’m an utter weirdo, in that respect.
- “Batman and Mario are most certainly real and how dare you question their existence?!” That conversation not only took place, but I felt sure that Gabe was looking at resumes for other mothers on the slick afterward. I’ve learned that Mario, Batman, and even the Ninja Freaking Turtles are very real to little boys and damnit, do not question it until they’re at least in high school. And even then… sore subject.
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse will buy you a good five minutes worth of a shower. That’s probably it, though, unless your kids zombie out to TV. My oldest is guilty of that, but the little one will notice five minutes in that he’s not glued to my ass.
- Little boys are rough and sturdy, but only if you let them be that way. When Gabe was very little (about Con’s age), I watched his every move like a hawk. Someone called me out on it and I backed off slightly. Now that we have Connor? Psh. Unless there is a tremendous amount of blood or bones jutting out, our motto is, “Shake it off.” Insurance premiums are expensive enough without tacking on minor cut and bobo costs.
- Little guys will always need cuddles even if they’re embarrassed to admit it. Gabe has turned a page in his cuddle bear life; he no longer appreciates it when I give him a kiss (or a hug!) goodbye at daycare. I’m lucky to get a fist bump. But, if I play my cards right and no one is looking, he hugs me tight just as I’m walking out the door. Only for a second, though — “the guys are looking, mom.” Connor is only cuddly on his terms… he’s catlike, in that sense. A grouchy little turd who wants cuddles one minute and will claw your eyes out the next if he thinks you’re enjoying getting loves. I’ve learned to be as nonchalant as possible with that kid in regards to “love time”.
- There is nothing little dudes won’t take apart and try to put back together. As is the case, my house looks like a replica set of “Sanford and Sons” on the regular. We’re working on it, but some days it doesn’t even pay to act like I care.
- And finally, I’ve learned that little boys are tough and rowdy and put up a great “he-man” face, but they are pretty insecure little creatures, too. Most days I tire quickly of being constantly called upon and tugged at… but I know one day it’ll all be long gone and I’ll miss it. Funny thing, missing what you had once it’s gone. So this evening I think we’ll curl up on the couch once homework, bath time, and supper is done. We’ll have popcorn and watch Hocus Pocus and I’ll live in the moment while it’s here. And I’ll probably wonder, most likely around 10 o’clock, what else they’ll teach me. And I’ll wish I knew where the time goes and why, when it does, does it go so quickly.