Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ah, the joys of parenting boys

I am a female. That's why my children call me "Mom" instead of "Dad". The fact that I am female is an indication of my anatomical make-up. I have parts that require me to wear a bra. I pee sitting down. I don't have facial hair. Well, I'm not supposed to have facial hair anyway. Most importantly, I don't have a penis.

What is it about having a penis that changes the entire mindset of boys? I obviously can't speak from experience because I have not ever been a boy. I have, however, had lots of friends who were boys. They never really clued me in to what goes on in the brain of a boy. I married a boy. Well, he was a man when I married him. Marrying a boy would be sick and wrong and illegal in most states. (I can't be totally sure about Mississippi). At any rate, being married to him didn't prepare me for being the mother of boys, either.

So, with no real knowledge of boys, I eventually became the mother of three. Three boys!!! So far, I'm surviving it. Every now and then, though, I think about the adventures that have come from parenting boys.

Number One, being my first born, has been my guinea pig. He's had to endure all the kinks and quirks of having a mom with no penis and very little experience in parenting people who have one. I had heard (from someone who apparently never had a boy) that it's best to tell young children the correct names for their parts. Not wanting to be out of the loop of good parents, I did exactly that. I sat him down, explained the correct names for his parts, and allowed him to use those terms without ever batting an eye. He was about three when I taught it to him. I was feeling pretty proud of myself. I'd taught him well, and never even raised a brow when he said those words matter of factly, just as easily as he used words like car, truck, and block.

About three months after I taught him the names of his parts, he came down with strep throat. I, of course, took him to the pediatrician so he could be prescribed something for relief. It didn't occur to me that such an innocent trip to the doctor could result in utter mortification. Again, this was my first time parenting a boy, and I was unaware of just how much that one little part could impact their way of thinking.

Our pediatrician believes in letting the child describe his ailments. She got my report and then asked Number One to tell her what hurt. I could see that he was putting a lot of thought into his answer. "Well, my throat hurts. And my ears hurt. And my head hurts, too". He paused for a minute as he went further into thought. Then, a smile came across his face. "But my testicles feel great!".

After that appointment, we had another talk. It centered around the fact that it's okay to talk about our privates with our parents, but it's best not to discuss them with anyone else unless it's totally necessary.

You'd think I would have learned my lesson after that first incident with Number One. Nope. I, being a female, am a glutton for punishment. So, I taught the Beast the correct name for his parts when the time came. This time, though, I went a step further. I taught him the correct name for everyone's parts. He had walked in on his dad in the shower and then saw me changing his baby sister. Apparently, he noticed that something was missing from his sister because he asked me what was wrong with her.

Calmly, I sat down and described the differences between boys and girls. Knowing that he has a hearing impairment, I made sure I went over it a few times in different ways. He definately understood. I ended the conversation, and off we went as a family to church.

I learned after church that he apparently still had some questions regarding who had what. It seems he spent the entire Sunday School time asking his teacher who had a "go-china" and who had a "bean-it".

Both of my boys have demonstrated that the all-time greatest perk to being a boy is peeing standing up. They delight in the joys that come from peeing standing up. I have to be honest. I don't delight in the fact that they are apparently unable to hit the broadside of a barn. Why is it that people who are standing up and are able to see what they're doing find it so totally impossible to aim? And why is it that hearing my boys yell "Look, Mom! No hands!" when they're in the restroom causes chills to go down my spine? We won't even talk about the aftermath when they say "Hey! Look what I can do!" while they're in the midst of peeing. The King tells me this is all a normal part of being a boy. He says I probably don't want to know about what they do to put out fires at scout camp. I'll just take his word for it.

I know it's only going to get worse. I'm trying to brace myself for it, but there's nothing I can really do to prepare myself for what's to come. I thought I was ready for anything that came at me until Number One got into the shower a couple years ago. The King and I were sitting in the kitchen enjoying dessert while Number One was taking care of his shower. He'd decided that, at five years old, he was big enough to bathe himself without our help. We allowed him to give it a try. Suddenly, we heard him screaming from the shower. "Mom! Come now! I need you!" I was just sure he'd slipped and broken a vital body part, like his spleen or something. I ran in. When I got to him, his eyes were huge! "Mom! I was washing my penis. Did you know that the more you wash it, the bigger it gets? AND, it changes colors!".

I can only imagine what more is to come. Rumor has it nothing I do will really prepare me. According to those "in the know", the mere fact that I have girl parts and my sons have boys parts means we'll never really think that much alike. I am, it seems, doomed to a life a humiliation simply because three of my four children were born with one extra tiny little part.


Taffi said...

ROFL! I love the way you write.

heidi and tom said...

EE, you should write a book about would be a bestseller guaranteed. It could be just like your blog...little memoirs. In fact, I should be your publicist. Ha-ha. Okay, so I think I want to join your MOFIA group I just feel like I need you to hold my cyber hand and lead me in or something. Is it something that you participate in daily? Anywho...tell me when to hop on!

love ya,