Friday, March 6, 2009

I'm outnumbered -- not that there's anything wrong with that

This is one of those weeks when I miss bedtime 6 out of 7 nights. Except not really because of the snow, but please, let me have my pity party. I have a symphony concert tomorrow night, so I spent this evening rehearsing a dozen or so arias in the orchestra with some very talented operatic soloists.

(I haven't been to the opera in so many years that I had forgotten what it's all about. And I'm going to force CPod to take me again sometime soon. When I was at BYU, the opera department put on La Boheme, which is fantastic, and also a good one to start with if you're an opera novice. Ever the positive thinker, I bought two tickets, even though I didn't yet have a date, and had not yet met CPod. So then we started dating and I was not going to miss the opera -- do not be mistaken. First date: hockey game. Second date: Nutty Putty Cave, and I had to pee behind a bush with my future husband about 20 yards away. Third date: yep, you guessed it. La Boheme. That's when the compromises began.)

One of the soloists induced an extreme case of the eye rolls in me when I saw him sitting in the audience. He actually had a silk scarf around his neck, and perfect glossy helmet hair, and this haughty plastic face . . . if you discount the whole Pavarotti-esque contingent of opera singers, this guy was the epitome of the "primo uomo" (maybe I'll coin a phrase here . . . how about mandiva? prima donny? suggestions, please).

And then he came on stage. I was absolutely captivated. His diction was flawless, the tone quality of his voice was luscious, and I could tell that every gesture, every look, every note was fine tuned and honed to perfection so that he could take those of us listening to a different place. He was theatrical without being overly so; he was sincere and believable and beyond passionate. I loved it. (You should give it a shot. If an LA prostitute can get it enough to sob through the whole thing, you can, too.)

I started to think about how proud his mama must be. I mean, every time she watches her baby perform, she doesn't just see someone who is really great at his job. She sees someone who has found something to do with his life that he loves. Shouldn't we all be that lucky?

That led me to thinking about how great it is to be a mother of boys. I must confess, I have been known to lament the overload of testosterone in our little house. I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I glance longingly at the little girl clothes as I pass them on the way to the blue jeans and t-shirts department.

There are some definite peculiarities to mothering boys, and many of them are significantly less than pleasant: you will NEVER have a clean bathroom again. Ever. You will become intimately acquainted, in a clinical way, with parts of the anatomy you don't actually have yourself, and will be completely comfortable discussing these parts and their functions in every day conversation. You will learn to tolerate Legos, even though the bottoms of your feet will be eternally scarred by tiny circles and sharp corners.

You will learn that silence is NEVER golden, because it usually means someone is doing something they shouldn't be doing. You find yourself actually laughing at jokes and real-life incidents involving boogers, snot, hurl, farts, burps and poop. (That's not such a stretch for the girl whose claim to fame was belching the alphabet all the way through and then to Q again.) And you even get good at tuning out at the constant sparring for dominance that occupies nearly every waking moment of little boys' lives.

But it's not all bad. I have recently discovered some really great things about mothering boys. For example, as long as both parents are present when we are out of the house, and if I time things just right when CPod's not around, I might never, ever have take one of my kids into a public restroom again. Doesn't that sound fantastic?

No one has messed with my fingernail polish. At least, not yet.

The best part, though, is that these boys love me. No one brings out the tenderness in rough and tumble little bundles of energy like Mommy. They are reminded daily by their daddy that mommies are different than daddies -- that daddies are for wrestling, but mommies are for hugs. I get to set the standard of femininity for these guys -- that's actually a little sad -- and help them determine the characteristics they want to look for when they grow up and get married. (Like Mommy, or not like Mommy? Reality here -- I think that one could go either way!)

Secretly, I think I might love all the gross parts, too. Except for the dirty bathrooms. I will never love that. It's such an integral part of boyness -- dirty fingernails, boogers wiped on the wall/table/mommy's bum/MayDay's arm, poop jokes, truck noises and all. Hopefully, one day they will call me blessed, because blessed is exactly how I feel when I think about these three beautiful, sweet hoodlums -- especially when they are sleeping.


  1. Yes, boys are awesome. Mine complete me :)

  2. First, I have never been to an Opera in my life. But I will be going to Britney Spears. What does this say about me?

    Second, I have always, always wanted boys, and never little girls. I sometimes still feel that way, although now that I'm more of a girly girl, I don't think girls would be all that bad.

  3. Boys are the best! You never know what is going to happen next, but it is usually a whole lot of fun! Poop is usually the number one thing joked about at our house, with boogers being a close 2nd. I am picturing our conversations times 3 boys and I can only imagine...I am laughing right now just thinking about it!

  4. I also would not trade my boys for anything. When girl mommies fear the possibility of someday having a boy, I feel sorry for them.

  5. A boy is all I know and yes I LOVE IT! I love the fact that he can hug me and squeeze me and be gentle - although I must admit many times during the day I get not-so-tender loving but more like a rough-boy-loving, which after I get over the pain I love them too.

    The way you describe opera makes me want to run and find the next one close to me so I can go. I'm weird like that, I remember when I was little they used to televise big operas and I used to watch them, there was something about it that captured my childhood mind. May be not a bad idea after all - I can assure that if I ever attent one I'd have to go by myself b/c I seriously doubt (no ... i know) that my husband will go with me :).
    Love your descriptive way to write.

  6. I have two boys and two girls, and they're all great. And they're all gross. If you think boys' bathrooms are somehow dirtier than girls', then you are blissfully naive, my dear friend!

    There really is something about moms and boys, though. I love my girls, and I expect that some day we'll all just be three great friends (since that's how it is with my three sisters and our mom). But moms and sons, well, that relationship is just very special. My oldest is 22, and he's still very much my little boy.

  7. Love it! I just had my first - J-Dawg - and I already feel lucky to be a mommy to this little boy...though I'm not looking forward to the constant dirty bathroom, though it is already hard to keep clean with his daddy around.

    Um yeah - I think we're soul sisters. We share a name, have given our boys similar nicknames and you love U2 ALMOST as much as I do ;-) I guess you remembered to watch them on Letterman and I didn't, so maybe we're equal fans.

    I love all the U2 quotes you commented about on my blog and my baby boy's been listening to U2 since he was a fetus. I call them his guardian angels.

  8. There is definitely something different about boys. My friend says it's like a love affair. You just love the little guy. It can't be helped.
    We're not at the gross stage yet, so I'm loving it all.
    Especially the sleeping kids part. Nothing more beautiful than that!!

  9. I. Adore you.

    How have I not met you before? Or have I, and I'm just certifiably stupid?

    No - I'd remember that TOTALLYFREAKINCOOL headline.

    This post had me laughing from beginning to end. I have three boys (four including my hubby) and I love all things masculine - including the boogers and fart jokes and vroom-vrooming all day.

    Boys rock.

  10. Aww, this was a great post.

    However, I thought all the LA prostitute did was almost pee her pants? :)

    I think you provide a unique perspective as a mother of all boys. I loved reading about it.

    p.s. having a girl is the worst thing that will ever happen to your budget, it is IMPOSSIBLE to walk past girl clothes when there's a girl at home to wear them. Even if she doesn't need them.


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