So, I will be the mother of two boys. Two boys. TWO BOYS.
I think I have mentioned before that I am not used to boys. I didn't have any brothers and all but one of my cousins were girls. I prefer flowers to sticks. I prefer butterflies to dirt. I prefer Glee to Spike TV. I am not used to the mass destruction that follows little boys around like dogs follow the smell of steak.
And actually, it's not just little boys that wreak havoc on a home - it is also male dogs and husbands. I am surrounded by penises. And I'm about to add one more to the club.
Growing up, my sister and I broke our share of lamps and made our share of messes. We did a fair amount of damage. But, boys? But, husbands? But, male bull terriers? They take the cake (no literally, my husband will take the cake right from my plate and my bull terrier will knock it off the table).
What happens when my boys and husband form their own little testosterone club? Where will that leave my sanity? Currently, my husband and son, Max, already have their own destructive ways of doing things together. For example, when I put my son to bed at naps and nighttime, I read him two books, sing him two songs, and then off he goes to bed. No problems, no drama. Just hugs and kisses.
When my husband puts him to bed? It is American Gladiators in my son's bedroom. Two nights ago, they knocked my son's ceiling fan off balance (now it shakes when it is on) because they were throwing balls at the ceiling and walls instead of reading a book. Then, they broke the pull chain off the ceiling fan because they were throwing toothpaste across the room instead of singing lullabies.
My husband long ago abandoned the bedtime routine, which had been working quite well for almost two years, for bedtime Ultimate Fighting Championships and reenactments of Jesse James is a Dead Man.
The day I found out I was having another boy, I was thrilled. I was just happy to finally know the sex and to know that all his proportions were right, he was growing at a normal pace and he had all his fingers and toes.
Then, the next day, I had to grieve a little bit. My dreams of buying Barbies and dolls for birthdays, baking cookies with my daughter for Christmas, shopping for wedding dresses and prom dresses, painting her tiny toenails - I had to let all of that go. It's not that I wasn't happy to have another boy, it was that I was sad to not have a girl. And then everyone told us we are lucky for only having boys and that boys are so much cheaper and less complicated than girls. Which I believed...until yesterday...
Yesterday, the mass destruction that followed my son around was phenomenal. You see, Max and I were in the kitchen eating chips and hummus. We both loooove hummus. After a few minutes of quietly eating, he grabbed a chip from me and ran into the living room. And not five seconds later, I heard the biggest crash that I have ever heard in my house.
I was terrified! All these horrible thoughts went through my head, like the bookcase fell on top of him or he knocked the TV off its stand and it landed on his head. I ran around the corner already almost in tears...to find him standing next to a mass on the floor consisting of our now broken floor lamp, a wooden floor vase filled with dried sticks, a clay vase from our fireplace mantle, and an 8x10 frame. There were shards of metal from the lamp and pieces of broken clay from the vase and snapped twigs all over the floor. The frame had fallen apart all around the fireplace. And there he stood, thank God still in his shoes from the neighborhood walk we had taken twenty minutes before, saying, "Uh-oh" over and over again. He wasn't scared. He wasn't upset. He was just saying, "Uh-oh" like all he had just done was drop his sippy cup on the floor.
I was so grateful he wasn't hurt that I wasn't even upset about the mess or the broken decor. But, it did lead me to think: I don't buy the theory that boys are cheaper than girls. While you have to buy dresses and jewelry and bows and countless other accessories for girls, you have to spend large amounts of money to replace all the things that your boys break into smithereens.
In the past week, my boys (my son and my husband) have broken a ceiling fan, the pull chain, a lamp, a vase, a frame, and several dried twigs from my mantle. And the amount of time I spend cleaning up after my boys is surely worth a load of money: scraping oatmeal off the carpet after my son stuck his whole foot in his breakfast this morning, daily spilled coffee grounds on the kitchen counter from my husband, washing yogurt off the couch, cleaning up dog pee from the bedroom floor after our male dog has marked his territory for the three thousandth time, wiping up puddles of water from the kitchen floor because my husband refuses to dry his hands off with an actual towel, washing our bedding, washing my son's bedding, washing the dog's bed...and now, in September, we are adding another penis into the mix.
I am fully aware of the chaos that awaits me in the near future. And while I am a little overwhelmed at the thought of my next few years of motherhood, I also couldn't be happier about it. I am going to have another boy to love. Another smiling face in the family, another tiny voice, another sound of laughter, another sweet, sleeping face to stare at every night, another boy to love. I'll make it through the messes and the territory marking and the hyperactivity. I just may need a few extra spa days and girls nights or quiet nights alone reading a book. And Mother's Day from now on better be a pampering like no other.
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