Boys are strange, goofy, little creatures. How is it that I thought I would do better with a boy than with a girl? I remember being pregnant with Ri and swearing she was a boy. How could I, the consummate tomboy, ever have a daughter? Then I found out I was pregnant with a girl and was terrified for months. But then something magical happened when she was born – I became a mother to a girl. When she started 1st grade, I remembered starting first grade and all of the crap that girls – even at that age – put each other through. I could sympathize when she came home crying because girls were ignoring her. I could reassure her that she is a strong, smart girl and that no one should make her feel differently. And I could carry a passion in my voice because I’ve been there and I’ve survived.
But then there’s Mario. When I got pregnant again, Ri was almost two. I was digging having a girl, and I had trepidation about having a boy. When Jon and I went to the doctor’s office to find out the sex, and the doctor announced “you’re having a boy!”, I remember the stress I felt. “How would I handle a boy after having a girl? How would Ri enjoy a little brother versus a baby sister like I had?” I walked around after we found out the sex worried I may not love him as much as I loved Ri.
Ahh, but then he popped into this world (quite literally) and my heart melted. He cried and ate and slept just like Ri (lots of eating and crying; not much sleeping). He learned to crawl and walk like Ri. He mumbled the words “mama” and “daddy” just like Ri. He went to daycare and preschool and learned about numbers and characters just like Ri.
But then he went to kindergarten. Just like Ri…at first. But progressively, not so much like Ri. While she came home and dutifully did homework and talked about her day, he wiggled around in his chair and wanted to forego talking in order to wrestle. Ri would never bring home any grade less than a three (out of four) but Mario brought home some twos (and laughed about them). Where Ri cried her eyes out the day a note was sent home from the teacher that informed us she had talked when she wasn’t supposed, Mario tried to hide a similar note and then tried to justify why the teacher was wrong and he was right.
Yep, it’s a whole new ball game dealing with a boy. I can still hang with him when it comes to wrestling or playing football or tossing the frisbee, but when it comes to these goofy boy antics, I am lost. I took him and his friend to lunch, and all they did was punch each other, talk in weird voices, and wrestle on the ground. What do you do with that?!
We will need to set limits on appropriate behavior with him – like when we went to the doctor’s office today and he gave inappropriate answers to her questions or didn’t answer at all – that’s just not gonna fly. But his overall day-to-day goofiness and dorkiness is here to stay, I believe. Therefore, I better take a deep breath and embrace the dork in me and try to appreciate him for all his boy goofiness. After all, I know I will miss it when he’s 19 and too cool for school.