LIFE AS I KNOW IT: The joys of having boys

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I know I lucked out. I hit the jackpot. In today’s world of short shorts, fake boobs and sexy selfies, I feel extremely grateful that me and my lover made two beautiful, bouncing boys.

After all, I’ll take the rambunctiousness, the fist fights, the dirt and even the daily torture of stepping on tiny Lego pieces that leave me bent over in sheer agony over having a girl, or two for that matter. I’ll admit it, there was ‘a moment’ when I prayed for pink dresses and pigtails. I was pregnant with my second, waiting to hear the doctor confirm my premonition that I was indeed having a little princess.

“Are you ready?” my doctor asked me.

I was bracing myself. But for what? I knew it was going to be a girl. The pregnancy felt so different than my first.

“It’s a boy,” she told me. She had a big grin on her face while she anticipated a squeal of glee.

“No,” I said, completely dumbfounded. “For real?” What else could I say? She just crushed my dreams.

“Yes, another boy. Isn’t that great? Think of all the money you’ll save.” At this point I know she could sense my disappointment.

I walked to the car in disbelief. I think I was shaking my head. Well, that sucks. No millionaire family for me. Ten minutes ago, I was certain I’d be introducing some pink to the household to help offset all the blue. And oh shit, the testosterone. That’s a lot of balls in one house. And not just that but the toilet seat being left up and the pee on the toilet seat and the sprinkles on the floor. Plus, I had heard a lot of horror stories about how brothers constantly fight. I was about to be seriously outnumbered. And I wasn’t sure how I was going to cope.

Flash-forward three years. I wouldn’t trade having two sons for anything. There’s something very special about the bond between two brothers. And it’s been really beautiful to watch their relationship blossom. My eldest looks out for his little brother. Oh, and they both love me so much. More than anyone else in the world. (Dad’s a close second, though).  I’m repeatedly told that I’m beautiful and they compliment my glittery nail polish and sparkly eyeshadow all the time. When they get hurt, they only want mom. Apparently, I have magic healing powers. I’m coping just fine, actually, better than I imagined. I feel like this is exactly how it was supposed to be. Like having boys was in my cards, you know?

I’ve seen girls today and they scare the hell out of me. And there’s an ever-growing list of reasons why.”

First off, I’m lax in the hair-styling department. Simply put, I just can’t do hair. Mine or my kids. I’ve battled this my whole life. My boys get their hair cut an absolute maximum of three times a year. I think there’s a certain look of innocence when their hair is shaggy. And when I decide to chop it all off and do the spiky thing, it’s truly amazing how a little bit of gel can change their entire look. It literally takes me five seconds and the boys look adorably-stylish and we’re out the door. Pigtails, braids, curls, all those hairstyles take time and patience. I don’t have a lot of either.

They might fight and hit and argue but that's just what some brothers do. Emrys (the little guy on the left) looks to to his big brother, Archer, and I believe he always will.

They might fight and hit and argue but that’s just what brothers do. Emrys (the little guy on the right) looks up to his big brother, Archer, and I believe he always will.

In my opinion, boys require less maintenance than girls. I don’t have to worry about if their camouflage shirt matches their camo shorts. Nowadays, there’s so much emphasis on how you need and should look. Girls are growing up way too fast. I can’t tell who’s 12 and who’s 16. I saw a lot of butt cheeks this summer. I swear those short-shorts are getting shorter every year. Whenever I see a young girl who’s clearly trying to have sex appeal, I think, ‘If that was my daughter she would not be leaving the house looking like that.’ And it’s not just the short-shorts, it’s the mini-skirts and makeup too. The music videos, television commercials (think Guess Jeans or Victoria’s Secret) and various forms of social media have certainly contributed to this image obsession. It’s all about sex and sexiness.

Have you seen the underwear for pre-teens that have ‘Booty’ or ‘#sexy’ written on the bum? It makes me wonder who the hell designed it and what they were thinking. When I was in high school, I wore polyester skirts and cardigan sweaters, Doc Martens, and I would make a monthly stop in at the thrift store hoping to score anything retro. Sure I wore makeup; black eyeliner and a little lipgloss and I felt like I was 21. But no one looked airbrushed or Barbie-like. Girls didn’t pay $200 to get their hair done or have fake eyelashes that you can’t even rub if they get itchy because then they will be all bent and deformed. Nobody was updating their status on Facebook or twerking at a school dance. I don’t ever recall seeing any buttcheeks hanging out of too-tiny shorts. Things have changed drastically since 1998. Sexy selfies? No way! There was no such thing. Maybe a glam shot on a Polaroid, though.

Do you know the average age for a girl to get her period today is around 12? Twelve!!!! That’s insane. I think in the late 1800s it was around 16. This is a concerning issue. This is serious business. Another sure sign girls are growing up way too fast. Ten years ago, I got the opportunity to attend a seminar at the Algonquin Theatre with one of Canada’s leading hormone experts, Lorna Vanderhaeghe. She spoke about how the chemicals in makeup, shampoo, handsoap, face cream, perfume – everything girls use on a daily basis – was having a negative impact on how our ‘princesses’ grow up. That’s why girls are getting their periods and boobs when they are so young. That’s why we can’t tell who’s 12 and who’s 16. Hormone overload! And let’s not forget about the chemicals in our food.

I’m not saying that because I have boys I won’t be faced with my own set of challenges as they continue to grow up. Indeed, I know I will and it will happen sooner than I want. Right now I’m just enjoying their sweet innocence and putting it out there that for someone like me there’s a lot of joy in having boys.

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1 Comment

  1. I agree with this 100%. Always thought my second child would be a girl. I am lucky to have several nieces who I adore. Been through all their girlie things, and I miss that special bond they have with their Moms.
    I’m seriously thinking about writing a book called “Living with 3 men and a male dog”!
    Maybe this little story will give me the push I need! Thank you Laura!

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