Friday, January 23, 2015

I Was Supposed To Have Girls.

I was supposed to have girls.

I love my boys, but I was supposed to have girls.

I would not have it any other way, but I was supposed to have girls.

This assumption comes not from a desire for princesses, pink, or peace; but rather, from the frightening realization that I am not trained in boy. For 35 years I dutifully avoided any fact or event that would be useful in the raising of boys. I say dutifully because I have three brothers. When they chased and ran and tumbled, I played with Barbie. When we went to sporting events, I read a book in the stands. When they spouted facts about baseball and football, I checked out until the conversation was over. When they played poker, I went upstairs.

This is not an insurmountable problem, but it is one with a steep learning curve.

"Mommy, who is Iron-Man when he's not in his costume?" 
"Mommy, why is the Joker a bad guy?"
"Mommy, can we wrestle?"
"Mommy, why is the Hulk almost naked?"
"Mommy, can we play chase?"
"Mommy, let's play catch!"
"Mommy, I would like a story about Spider-Man, The Green Lantern, Iron-Man and Christmas. In it, Spider-Man is sad." (Character traits must be accurate and the plot must develop slowly to its climax and then end happily. Any probing questions such as, "Why is Spidey sad?" are met with a "I don't know. Tell the story.")

I am ill equipped for life with boys. I was prepped for Barbie's Dreamhouse, Babysitter Club reading sessions, and the Care Bears. Instead, I have the children my brothers were supposed to create. If there is any justice in the world, all three of them will end up with little girls who prefer cute shoes to baseball cleats.

My silver lining is that I am learning and I've always reveled in new knowledge. I know why Bruce Wayne became Batman and that Iron-Man is Tony Stark.  I know how to wrestle safely on the couch. I can play a good game of Chase that leaves everyone in hysterics. I can catch a ball like a JV softball player. I can take random plot elements and weave a short story together on the spot. (Turns out Spider-Man was sad because he heard Santa had been kidnapped by Juggernaut and so he enlisted his superhero friends to save Christmas.)

So while I will have to borrow my brothers' future girls when I feel like some shoe shopping, I will spend the rest of my life learning about the male topics I worked so hard to avoid and end up a bit more well-rounded than I aimed. 

Meanwhile, I will keep Wikipedia ready to go. Today from the shopping cart he asked, "Mommy, who is Captain America when he's not in his costume?"

"Steve Rogers," I answered once the Captain America page loaded and we both smiled, happy to finally know.


  1. I have one each, but I think I was prepared in some ways for both. Having grown up a tomboy a family that is mostly male, I felt prepared knowing that I would enjoy things like watching superhero movies and playing sports if I had a son and getting my manis and pedis if I had a girl. What I wasn't prepared for with my son was the potty training. It's been a learning experience for sure!

    1. The potty training is an entire series unto itself over here. They'll be potty trained before high school, right??

  2. Wow, you're good! My son is 6 and I still struggle with basic questions like "which superheroes are in the Avengers?" I know about Peter Parker/Spiderman and Bruce Wayne/Batman, but that's it. And I HATE playing ball. So when my son suggests that we play 4 different ball games in a row, I just want to scream, and sometimes I do. Argh, ball!

    1. I am just now trying to memorize the Avengers heroes. Hulk, for sure; Iron-Man, Capt. America and one other...maybe Thor? I don't really like playing ball, either. I make it 10 throws and the suggest something else! So good to hear from you!

  3. Boy mom here too - expected to have girls. I was raised in all women so I felt even less prepared. But I LOVE the dinos, the trucks, the wrestling and the dirt. Who would have known.

    1. Boys are more straightforward, I think. And the clothes are easy: gray, blue and cammo. Done!