September 25, 2014
I read a blog post on Huffington Post Parents today titled, 11 Things Only Parents of Boys Understand, thinking, as a Mom of two boys, here’s something I will truly get a kick out of. But with only one exception, where the item was a fact in our house (farts are funny), none of these 11 Things rang true for my boys. No disrespect to Shannon Ralph, the writer, who originally wrote it for The Next Family blog, but it made me a little sad – not that I felt left out, but that here was yet another blog about boys that perpetuates all the stereotypes. On the other hand, I also felt good, because it means I have a couple of boys on my hands that are breaking from the mold. Here’s a snapshot of the original list, and the difference at casa de Villegas:
1. Star Wars is akin to religion. Star Who? Not here. The only religions we pray to in this house are the Divergent, Hunger Games, Minecraft and Plants Vs Zombies kind.
2. Simultaneously hating and being grateful for the privilege your son will have as an adult male. Not exactly. I never for a second believed my sons will have an edge. One is very, let’s call it, “metro” to use the latest term. I don’t think it’s the kind of thing that makes Middle School or High School particularly easy, and I hope life between now and adulthood isn’t so taxing for him that the spark is distinguished before it can even get popping.
3. Boys give the best hugs. Very true, they do, though Ms. Ralph claims her boys hug without agenda. Not so for mine. Some hugs are pure, I’ll admit. But many of them are laced with undertones of quid pro quo: pizza, fro-yo, stay up late, etc.
4. Farts are funny. Yes, for one boy farts are INDEED very funny. As are burps and other bodily noises and boy body parts. As for my other son, I have never heard, or smelled, a peep out of him. He is all gentleman.
5. Everything will be covered in pee. Gross. Can’t say we have that issue. Maybe as they were learning, but at 7 and 10, we’re all under control here.
6. Anything can, and will, become a gun. Not here. I can’t say I can honestly recall either of my sons ever pointing so much as a finger at anything and making a gun-like noise. It’s just never happened.
7. Boys are physical. I guess so, but no more so than the neighborhood girls. In fact, there are some girls that we have over where we actually have to lock shit up so they don’t wreck it. Sure my guys wrestle with each other and me and their Dad. They play dance party, and monkey in the middle and they don’t always sit for a complete meal. But, they’re kids for Pete’s sake. I can’t say this is a son only item.
8. Boys don’t listen. Sorry Ms. Ralph. I don’t have this issue either. You mention they don’t pick up Legos when you tell them to? The first time I stepped on a Lego and very ceremoniously threw it out because it was on the floor, was the last time I had to step on one. If anything, I’d say their Dad is the one with the listening issue. He’s the one who doesn’t seem to remember when the appointments are, the birthdays are, when to pick up the milk, or mail the electric bill.
9. Marvel versus DC. Pick one. Pick one early. Who versus what? Not here. Don’t even speak that lingo.
10. Clothes mean nothing. Hate to sound like a broken record, but, are you kidding me? If I had a dime for every argument we had over what could be bought, worn, washed or kept, I’d be a wealthy woman. It’s the first argument of every day and really the last thing I want to draw a line for, so I don’t. Fashion is VERY important to my boys and so I stay out of it. I buy them what I can afford, and they buy the rest with their own money. One guy wears the same ratty sweatshirt every day, the other wears Uggs. It’s their thing. I stay out of it.
11. Boys love unconditionally. They do. I believe most children do. But Ms. Ralph, try not to suggest that only girls throw emotional and dramatic tantrums, give the silent treatment, and scream back at you. Try not to suggest girls don’t just love you too. You love your children unconditionally and they’ll do the same. And they might still pull a drama on you.
My boys never go to bed without saying sorry. They kiss me in front of friends. They care what they wear and choose dancing and swimming over sports played with balls. They’ve never watched a George Lucas film. One of my sons has two American Girl dolls and is saving for more. He’s made clothes for them, designed furniture for them and subscribes to American Girl magazine, because he enjoys the content. He loves a splash of color, especially teal. He is my fashion consultant, my hair stylist and my go-to-guy for romantic comedies. We cried together watching “The Fault In Our Stars”.
I love listicals and blogs and sharing parenting with others. I love to hear about other Moms’ funny kids and their touching moments. But this post just begged for an alternative viewpoint. My boys are boys alright, but they’re not the “boys who will be boys” of yesteryear. It’s not all pee and frogs and farts and Star Wars. And while those are all wonderful things for some boys, I am glad it’s a little different here.