#TBT to 2013 before I had a blog or a website or any books published. My boys were 8, 6, and 3…and I wrote this for my cousin who just had a baby boy. Rereading it now, it reminds me how precious those baby days were–mess and all. Any #boymom will appreciate…
Sisterly advice for raising…boys – !
Not that I’m an expert, but I’ve been at it nearly eight fun-filled years now, and I’ve learned a thing or two…
Be ready for mini-geyser as soon as ye old diaper is removed. Don’t waste your money on peepee teepee’s. Just keep ye old diaper nearby to cover.
If you have to ask if it’s poop or chocolate, assume it’s the former. It’s not worth the risk.
Pee, however, is sterile. Remember this if – no – when the little guy whizzes in the tub. Or if/when you get splashed by the mini-geyser. Not a biggie.
And later – potty training. There are no rules for this. Don’t waste time reading about strategies, etc. When your little guy decides he wants to use the potty, he will. Don’t make yourself crazy trying to train him. And believe him – however unfathomable it may be – when he tells you he didn’t feel it coming out. Be ready to clean the *entire toilet* not just the bowl. Also be ready to do loads and loads of laundry.
Be ready to do loads and loads of laundry. (In case you missed it the first time).
Speaking of laundry, once he starts ‘helping’ by putting his dirty clothes in the hamper, always check his pants! I have put more than one diaper through the wash. One with poop made it through the dryer cycle. I had poop cooked onto my new white capris. Delightful.
Boys love wheels. Forget the baby toys. All you need are balls and cars. Keep two matchbox cars in your purse at all times (one for each hand). You will be amazed how soon he will ‘need’ them!
Also dum-dum lollipops. Keep stash in purse. Even at 15-months it will save your shopping trip.
If you don’t already, get ready to love Halloween. Your every October will be full of scary-but-not-too-scary activities. Ours continue through Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas. It truly becomes a magical time all over again – for parents too. And Christmas music. Get out the ole Chipmunks. Adam went through a ‘Rudolf’ phase that lasted at least six months. He refused to be called anything else, and we had to sing the whole song to him as he pooped on the potty. (Do you see a theme developing?)
If your boy likes crafts – congratulations! Any craft I organize is over in two minutes. I envy the mom whose daughter who will sit for hours with a coloring book. Boys’ crafts have to be MESSY and involve goo or shaving cream or finger-paints. My boys like to build towers with playdoh tubs to knock over with a super bouncy ball.
About the super bouncy ball – seems like cheap entertainment. And boys love them. But be forewarned: those little spheres have been known to shatter vases and other fancy things.
About fancy things: What fancy things?
Hitting, biting, and other shocking acts of violence are completely normal for a toddler – and frustrating as hell. Time-outs can start as soon as 18 months (our time-out spot has always been the bottom step of the stairs – one minute per age). But keep in mind it is a phase and he will grow out of it – !
Around age five or six, his real appetite will awaken. You will be shocked at how much he will consume while at the same time wonder where it has gone. (Hence the man-sized poop you will find when he forgets to flush. I do hope for your sake all poopy accidents are finished by then.)
Boys love their anatomy. You may already have spied baby reaching for his private, tugging until it changes shape. This doesn’t seem to be something they grow out of, yet take to new levels. Diapers and then underwear with pants & seams tend to limit public crotch-grabbing. But really, there is no cure.
That said, they will wonder where Mom’s dinky has gone. Try to handle this delicately, as it seems to be quite a shock for a little guy. My standard answer, “That’s the difference between boys and girls” didn’t seem to garner comfort but deepen confusion on the matter.
Men love boobs. I’m sure this is no surprise to you. But to discover the origin of the fascination was an eye-opener for me. Even long after nursing, boys will firmly believe your boobs are their own personal pillows or stress balls or –- my boys’ personal favorite –- bongos. You’ll begin to believe it too, and wonder why the heck hubby continues to fondle them.
Book one date night a month – immediately! It’s okay if you talk about nothing but the baby for the first hour, but it is critical to get out of the house without the little guy. Reconnect. It will feel good to miss baby, and to sneak into his room and see him sleeping sweetly in his crib.
Speaking of reconnecting, take advantage of nap time. (wink wink)
Boys love Dad. Soak up all the mommy-time you can in the first two years, before they start asking for Dad, needing Dad, preferring Dad. And although it is bittersweet, it will be precious to see that guys-only relationship bud and blossom as an observer. Take lots of pictures. Or – better yet – take advantage of the ‘down time’ and get your nails done.
They always want Mommy again.