Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Boys' Mother's Day

My wife is a mother of boys. When she was younger, and dreaming of getting married and having her own family someday, she always said she wanted to have four boys. That’s the only part she ever tells me. She won’t tell me what kind of husband she dreamed she would have, so I will have to assume that I obviously met or surpassed all of her expectations.

While she likely met 400% of her goal in the husband department, we ended up with only three boys, so she made just 75% of her goal in the offspring department. That is just fine with her. After we had Son Number Two she began to question her earlier logic, and by the time Number Three was on the scene, she knew that four was just crazy talk.

Every once in a blue moon she will see a cute little baby girl, or one of our nieces all decked out in a pretty dress, and she will make that “awww” sound that women make when they find something unbearably adorable. Then she hears a story from a friend about eight-year-old girl drama, and breaths a quiet sigh of relief. (And so do I.)

While we both think that having only boys takes a lot of the stress off us as parents, I don’t think she was fully prepared for all the fighting. She may not have been prepared for all the peeing, either.

Fighting, to boys, is like climbing. It is ingrained in their DNA. See a tall, dangerous-looking structure or tree? Climb it. See your brother over there looking smug or having fun? Go tackle him. It’s just a fact of life. They start very young by wrestling each other down as toddlers. It’s a fact that infant boys with older brothers learn to roll themselves over at an earlier age, due to the desire to keep from getting pinned and avoiding the three count.

She was initially concerned with how much fighting was taking place between the first two, but by the time the third one was in the mix, she had resigned herself to the inevitable melees. I knew she had finally come around one day when I heard her tell Number One regarding his youngest brother, “Be gentle if you’re going to fight with him.” No one but a mother of boys would ever utter those words.

As far as the peeing goes, she definitely wasn’t prepared for that. Truth be told, I wasn’t really either. This is the area where the parents of girls probably gain back some ground. Sure, there’s drama and fashion and hairstyles to deal with, but the peeing is at least straightforward. Or should I say, straight down. With boys, there’s a moving part to the equation, and it can be unpredictable.

Son Number One summed it up for her about a year ago when she was questioning him outside a public restroom. We were all dressed up for a wedding rehearsal dinner, and he came out sporting wet underwear, with his pants still undone, looking for some help. When she asked, slightly exasperated, how his underwear and his nice dress pants had become covered in pee, he explained, “My penis just went wild.”

When she brought him back and told me the story, I just nodded. “Yep, sometimes that happens.”

I knew exactly what my son had meant, and I could even envision the whole thing happening. The mistake I made was assuming he also knew what had happened and why, and he was just giving his mom the condensed version of the events. As it turns out, maybe I should have been doing a little more coaching with the boys when it comes to peeing. That became evident recently.

Son Number Two came out of our downstairs bathroom the other evening with a forlorn expression on his face.

“Mom, something just happened.”

Nothing good has ever preceded those words. Since it was obviously a bathroom incident, and my wife happened to be cooking dinner at the time, I bravely stepped in to help.

“What’s up, buddy?”

“Well, I started to pee, and then all of a sudden, instead of going down, it was going up.”

As we rounded the corner and stepped through the door to the little bathroom, I was amazed at what I saw. There was pee on the toilet seat, on the top of the toilet, on the wall behind the toilet, on the step stool next to the toilet, and all over the floor. There was even a puddle of pee on the floor all the way behind the toilet, between the base of the toilet and the wall. How do you get a puddle directly behind the toilet??

It took me a whole roll of toilet paper to clean it all up.

“What happened, buddy?”

Not one for long detailed explanations, and perhaps to try and figure it out himself, he opted for a reenactment. He dropped his drawers in front of the toilet and said, “I don’t know. I was standing here like this, and then it just went all over the place.” He was standing with both hands down at his side, simply thrusting his hips forward.

“Well, it helps to aim it down.”

“Is there a hole or something?”

Come again? Is there a hole or something? You can’t be serious right now.

“Uh, yeah, buddy. Right there. That’s where the pee comes out. You need to aim it.”

“OK, dad. I will next time.”

What was that all about? How have you had this penis for seven years and not figured out how it works?? Depending on the time of day, that thing can be pointing anywhere. You’ve got to aim it, man!

Oh, well. I guess I need to do a little better job explaining the obvious to my boys. We should probably go over the wonderful benefits of wiping your butt again, as well.

Happy Mother’s Day, sweetheart! You are doing a fine job of being a mother of boys. I on the other hand, am obviously falling down a little bit on the fatherly end. I was concentrating on teaching them important man skills like how to field a grounder and how to use a saw without removing any of your fingers. I figured peeing was self-explanatory. I guess not.

I will try to stay on top of all the bodily function-related issues, and I promise I will be all over the future penis conversations when it comes time to talk about its other function!

See you soon,


Copyright © 2013 Marc Schmatjen

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