We walked into a public bathroom yesterday and my four year old son said, “They shoulda put an arrow going down.”
It made me feel proud of my masking taped toilet lid project. I wanted to be proactive in helping focus my boys’ attention (and penises) downward. So, I created a large green masking tape arrow on the seat of the toilet to hopefully guide their eyes and pee into the toilet. My boys loved the crafty neon green addition. Apparently, my youngest thinks other public restrooms should incorporate this strategy.
The majority of the time when you walk into one of our bathrooms, you will smell the faint, yet, distinct and strong smell of urine. I have three boys who love to have “pee battles.” That’s right. They use their “light sabers” to have urine fights. I’ve caught them in the act. In airport bathrooms, mall bathrooms, bookstore bathrooms and obviously, in every single bathroom of our house.
You have to pick and prepare to lose certain battles in parenting all boys. I actually have a hard time not laughing sometimes when one of them burps or says the word “poop” or when they are all happily running around naked before their bath. Which lasts around an hour or more. I have always used the bath as a pack n’ play of sorts. Except, they’re not itching to get out. Quite the opposite, they love the potion shops and other crazy games they play in the luke-cold water. The reality of the situation (99% of the time) is that I am utterly, undeniably and completely in love with these boys that destroy my house, break A LOT of stuff, spill drinks constantly and urinate everywhere. Well, except into the toilet.
Their energy is fascinating. Limitless. Inspiring. Somebody needs to find a way to bottle it up and put it into a Starbucks drink. The three of my boys have devised an efficient brotherly system where energy is neither lost nor gained but constantly distributed back and forth between one another. It’s hard for them to stay still during meal times. Just the other night, we had a dinner time display of everyone’s muscles. I was honored that my boys thought my biceps were enormous as they asked in admiration, “how did they get SO big?” They’re really not that big, but my biceps didn’t mind the flashing lights from the little boy paparazzi. My six year old boys immediately got up from the dinner table and began doing push-ups and chin-ups. Then they quickly asked me while flexing, “do they look bigger, Mom?” Not yet, boys. Not yet.
They can be rough and tumble, wrestling and throwing dodge balls everywhere kind of boys, but they also have the most sensitive, beautiful and kind-hearted, forgiving spirits. They tell me, “I love you, Mom” in the van while we’re driving or at the dinner table or while we’re sitting on the couch. At all times of the day. They never cease to amaze me with the fragile thoughts that tumble delicately out of their mouths, like my four year old asking me, “Will I see God when I die? Does God wike (like) hugs?” I’m pretty sure God loves hugs, I told him. Big, bear hugs which happen to be my boys favorite kind to dish out.
Random folks at the grocery store and even people that know me well ask me all the time, “are you going to try for a girl?” There are so many ways to respond to this but most of my responses would be too lengthy and passionate. Of course there are moments when I think, “it would be fun to have a daughter.” Like the other night at Taylor Swift when I saw a bazillion cute excited little girls. Or sometimes when I’m hormonal and nobody will listen to me and my boys keep wanting to barge in the bathroom….that smells like, you guessed it, urine. The awesome thing, sometimes camouflaged by the chaos, is that my boys always have this contagious zeal for life. For exploring. For creating. For nurturing. For collecting. For laughing. And I wouldn’t trade this excitement for anything. Ever.
There’s a saying, “Never look a gift horse in the mouth.” Also known as counting your blessings. I’m beyond grateful for the three boys that call me “Mom,” “MAAAAM”, “Mommy,” and “Mama!” And I know I’m not the only proud mom of all boys. So, please be thoughtful and don’t ask a mom of boys if she’s trying for a girl. Or don’t look at all of her children and say in a pitiful tone, “ALL boys?…I feel sorry for you.” Use that energy to feel sorry for starving, orphaned children or some other cause way more in need of your sympathy, not her. If she’s like me, she would much rather you say something like, “Wow. Your biceps must be huge.” Or, “your boys are beautiful.” Or really anything else encouraging and kind.
Change that sour puss face and realize that ALL those boys are gifts of the greatest kind, blessings to be counted over and over again. And that’s how they should be looked at and treated. Who knows? Someday soon you may be drinking a Starbucks latte with an extra shot of “little boy energy.” Or better yet, maybe it will be The Roasterie that figures out a way to bottle up the pure boy awesomeness.