Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bona Fide Mother of Boys

I couldn't decide what to call this post. Epiphany. A Day in the Life. or The Day My Life Changed for Good.

Today I realized I am the mother of boys. Obviously I knew that before today, but today it really hit me square in the face. I have boys. They are busy, stinky, they eat a lot, and they love slimy creatures.

Here's how my day went down today. The day started with a stinky diaper (hotdogs for dinner last night) and Sambo half-dressed. His new game is to wake up in the morning and take his pajamas and sheets off. Looks like a boy, smells like a boy.

Notice the sheets and mattress pad on the floor and his PJ shirt around his waist

A short time after waking up Buddy was bouncing off the walls, so I sent him to the backyard so I could get the kitchen cleaned and dinner made (I wanted to have it done and in the fridge so I could focus on the rest of my day. A lot to do.) A few minutes later Buddy bounds in the house full of so much glee, I assumed he had seen a turkey vulture. Nope, he had caught a salamander and HE HAD BROUGHT IT INTO THE HOUSE. It royally creeped me out, so I told him to go back outside and I encouraged him to show Sambo rather than me. Sambo is really getting into bugs and other creepy things, so as expected, he was very impressed. He laughed hysterically watching the salamander crawl all over Buddy's hand. Definitely boys.

The boys looking at the salamander

I send Buddy back outside and he gladly goes so he can make a habitat for the salamander. He fills a pail full of rocks and puts the salamander on top along with a few grass blades. He comes inside asking for water because salamanders love water. I tell him I'm not turning on the hose right now because all his rock collecting reminded me that I needed to go shopping for rocks for the primary activity on Saturday.

So we all load up to go to the rock store not too far from our house. Buddy and Sambo are in heaven and in the three minutes we spent there, they try to lift every single rock in sight, Sambo throws several, and Buddy starts loading his pockets with stray rocks found in the parking lot. "I didn't steal these. These are just part of the parking lot," he says. That place stresses me out way too much and I'm totally confused about how to purchase the rocks, so I leave and call G on my way home and ask him to go buy the rocks for me later in the week.

We come home and Buddy goes to check on the salamander. It has passed away. He runs in the house bawling and tries to blame the death on me for not allowing it to have water. I tell him that he handled the poor salamander too much or maybe he got smashed by the rocks. Between his tears Buddy says, "I bet he died because he got old." He's extremely depressed but we eat lunch, send Sambo down for a nap and Buddy for a quiet time.

After less than two hours Buddy is bouncing off the wall again, so I tell him to check and see if any of the neighbors are outside. They are, so a bunch of kids go play in the field. A short time later I notice Sambo climbing onto the kitchen table for the first time ever. I cannot believe my eyes.
As a side story -- and I might have shared this one with you before -- I use to judge parents who let their children climb all over the furniture. Years ago a family in our apartments at BYU showed up to church with their 2-year old daughter in a cast. G and I were horrified to learn the girl had fallen off the kitchen table. G and I made a promise to each other that day that we would never allow our children to run around at church or climb on the furniture at home (two things those horrid parents did...). Wouldn't you know, both of our children do both. Buddy was around Sambo's age when I went to the laundry room to put clothes in the dryer and came out to find him standing on the table dumping an entire pitcher of juice onto the carpet. And now at 17 months Sambo is pulling the same stunt (minus the juice, thank goodness.) Let this be a lesson in judging.
For the remainder of the day I pulled Sambo off the table constantly. At this point I realize MY LIFE HAS CHANGED FOREVER. I can no longer let him out of my sight. When I had to go upstairs for a second, I moved all the chairs far, far away from the table and in the minute I was gone, he put them all back and that's when I got the camera. Definitely a boy.

Meanwhile, Buddy has decided he wants to ride his bike in the field. I tell him I don't think he'll be able to. He agrees, but says he doesn't care because "the other kids are doing it." I say fine and help him get it out of the garage (since he's banned from getting his own bike out ever since he scratched the car last week.)

An hour later I've accomplished nothing because I've been running to the kitchen table every ten seconds and so I go outside to tell Buddy it's time to come in. The neighbor dad is helping his kids get their bikes out of the field (the long grass has been cut but not baled yet, so it's impossible to ride a bike). He offers to help Buddy, but Buddy doesn't like being helped. I tell him that this isn't the time to be proud, but he insists he can do it. Fifteen minutes later he finally gets home and he wants to show me the big scratch he got on his stomach from falling off his bike. That's when I notice he has torn his t-shirt. This is the first time he's worn it. He's dripping in sweat from working so hard to get his bike out of the field and his hair is curly as a result. He drinks about a gallon of water and goes to get his t-ball clothes on. At this point I'm no longer in denial. I have boys. Boys through and through.

We go to t-ball and get all the way to the field and although I've reminded Buddy to get his mitt out of the car, I notice he has left it behind. G runs all the way back to get it. I wonder why boys/men are so unable to listen/remember/follow directions. I notice most of the kids on the team have turned the bats into guns. My son is totally impressed.

We get home and have a late dinner (8:15 PM) and my boys consume more food than I thought possible. I come to the frustrating realization that many of the meals I love to cook no longer produce leftovers. I am a huge fan of cooking, but an even bigger fan of leftovers. No wonder Mormon women make so many casseroles. Casseroles make leftovers! In eleven years of cooking for our family, I've gotten really good about meal planning. But in the last two months or so these boys have thrown my planning for a real loop.

We try to put them to bed but they are so wound up (why, I have no idea), so I decide to burn the last of the energy by trying to get Sambo to make animal sounds. He has never been a performing baby. He refuses to talk or do any of those cute things a mom lives and dies for -- like making an animal sound for crying out loud. Well, tonight he did. And that got Buddy laughing so dang hard, we all started laughing. Sambo almost fell off the bed and the sound of the two of those boys laughing seriously hurt my ears. Except I loved it. Loud laughter by boys. I swear I had never been so happy.

(My happiness only slight improved when I turned out the light and closed the door.)


Emma said...

Boys are so much work, and so fun. your post just about summed it up.

JLJ said...

Great post. I love the summary of Buddy tearing his shirt, sweating with curly hair and drinking a gallon of water. Boys are certainly a different breed! It sounds like you've got things under control - a really great mom.

crazymamma said...

oh i love this post! hahaha and seriously i could smell that monkey from my house when i saw that picture of sambo in his crib! !hahahahaha oh the smells and joys of boys!! WOOHOO!

R said...

Classic post! Loved how all the boys turned the bats into guns. Every boy just knows how to turn anything into a gun. Boys are easier. Just put them in jeans and a t-shirt, turn 'em loose outside, and feed 'em. Done. What you see is what you get. But just wait 'til their first really nasty cut that bleeds all over the place. You'll freak the first few times, and then you'll get used to it and tell 'em to shake it off. They will.