I have a wonderful 9-year-old daughter and two delightful sons, ages 3 and 6. It would be easy to get excited about adding another girl to the mix, but you know, having a herd of boys has its perks, too.
Sometimes, I watch my boys (we occasionally call them “the twins” even though they’re nearly three years apart—they are hilarious together) as they’re wrestling or running around trying to punch each other, and I wonder how I’m going to handle another one. (This usually occurs as sister sits quietly on the couch reading a book.) But whenever I think I can’t handle any more volume or violence, they go and do something super cute and lovable to make me forget all the crazy.
As I psych myself up for another little testosterone bundle, I’m reflecting on some of the things I love about little boys:
- Boys are PHYSICAL!
Hugs and kisses and holding and no personal space. My boys were extra challenging as babies because they didn’t want to be put down for naps—they wanted to be held all the time. This hasn’t changed much over the years. They don’t want to be held and snuggled for long periods, usually, but they do want to be picked up, hugged and snuggled a surprising number of times each day. My 3-almost-4-year-old is rough and rowdy, but he is constantly asking me for “holdy,” and he often grabs my face and kisses me on the lips. And the love is likely to keep coming: I’m sure it would embarrass him, but I remember my younger brother (now over 30) snuggling next to our mom on the couch even as a teenager.
- Mom is queen.
My daughter loves me, but she doesn’t adore me the way my boys do. My 6-year-old will be outside playing in the neighborhood with his buddies and suddenly stop and run home to give me a pretty flower he found (maybe in someone’s yard) because his mom likes pretty things. For better or worse, my sons feed on my attention and admiration. They can do something new, crazy or dangerous, but it doesn’t really count unless mom is watching. They absolutely love to hear me act shocked when they do something gross or risky. This penchant doesn’t seem to change as they grow older—I’ve observed the same thing coming from my husband and brother-in-law. “Hey, hon, watch this!” And if mom gets hurt? My boys are so worried and attentive, they’re nearly in tears themselves.
- Boys expand my horizons.
I never thought I would know so much about Transformers or Paw Patrol. I certainly never expected to get excited about finding new Pokemon or searching for geocache. But when you see their passions through your kids’ eyes, you change. Experiencing life anew through my daughter’s eyes was exciting but also very familiar. She’s exactly like me, right down to her preschool interests—princesses, My Little Pony, books. I understood her temperament and her reactions intrinsically. My boys, on the other hand, have pushed me to consider other perspectives and interests. I am fascinated by the ways they’re different from me. Gathering, building, fixing, deconstructing, destroying, and then dropping whatever it was to move on to the next project.
Oh, and when they’re clean and clipped and combed and sweet-smelling, those boys are the most darling creatures on this planet. I guess I’ll take a third.
Note: This picture is from my ultrasound with baby No. 3, my second boy in the series!