“Please stop putting stickers on your penis!”
The moment the words left my lips, I realized just how ridiculous that sentence was and how I never, ever imagined myself standing in the middle of my living room removing princess stickers from my son’s pants-less body.
Growing up, my experience with boys was about the same as my experience with caterpillars; they existed, they kinda freaked me out, and eventually they became something cute and interesting. I came from a family with four girls so I never really had any prep before the ultrasound tech announced we were having a boy.
Well what was I going to do with a boy? Our first kid was a girl and the easiest kid I had ever known (please don’t send hate mail).
She was the type of kid who loved to just sit and pretend to read to herself and didn’t want to be bothered. We played house and had tea parties and dressed up in fancy tutus together. Now I was about to throw an XY combo into the midst of this? What in the world would that look like?
Let’s talk about the word penis
I was totally unprepared for this foreign world. Outside of a couple anatomy classes and my fun college years, I didn’t know much about this, how to take care of it, or how to potty train someone who owned one.
Then my son was born.
This 10lb 9oz ball of adorableness with hands like catchers’ mitts was born, and suddenly all those big giant worries had simple answers.
Small answers for big questions
Cleaning a penis? Just wipe it from base to tip and don’t mess with the foreskin. Done. Easy.
No tutus and bows? Oh we still get fancy for tea parties every Tuesday.
Books? This kid is almost as big a bookworm as his sister. It’s not uncommon to see piles of their favorite books strewn around our house.
Turns out raising a boy is just as easy as raising a girl. Who knew!
Where they differ, however, is their energy level. While my daughter is still content to sit and read, my son is a living pinball machine. He runs around the house at full speed, bouncing off the couch and rocketing back through the kitchen, only to do it all over again.
One time when he was still crawling, he was frustrated at how long it was taking him to get down the stairs so he rolled up in a ball and threw himself down the rest of the way. Or at least tried. No one panic, I was right there and caught him after about two stairs and we took him straight to the chiropractor. All was well.
Using a lifeline
In desperation I called my sister—who has the only other boy in our family right now—to ask if I was just crazy unprepared for the amount of energy this XY mix would have or if it was just my kid.
She lovingly reassured me that this was pretty typical boy behavior as her son tried to snowboard down their stairs that same week.
A very curious creature
The only other thing I was unprepared for was the obsession with his penis. He won’t leave that thing alone.
We just finished potty training because he was so excited to learn to use the big potty. So for about a week we let him run around the house naked from the waist down.
Learning to potty where he was supposed to was not the problem. The problem was having to ask him not to touch, smash, pull, or twist his penis every two seconds.
No, there was no body shaming involved. However, smearing peanut butter on your penis during lunch is not hygienic, nor is it good table manners.
I have found that the obsession over his penis has subsided a bit now that he is fully potty trained and back to wearing pants on a regular basis. However, I do not think we are out of the woods on this one yet.
It’s not all chaos
It may seem silly to moms who only have boys or had a boy first or grew up with brothers, but I truly did not know what I was getting into with #boymomlife.
And the fun part is, there is a completely different side to this life. I get giant bear hugs. I get lap cuddles. I get a little shadow. And right now I get to be his favorite and I am just fine with that.
Lord knows the day will come too soon when he favors another girl over me.
So, I’ll rest in the fact that right now, in his eyes I can do no wrong. I’ll crawl around on the floor playing dinosaurs. Because this boy life may be messy, energetic, and chaotic at times but it is also sweet, gentle, and full of passion. I for one would not trade it for the world.