10 Things Moms of Boys Must Do (5/23/14)

1. You must love bath time. And by “bath time” I don’t mean you yourself sitting there in a candle-lit bathroom with an inflatable pillow and a tub full of luxurious rose-scented suds. I mean you must love giving baths, because boys require a lot of them. 

 
2. You must think farts are funny. Boys think farts are funny: period. And the way you handle that can determine your stress level. If you laugh with them, you’ll all benefit. If you try to get them to stop laughing about it, it will only make things worse. 
 
3. You must be prepared for constant - CONSTANT - battle with the toilet. From the time I found out I was expecting my first boy, I was dead-set on one thing: teaching him to use the toilet properly. You know, putting the seat down and stuff. Common courtesy. They all sprinkle when they tinkle.
 
4. You must rethink your standards of “safety.” Okay, nobody call child protective services  –  They jump off of things and slide down things and climb up things and roll and tumble and tackle and leap and pounce and run. ALL THE TIME. 
 
5. You must not be surprised at drama. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me, “Oh, you’re so lucky – boys are way less dramatic than girls.” … Really? Because my boys are as dramatic as they come. There is plenty of stomping, eye rolling, sobbing, shouting, door slamming, and general sassiness going on around this place. 
 
6. You must be prepared for messes. Sometimes I go slightly insane at the condition of my house. But unless you can afford to hire a full-time housekeeper, messes are just something you’ll have to deal with.  No matter how often you yell and threaten tell them, boys are just not that conscientious about tracking in mud, or grass clippings, or getting toothpaste all over the place, or spilling milk and then maaaaybe half-assed wiping it up with, say, the corner of the tablecloth. 
 
7. You must have a lot of food on hand at all times. A tiny, twig-like eight-year-old will annihilate a man-sized portion of breakfast and complain that he’s still hungry. And they always. Want. To snack. 
 
8. You must be prepared to go through LOTS. And LOTS. Of JEANS. You will be astonished at how fast they can ruin a seemingly-sturdy pair. Denim is supposed to be this rugged fabric, and it may work for lumberjacks, but it’s no match for the crawling, scraping, staining, and scooting of little boys. 
 
9. You must be cool with nudity. I don’t know how  boys go through so many pairs of jeans because, hell, it isn’t like they wear them at home. In fact, it isn’t like they wear anything at home. Boys start stripping down the instant they get home from school. Sometimes they lounge around in their underwear, and sometimes they forego the underwear altogether.
 
Which brings us to my very last piece of advice …
 
10. You must get used to “The Grab.” I’m talking about the penis. The wiener. The tallywhacker. The wee-wee, the pee-pee, the goods, whatever term you use. They are going to grab it every chance they get  They’ll pull on it, stretch it, flick it, anywhere, any time they can get access to it.  They do it in a way someone might, say, bite their nails or twiddle their thumbs: automatically, absentmindedly, innocently, frequently. After a while, you won’t even notice.

by Rita Templeton