Well, we kicked off summer with the birth of our fourth son, and not a day goes by that I don’t get asked, “Wow. Four boys? So how’s that going??”
And it’s going. We are surviving. But four kids is a lot of kids. It’s like two for each parent, or four
for one parent when the other is working or mowing the grass or taking a shower all of which is a little scary, you know, to be responsible for the four beautifully crazy humans I call my sons. But the good news is, I had three kids before I had four kids so in a way I was primed for this. Three kids broke me in and 4 kids is just more to love, right?
But what is it really like? Here are 12 truths about raising boys….
1. A house full of boys means you have a “WTF Pantry” and a “WTF Laundry Room”. As in, “WTF happened to all of the food?” and “WTF is there so much laundry???” Pantry = always empty. Laundry room = always full. These are just the facts.
2. A house full of boys will leave you questioning your parenting skills. As in, “What the heck was I doing when all of this happened?” The remote in the dog food bin? The green “schmear” of unidentifiable disgustingness on my wall? An entire roll toilet paper dunked in potty and left on the bathroom sink. What the heck is this? Some sort of consolation prize for turning my back for 13 seconds??? Last month’s water bill covered in permanent marker sketches of a ninja turtle fight scene? I am a legit mom on top of things. Or at least I thought I was….
3. Cliché, but a house full of boys is a LOT of fart-y talk. Boys fart, and then they fight over who farted. They don’t fight over who didn’t fart. No. They fight over who DID fart. When I say, “Pee yew boys, it smells in here.” They fight over who it was that tainted our air quality as if who actually did it would make me more proud? I grew up with 4 sisters. Am I missing something here?
4. A house full of boys will make you think you suffer from short term memory loss. Take my throw blanket, for example. I swear I just folded that throw blanket and placed it nicely on the couch a second ago? Hmm. How did it get balled up, thrown on the floor and dipped in the dog bowl? Did I see it there in the dog bowl and then decide to pick it up?…….NO! No I did not. It was them! For the 87 millionth time today they threw my godforsaken decorative throw blanket on the ground and I KNOW it was them because if I had seen in dangling in the dog bowl the first time I wouldn’t have folded it and put it back on the couch. I would have WASHED IT LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN BEING. It is NOT me that is going crazy here people. It is THEM. The boys and their obsession with my throw blanket being on the floor is making me seem like I’m crazy but clearly I’m not. Or maybe I am. These days it’s fine line. Them or me?…..Don’t answer that.
5. A house full of boys is a heaping laundry basket devoted to mismatched socks. C’mon. Who’s got time for that?
6. A house full of boys is mental overload. This goes for anyone who has multiple kids. You know that robot dance? Yeah. That’s like my mind – constantly jerking up to one thought, then down to another, all thoughts completely random and disjointed. All flow completely abstract. When’s the last time I gave the baby a bath? Are we almost out of paper towels? Did I sign the #1 up for soccer? When is nursery school tuition due? Why can we only ever find one sneaker? Will I ever find a babysitter willing to watch all 4 kids? Do you think we should paint the ball marks in the living room? Where is my 3-6 month bin of boys clothes? I’m not sure if I can function if we are out of paper towels? Can I nurse the baby in this outfit? Has anyone seen #3? Will I ever wear a real bra again? What the HECK channel is Peppa on? Does #2 know all of his letters? Did I defrost something for dinner? Is it 5 o’clock yet?
7. In a house full of boys “No” is purely a suggestion. Boys do what boys want to do. “No, don’t do that” really means, “I’m going to do it anyway and hope that you don’t see me because I can’t control my impulses and if I don’t get this out of my system and attempt to scale the outside of the staircase I’m going to whine at you for the next 27 minutes and make her wish she said ‘yes’ in the first place.”
8. In a house full of boys “bouncing off the walls” is not a hyperbole. It’s a thing. Where I see a living room, they see a course for America Ninja Warrior. Just hope your neighbor doesn’t pop in when they have dismantled the sofa and have climbed the doorway and are hanging by their toes from the lip on the crown molding. “Oh hi, there! Yep. Everything is juuuust fine. All completely normal.”
9. A house full of boys skews your tolerance for acceptable physical behavior. Boys punch each other. Boys kick each other. Boys squeeze each other’s faces. Yeah, that’s a new one for me too, but apparently it’s a legit form of brotherly torture. No, it’s not “right” in the good parenting sense, and no we done condone this behavior, but despite our best efforts to stop it, it’s inevitable. Just try not to let it happen in front of a mom of all girls. It totally freaks them out.
10. A house full of boys is not drama free. No siree. Drama amongst boys does in fact exist. But distract them with an oreo or a bowl of meat and you have just solved all the world’s problems one Slim Jim at a time.
11. A house full of boys requires drill sergeant-esque skill. “Boys, liiine UP for sunscreen application. Eight arms, eight legs, four backs, four chests, four noses, eight cheeks all squirming and hating it all of the time… obviously. I deal bread to make sandwiches like I deal cards… one two three four, one two three four, then the ham…one, two, three, crap, not enough for 4. Oh wait, the baby doesn’t eat food yet. But I eat food, right? Maybe I should treat myself to a proper lunch today and call it a day. It’s all about thinking on your toes, people. And speaking of toes, I clip 40 of them at a time. And 40 finger nails. That’s 80 altogether. Blows my freaking mind every single nail clipping time.
12. A house full of boys requires a lot of deep breaths, countings to 10s, and angry text to my husband. ‘They are all just SO insane and I’m pretty sure it’s all your fault because you were a crazy kid and I was a good little girl who sat nicely and played with my barbies and listened to my mom and I probably clipped my own finger nails too!!” And it’s a lot of reciprocal texts, “Yes, they are crazy. They are boys.”
And he’s right.
They are boys. While I spend most of my days in referee position (wide stance, knees bent, arms out, whistle between lips…. kidding about the whistle part, but that’s actually not a bad idea now that I think about it), my boys would pass up almost anything to snuggle with me on the couch. They play hard and love hard. And while they are exhausting and half the time I don’t “get” them and their antics, how lucky am I to have 4 of them?
These are my truths about raising boys. What are yours?