Sunday, October 14, 2018

Ramblings and Recipes, Part 9 - The Third Child

“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? – Milton Berle

As much as fathers love their daughters, they still want a son.  Not because of the whole “carrying on the family name” thing.  It’s because they need more testosterone in the house to counteract the vast sea of estrogen, ready to pull them down to drown in an ocean of pink fluff, rainbows and unicorns.
We were thrilled when little Michael was born.  He was so sweet and adorable… until he reached the age of teeth.
No matter what anyone tells you, there is a definite difference between raising girls and raising a boy.  I can have a living room full of little brownie girl scouts and aside from the incessant giggling, they will stay seated and remain fairly well behaved.  Put one little boy in the room and the giggles turn to screams.  “Mom!  Michael is making armpit farts again!”  At which time the mention of the word “fart” gets the whole potty mouth stuff started with Michael running around calling each of the girls a poopy-head. 
Little boys have boundless energy with two speeds... fast and faster.  They see a sofa and it becomes a dragon that they must pounce on and stab with their empty wrapping paper roll swords.  The throw pillows become bombs, which when thrown will explode with torn seams.  Little boys love toys that drive, sail, fly or dig… with sound effects.  If the toy doesn’t come with sound effects, they will create their own or they will enhance whatever noise the toy does come with.  And friends without children love gifting these loud, repetitive noise, toys to your little boy.  When they do, be sure to allow the child to bring along the siren driven fire engine or the pulsating laser gun or anything Elmo whenever you go to visit them.
Michael was four years old before he realized his name wasn’t “Michael No”.
Boys are physical.  Hugs turn into full body slams.  Tables turn into mountains from which they will parachute using the sheet from their bed.  Trees must be climbed, even if the tree is 30 feet tall.  By the time they are 10, you and the orthopedic surgeon will be on a first name basis.
And pee will be everywhere.  Everywhere.  On the floor.  Behind the toilet.  On the wall.  Everywhere.  We tried to correct this situation by painting a target on one of those plastic balls you see in the bounce houses and ball pits.  It was too big to flush down the toilet and it gave Michael something to aim at.  When I realized the ball had to eventually be washed, we switched to sprinkling a couple of Cheerios into the toilet for him to aim at. That worked for a while until he got creative and tried hitting the targets from different angles.  Long distance from the bathroom door.  While standing on the sink.  While hanging from the shower curtain rod.  The peeing everywhere never stops.  The only thing that changes is that as they get bigger, their range increases.
Our neighborhood was full of little boys.  Michael could usually be found hanging out with Ryan and Jason, going from house to house to play in one back yard or the other.  One morning when the neighborhood plan was that the boys were going to play at Ryan’s house, I slipped into the bathroom to take my shower.  It wasn’t long before I heard a tapping on the shower door.  “Mom, can we have some cookies?”  Michael asked with the other two boys standing there in the bathroom with him.  I grabbed my towel to quickly wrap around me and told the boys “I don’t have any cookies.  Go back to Ryan’s house.”  “We can’t” was Michael’s response, talking to me from the opposite side of the shower door. “Mrs. Carter doesn’t have any cookies either”.  “Then go to Jason’s house”, I replied as I turned off the water and pulled the towel tighter, trying to cover all the unmentionable areas of my body.  “Jason’s mom isn’t home.  We’ll go make some cookies.”  “NO!” I yelled as they all scampered out of the bathroom.  I quickly threw on some clothes and ran to the kitchen to find Michael free-pouring sugar into a bowl and Jason picking up the bag of flour from the floor where it had dropped.  Note to self:  Always keep a package of cookies available and ALWAYS lock the bathroom door.

·       ¾ cup soft butter
·       1 Tbsp. water
·       1/3 cup sugar
·       1 tsp. vanilla extract
·       1/8 tsp. salt
·       2 cups sifted flour
·       1 cup finely chopped pecans
·       Powdered sugar


Combine butter, vanilla, water, salt and sugar.  Blend well. Stir in flour and chopped pecans.  Roll into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.  After baking, while still warm, roll in powdered sugar.

When Michael was 10, he played football in a Pop Warner league.  After the third game, Michael’s coach came up to my husband and asked him to please not let me come to any more of the games.  Apparently it isn’t cool for a Mom to run onto the field during the game to make sure her little boy wasn’t hurt after he was tackled. It didn’t matter how good the snacks were that she provided the team, it just wasn’t cool.
Boys tend to disappear between the ages of 14 through 18.  They come home from school and go straight to their rooms.  They come out for dinner, but keep their heads down, mumbling and chewing until they are finished eating.  Then they disappear back into their room again. 
This is totally different from girls at this age.  They want to be seen and heard.  They want everyone to know every bit of drama in their lives.  If they are upset, they want you to be upset. They are in your face nonstop between the ages of 14 through 18.  The only thing that keeps you going as a mother is knowing that they will be going away to college very soon.  In anticipation, you pack their bags while they are still in their junior year of high school.  And then when the big day actually comes, you cry all the way home from Orientation.


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