When people discover I have three boys, they usually respond in a shocked and sympathetic way, as if I have been afflicted with a dreaded disease. But other all-boy moms just smile that knowing smile that says, “I get it.”
Boy moms get it. Boy moms say things they never thought would actually come out of their mouths. Let alone to people who come from their own genes! Things like, you can’t eat your lunch sitting in the dishwasher. Or, please don’t use the foyer mirror to check if you wiped your bum properly. Or, please don’t drink the water dripping off the end of your brother’s penis in the shower.
I swear those words have actually come out of my mouth.
But other boy moms get it. Other boy moms could probably add their own hilarious stories.
All-girl moms… not so much. They are cool, calm and collected. They get to wear white. And have pretty things. And are always clean. They get peaceful times where they sit with their daughters and colour, or flip through Pinterest, or look at nail art. They have tea parties and flip through magazines. Quiet! They know what quiet is! I’m particularly jealous of the quiet. For a boy mom, quiet is a sure sign that some hell is about to break loose somewhere, or someone has got hold of a box of matches and is quietly trying to set the cat’s tail on fire.
Boy moms. They are the ones who are always scrambling. Their hair is never perfect. They never, EVER wear white. There are mismatched socks in their cars that give off odours one can only hope to survive by plunging your nostrils into a Vicks chest rub tub! They are surrounded by odours – and not of flowers and perfume. The odours can be frightening. When boys get in your car after sports, and sneakily slip off their boots despite numerous life threatening pleas for them to never, EVER, remove their shoes in a confined space, you will know about it instantly because that smell is so awful and pungent that even a boy mom, with a seasoned stomach, will be gagging and retching until that window comes down and fresh air fights to replace the stench. There are farts too. Farts are part and parcel of every hour. Unflushed toilets are not for the feint hearted. Boys are just NOT for the feint hearted.
But boys are fun. Something is always happening that makes you laugh – or so incredulous that it makes for great stories later – once you have had some wine and allowed your pulse to slow down to almost normal.
I’m always amused when friends with daughters visit. My kids will be doing usual boy things, and the girl moms are turning white with fear. “Do you know that your son is in the tree?” or “Should they be jumping off the trampoline into the pool?” “Is it ok for them to play badminton? On the roof? Naked?”
I just laugh. They will be fine. My freak-out tolerance has long since been dampened to cope with the daily roof climbs, tree swinging, bug poking, reptile catching, and the dirty unidentifiable stuff that I need to deal with. And there is hair colour. Thank goodness for hair colour!
Boys are a unique breed, there are no two ways about it. They are spirited and fiery, they are mischievous, risk taking crazy beings. They are noisy and messy and not particularly clean. They make us frazzled and we feel like we permanently run on adrenalin. They are silly and hilarious. They can reduce us to tears and bring us to an exasperation level like nothing else. They are amazing, life-loving, endlessly energetic humans, who look so deceptively angelic in their sleep. They certainly make life exciting. They can melt your heart in a single, dirty, boisterous hug. And they can ignite a temper faster than rocket fuel.
But don’t be too quick to shake your heads at us, all-girl moms, because one day, one day your girls will marry our boys. And then we will be laughing with you.