Thursday, December 11, 2008

Severe Weather Warning

“With boys, you always know where you stand. Right in the path of a hurricane.” ~Erma Bombeck, from Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession.

The hurricane starts at birth. The screaming boy doesn’t hesitate to tell you he’s not happy, and you, mom, are responsible for this error in judgment.

The baby’s scream means, “I’m hungry; I’m cold; my diaper is full of something unpleasant. And it’s your entire fault because you are sitting on the toilet, taking a shower, or folding clothes. You’re supposed to be standing here taking care of me when I call.”

Yet, you could make the argument that the hurricane begins at conception. Or at least say it’s a warning that life won’t be the same once the boy is born. You’re sick, your body changes, and you’re hungry, bordering on ravenous. Is this unique to carrying boys? I don’t know; I only had boys. But I know one thing, compared to women who had daughters, I had a ravenously hungry boy once he entered the world. It seemed that no sooner had I put him down after nursing him that he was crying for more. It was only eight years after I quit nursing him at four weeks that my neighbor, who had always had girls and her third child was a boy, realize that her newborn was more hungry and greedy at the boob than her daughters were. I breathed a sigh of relief because I thought all of my son’s problems were based on the fact that I quit nursing him at one month of life.

The eye of the storm only exists at night when they’re sleeping. Of course, doctors say you should go to bed when your kids do so you get enough sleep. I always laughed at that. I mean it’s the only time I became a person again. CSI, the news, and Everyone Loves Raymond stimulated me back to earth after a draining day of Barney and the Teletubbies.

Watch out, Mom. When Sonny starts walking, all the fun ends. He’s no longer cute and adorable. He’s now independent, curious, and irascible. Gone are all the pretty knick knacks and Grandma’s china. Gone is carrying the baby into Wal-Mart on a rainy December day. No, it’s now, grab the hand and tolerate the wailing when Sonny-boy wants to jump in the icky puddle-filled pothole in the busy parking lot.

Then it’ the playdates. I find a group of boys a lot more relaxing than mixed group of boys and girls. Boys like to jump on each other, go in fives down the slide, and find it great fun to walk in front of kids on swings. Whereas, little girls find it highly offensive when the boys decide to crash into her on the slide; pull her off the swing; or throw sand in her face.

And it only gets rougher as they get older. By the time boys are six, they know how to move the picnic table under the tree to climb onto it. Furthermore, they’re adapt at teaching their friends how to climb trees too. I’ve already had three to four boys in one tree—without the other mothers knowing what was going on.

You know where to stand with a boy—just don’t get in the way—or you’ll get mowed down with the rest of the debris.

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