Drowning in Testosterone

By: Jessica Aldred

Raising boysAs a mom of three little boys, living with three adult men as well, there is quite a bit of testosterone around our home. Luckily, most of the pets are female. As I go about my daily tasks of cooking, cleaning, transporting and entertaining my brood, I often find my present self shaking her head at the pre-child me.

Things have changed quite a bit. I’m not a neat freak per say, but I like things in their place and I keep a pretty tidy home. I don’t like to let dishes stand in the sink or see tumble weeds blow across my floor. While pets have always been in the mix, the addition of children put quite a wrench in my daily/weekly cleaning regimen.

You see, any mother of boys will tell you that there are some things that you encounter with little boys that are likely not an issue with girls. There are also some stereotypes of little boys that are just not so. As I go about my daily business I’ve been taking a moment to reflect on these types of issues and jotted down a quick list for your amusement.

  1. I’ve come to accept that I will never, ever get rid of the pee smell in my bathroom. I’ve washed everything I can think of in there – even rotting the hardware off the toilet seat at one point – and still the smells remains. With one more little boy to potty train I’ve thrown in the towel.
  2. Matchbox cars are a close second to Lego’s when it comes to stepping on toys in the middle of the night. While Lego’s win in the all-out pain department, our Hot Wheels collection has a special way of hurting like heck while also helping you remember that splits are no longer (and likely were never) an option.
  3. Not all boys love bugs. In fact, my second son hates them! I use this to my advantage as I recently resorted to telling him there were spiders in the sanitary basket in women’s restrooms. While I seldom have to remind him to “stop touching that” from within bathroom stalls anymore, I still find it amusing to hear the women in the adjoining stalls jump out of her skin when I remind him why.
  4. While potty training, it seems like a good idea to let your son pee outside. At least he’s not doing it on your carpets, floors, or in his pants, right? Wrong. Because of this potty training tactic, I now find myself sprinting across playgrounds as he drops his pants under play structures. This is only one of the many awkward places I’ve had to stop the public urination with a soft nurturing voice so as not to set off a potty regression. Earlier today I heard my husband say, “Don’t pee on the dog!” I just kept walking…
  5. We don’t do art! Art is best done in the school setting in my opinion. Okay, once in a blue moon you’ll catch us coloring or painting something, but on the whole I just don’t have time for the clean up that goes with it. I have friends with little girls who talk about making jewelry, painting pottery, and participating in other delicate and concentrated activities for hours on end. At our house, painting is most often done with mud after a rainy day, on the most washable canvas, and concludes with a thorough hosing down on the porch.
  6. Sometimes boys will be boys and they just need to work it out. While I struggle with whether I should admit it or not, sometimes I just let them duke it out. There are days that, after saying “stop touching your brother” 400 times, it results in me throwing my hands up and telling them to work it out. This goes one of two ways: 1. I hear some key words reflecting my amazing parenting skills like, “I don’t like the words you’re using” or “that wasn’t very nice” OR 2. They throw down and we see who the tougher kid is on any given day. Okay, #1 has only actually happened once to date, but the credit is still due.
  7. My sons love My Little Ponies, Littlest Pet Shop and Barbie. I have no little girls to thank for this but I secretly love it. I love that society has not impacted their decisions on what they like yet, and I sure as heck am not going to pass judgment on their preferences. I am 100% down with watching Frozen for 100th You haven’t lived until you’ve heard my boys “Let It Go!!!!!”

So, as I struggle to tread water against tides of testosterone, what silly stories of child rearing are you willing to share?

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