Okay, so the cat’s butt didn’t actually get a shave…yet. There was merely an attempt involving a cat, a pair of blunt-tipped scissors, and a boy. My boy. But I assure you, the intent was there and I have no illusions that this intent will subside any time soon. The reason for this belief is that I live with boys. I am, in fact, outnumbered by them. As is the poor, poor cat. I was blessed with the birth of a girl for my first child. Sugar and spice and everything nice…sounds about right. These pleasantries paved the way for another child, then another….then a series of “preventative” surgeries, followed by an uncertain future in child-bearing ability. My second and third children, as you may have already guessed, are both boys. So, two boys plus the biggest man-child of them all (my husband) means that my daughter and I are the minority. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have an ally and we will certainly join up to fight the good fight, though I fear we have already lost. She spends most of her day in the first grade while I bear the brunt of the war; playing, feeding, yelling, napping, and trying to mostly just contain two wild boys. In the afternoons, she helps to entertain them while I make dinner and try to regain some sanity. We approach the end of each and every day feeling worn and ragged from trying to keep up with the two crazy boys. Then sometimes, at the very end of the day, we have small victories when Walden (the oldest of my boys) wants to fall asleep next to me, though snuggling is out of the question. Wyatt (my youngest child) soon follows and climbs into the bed and puts his head in the crook of my arm. ‘Are you my snuggle-buggle-bear?’ I ask him. ‘Yeah,’ he says, then slowly falls asleep.
Walking into the kitchen the other day, I noticed a faint ticking noise coming from the pantry. It was much faster than the ticking of a clock and situated in the back corner of the small room. I asked Wyatt what the noise was, as he was standing there with me listening to it. He gave me his usual devious smile, to which I replied, ‘Trying to blow up the pantry so you can find my candy stash, eh?’ He nodded his head and we both walked away, busy with other things. Every so often, I hear the ticking followed by a ‘ding!’ and then no more ticking until I see little Wyatt get up from his toy blocks, walk around the corner into the pantry, then return with the faint ticking noise following behind him. The pantry has yet to actually explode, but what can we expect, he’s barely even two.
Such is a life raising boys. They are inherently different from girls and as such, I struggle to understand them and their play. That doesn’t mean that I don’t go along with their schemes or try to correct their ideas. Just the other day, I was caught preparing a pot roast with a cape on and I must confess that I do have a super-power (which is eating-all-of-the-chocolate-cake-after-everyone-has-gone-to-bed). I find myself saying things like: ‘Stop waving your penis at the chickens’ or ‘Stop licking your brother’ (This literally just came out of my mouth before I typed it) and ‘No, you cannot wear just a t-shirt and underwear to the grocery store. Why? Because your t-shirt is too small and you have your underwear on your head….I would probably get arrested for that.’ And each time I say one of these things, I turn to look at my husband for additional support in laying down the law…and. he’s. laughing. Out loud. Uncontrollably. No dice. He’s one of them.
The beginning of this year is special to me as my oldest son will be turning 4. It feels as though we have come a long way from when he used to tell all of our house guests to ‘Jack Off’ (take off their jackets) upon their arrival to the present, when….well, let’s be honest, we’re still working on the whole ‘wear clothes and stop waving your penis above the dinner table’ thing….you know, progress. In light of how far we’ve come, otherwise known as ‘we’ve lived to see another day’, we’re taking a bit of time off from our usual chores. So I am spending the morning playing with my boys and watching their minds unfold into new worlds before me. Soon, I hear the faint ticking of the pantry-bomb as Wyatt strolls back to his block fortress from the kitchen. He grabs his milk cup and comes to sit in my lap for a brief moment. ‘Wyatt,’ I whisper (usually knowing better than to ask this question in broad daylight), ‘are you my snuggle-buggle-bear?’ ‘Uh-huh,’ he quietly whispers back. ‘Then stop trying to blow up my pantry.’