Life with kids is messy. Life with little boys is the messiest!
I grew up in a quiet household, just my parents and myself; we read, we cooked as a family, we went to the theater. Sure, I played outside but I definitely avoided dirt and getting dirty at all costs.
Fast forward thirty some years, and here I am the mom of two boys! I was completely unaware of the chaos capable of being caused by my lovable little mischief makers. No one could have ever prepared me for the complete mayhem of living with two little men. Yet, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
While my guys can drive me absolutely crazy sometimes, I am undoubtedly a better person for being their mom: they have taught me how to relax, how to dig for worms, to roll with the punches, to find humor is almost every situation, and ultimately how to love absolutely unconditionally.
It is my fervent hope that my boys will always know how much they are loved, and that one day – perhaps when they are grown men – they will have learned not to pee all over the bathroom floor!
Until that fateful day, I am sure that I will continue to expound upon the below truths that living with and raising my little guys has taught me thus far.
You bathroom will always have that funky smell
It just will. No matter how many times you clean that toilet seat, bowl or – let’s be honest here – the entire area surrounding the toilet, it will continue to stink. I used to think it was just my bathroom, and my boys. Nope. It’s a secret club that moms are understandably hesitant to admit membership to. However, once you own up to being a part of the group, you’ll find that we all agree: Bathroom Funk is a confirmed and verified powder room pandemic! While it’s extremely gross and often very annoying, it’s actually really funny. I’ve had many, good laugh-until-you-cry moments with my girlfriends, comparing, contrasting and even describing our own smelly experiences.
Your house will often look like a tornado ripped right through it
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard the phrase “wow, he sure is busy!”, my husband and I could retire comfortably tomorrow. I used to be a little put-off when people said this to me about my kids, but really it’s a compliment. “Busy” is more of an umbrella term, encompassing so many different traits and characteristics of my little guys. Yes, they are both physically active; we try to get outside everyday to work off the amazing amount of energy that they possess. They are also curious, intelligent and eager to learn. A typical day inside includes train track building, drawing, painting, puzzle configuring, Lego building, creating cities and skyscrapers out of blocks, or helping to make something in the kitchen. While we try our best to contain the inherent mess, more often than not it takes over the entire house! I try not to let it bother me. Everything has a place, and eventually finds its way back where it belongs. Amidst the chaos, fun is being had and memories are being built.
Your furniture will become a trampoline
Yes, you can tell your boys that jumping on the furniture is not allowed. You can say it until you’re practically blue in the face. It doesn’t matter. At some point, your furniture will eventually be used as a trampoline. This used to drive me absolutely crazy! I eventually decided to broker a deal with my guys: the basement couch (in the toy room area) is a-OK for limited and supervised shenanigans; all other pieces of furniture are off limits, especially other peoples’ couches!
The outside will inevitably come inside
Dirt, sand, snails, worms – you name it, I’ve either seen it in my home or I’ve spotted my little culprits attempting to sneak such contraband inside. We had a snail and slug collection going all summer long on our patio. My older son even built a little house, complete with a garage and a thatched room to contain his new “pets”. Naively, I assumed he understood that the snails and slugs didn’t belong inside. But then it rained, and he didn’t want his snails to get wet. Thankfully the slugs didn’t come in, but the snails enjoyed a few days of air conditioning. Their smell eventually alerted my husband to their presence. Yuck!
Bodily function sounds are the ultimate in funny
If it makes a sound and especially if it smells, it’s funny. Potty words are also a major source of entertainment and amusement. What can I say? I definitely didn’t teach my little guys to wax poo-etic, it’s just what they do! I definitely make sure they understand that there’s a time and a place for such silliness. But ultimately, they’re little boys and little boys love potty talk! …Truth be told, I might know a few adults who find it humorous as well!
Why walk when you can run?
Running is not allowed on the first floor of our home. My boys know this. They understand when I tell them ad nauseum that running is simply not permitted. Does this stop my kiddos from running? In a word, NO! The pitter patter of feet across the wood floor getting faster and faster is not a welcome sound to my ears: I can actually feel my anxiety build and my blood start to boil. Something always breaks, someone consistently hits their head, and the ensuing tears are inevitable. I’ve even tried to confine it to the basement, without much success. The solution? I’m not entirely sure, but I’m hoping the hours spent outside coupled with hockey, swimming and tennis lessons will wear my little dudes out! Why walk when you can run absolutely everywhere? Maybe my fellow boy moms can shed some light on this one?
You will be forced to confront violence in the media sooner than you think
My children are allowed screen time, be it television or tablet. We definitely monitor content and quantity. Thomas the Tank Engine has always been a favorite. I think it’s adorable, with a positive message. Moreover, we’ve amassed countless toy trains and yard upon yards of train track pieces. My little guys spend hours configuring and manipulating multi-level train tracks. It’s pretty awesome! That being said, my Kindergartner is getting a little too old for Thomas and his Friends. He’s graduating to the next level of television programming and let me tell you, the options aren’t great. I am just astounded by the HUGE leap from feel-good cartoons with a positive message to ninja warriors, fighting and ultimately violence. Regardless of your stance on the topic, know that you will be confronted with it sooner than you think!
Someone will always be missing their pants
“Where are your pants?!” is a common question in our household. Not only do they come off, but they disappear. I’ve found errant pants under my bed, behind the couch, even in the freezer. Apparently it’s fun to go sans pants! Being someone who chooses and organizes outfits for the next day the night before, the missing pants game isn’t my favorite. But again, I’m learning to roll with it. There are worse things…..right?
Bumps and bruises are the norm
I will never forget taking my oldest son to the pediatrician for his one-year-old check-up. He had been walking and climbing for well over a month, and had numerous black, blue and even green bruises up and down his legs. They looked terrible! I felt so self conscious, like the doctor was going to look at me as an unfit parent. I actually said something, commenting on how active my little guy was, how often he fell and bumped himself while negotiating with his new skills and expanded environment. Thankfully, the doctor knowingly chuckled: he’d seen it all before and he knew nothing was amiss. Little did I know that I was in for a good six more years (and probably beyond!) of bruise and boo boo mending. We can’t keep band aids in stock, we simply go through them too quickly at our house. Boys are active and busy and bumping and bruising themselves well beyond their toddler years.
You, Mom, will be the center of their world
My kids love to look at pictures. When they recently discovered our wedding album in the storage closet (purposely “hidden” on an out-of-reach shelf to protect it from being destroyed) they had so much fun flipping through all of the pages. My older son can name everyone in the photos, but my three year old is still working on associating names with faces – particularly with our extended family members. When he came upon a picture of just my husband and myself, I teasingly asked him: “who’s that?”. He looked up at me with wide eyes and in an awed little voice said “that’s daddy, and a princess”. I think I melted right there on the spot! It was funny, sweet and so incredibly cute: definitely a moment I’ll always remember. When I told him it was me, he said “mommy’s a princess”. It just doesn’t get any better than that, and his statement is truly our relationship in microcosm: my little guy adores his mommy, and I try to soak up as much of his demonstrative love and affection as I can. Someday in the not so distant future, snuggles and hugs with mom will no longer be cool or acceptable. But for now, I am fortunate to have them in abundance.
Are you a mom of little boys?
What truths have your little men taught you?
What would you add to this list?