Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Boy, Oh Boy

I keep seeing these memes that say things along the lines of, "I was a much better parent before I had children."  They inevitably have a bunch of comments from people who apparently had all kinds of plans for their yet-to-exist children like teaching them exclusively from the Laura Ingalls Wilder canon and feeding them only pre-masticated food.

This is an interesting concept to me.  I never planned on having children, and in a way, I feel I really lucked out.  I had no grand visions as to what kind of mother I would be, no crazy idealistic expectations for myself.  This made finding out I was pregnant with Adelaide somewhat stunning, but also extremely helpful, as I only had about 7 months to form hazy ideas as to just what to do with a tiny human being, and I think I was in denial for about half of those.  The only two pre-determinations I made were:  that I would definitely go back to work after a short maternity leave, and that I would not breastfeed, because hello, WEIRD.

Then Adelaide came out all long and skinny and precious and I realized that I could never trust her with anyone but myself (I have since relaxed on this stance a bit, it's only taken me 8 1/2 years!), and all these doctors and books told me how beneficial breastfeeding was and I was like a kid faced with vegetables saying, "Well, okay, I guess I'll try it BUT I'M NOT GONNA LIKE IT."

Five years later we'd had three children, I never went back to work, and three of those years were spent nursing hungry, hungry babies.  It turns out I know nothing, but then, I always knew that.  (That's right:  I always knew that I know nothing.  Good luck wrapping your brain around that statement.  I can't even make sense of it; all I know is that it's true.)

You would think that, after having one little girl-child, proving that I can be a parent and that thwarted plans can, in fact, be quite wonderful, I would take finding out I'm pregnant with a boy right in stride.  You would be underestimating just how neurotic I am.

What on earth was I supposed to do with a boy?  I envisioned tentatively placing offerings of G.I. Joe's and, I don't know, sticks or something, in front of him, because that's what boys play with, right?

Well.  It turns out boy babies are pretty much like girl babies in that they like to be snuggled and smiled at and fed constantly (that last one may just be our babies).

A few years and two boys later, I wish I could go back and tell 2008 Kristy to just relax, already; a couple cases of Legos, maybe a sword or two, and some heavy duty grocery bags for mountains of food to be consumed each week are your only real necessities.  (Wait.  Also lots of laundry detergent.  And stock up on nice jeans at any and all garage sales because boys wear holes in the knees of pants just by looking at them sideways.  And you'd just as soon burn your dollar bills in a merry bonfire as buy nice furniture; get that padded ottoman at Big Lots because your boys will destroy anything they touch and you'll feel a lot less angst over stuff that was cheap to begin with.  And don't throw that craft stuff away!  Boys like crafts just as much as girls!  So... maybe there are lot of things I'd tell Past Me.)

Other Boy Things I was not expecting:

They will pretend to fly all the time.  All. The. Time.

Did I mention the Legos?  Because it's best if you just make your peace with Legos now.  

The most inexplicable things will make them sad, like their older sister carelessly delivering the crushing news that No, they will never be older than her, even when they're all adults.  This will cause intense devastation for tens of minutes.

Daddy.  Daddy is not just a person, he the culmination of all that is good and holy in this world.  He is the answer to every question.  What do you want to be when you grow up?  "Batman.  And Daddy."  What do you want for Christmas?  "Real tools.  And Daddy."  What was your best thing about today?  "DADDY!"  

I also wasn't expecting to really have much in common with this strange species living in my house.  I know next to nothing about sportsing and all that strange running around after balls they're wont to do.  I still can't comprehend how they're seemingly born with the curious ability to make sound effects with they're mouths, from gunfire to explosions to brakes squealing.  They're an entire race of small, dirty beat boxers, whereas my best expression of a car is to go, "putt-putt-putt-putt."


Atticus loves jigsaw puzzles.  This sounds trivial and maybe a little boring, depending on how wrong you are about puzzles (i.e., you either love jigsaw puzzles or you're wrong), but I also love jigsaw puzzles.  When you're talking about a boy who loves golf and cars and building things and a mother who may or may not find most of those things stupefyingly dull, jigsaw puzzles become something that makes me say, "YOU LIKE JIGSAW PUZZLES, I LIKE JIGSAW PUZZLES: WE ARE PRACTICALLY THE SAME PERSON!"  Atticus and I also agree that Mornings Are The Devil, grudges are absolutely allowed even after the game of Sorry! is over and a winner has been declared, and you should always wait to eat the best bite of food on your plate last.  Caedmon and I both really like Caedmon.  WE ARE PRACTICALLY THE SAME PERSON!

As my boys would say:  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.  (You must say this like they do, in a serious, even nonchalant tone of voice; they sound like they're channeling Samuel L. Jackson when uttering this playground declaration.) 


  1. Wow --Adelaide was that kind of shock (I had to go back and read that old post), and you had TWO more? Amazing :-)

    I can't read this to Rob, because he'd be jealous of Derek. He's always felt a bit "outside of the bubble" when it comes to me and Emma. Although, teenager Emma is extremely into music, as is her dad, and that has been good for him.

  2. Legos are the reason I always wear shoes (or hard-soled slippers) in the house, all the time.

    When those wonderful boys get to be teenagers, brace yourself for a tripling of each one's food consumption. And don't ever take them to Red Lobster, lest they develop a liking for King Crab legs (or any of the other extremely expensive seafoods). At least that was my experience.

  3. I would have no idea what to do with a girl child; however, my husband would have enjoyed being wrapped around her proverbial little finger.
    I love this peek into your family.


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