A Mind Of Its Own

Gotta know where it is at all times.
Gotta know where it is at all times.

I am the mother of sons. Although I had no say in the matter, the truth is that when hubby and I decided to have children I made it fairly clear that I expected him to give me sons and not daughters. Now, I know we had no say in the matter given that the general rule of conception, at least at this current moment, is “you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit,” but I’ve always been a girl who knew what she wanted. You see, I am the oldest of three girls. And, while I know my mom enjoyed having young daughters, I remember what I was like as a teenager. I remember how I treated my mother. Furthermore, I remember what it was like living in a house with three teenage girls. Frankly, that amount of estrogen scares me. So, I put that part of my life behind me and gave it a firm “no thank you” when I considered my future and potential parenthood. I was thrilled when the Powers That Be determined that I should have not one but two darling little boys. Apparently, someone up there either understood what I wanted or figured I should parent what I was least likely to strangle. I have always understood why some animals eat their young.

Being the mother of sons is an interesting proposition, though. On the one hand, I never have to share clothes, make up, jewelry, or zero-calorie soft drinks. On the other hand, I am the problem child when it comes to camping and long car trips since I wasn’t built with an external pee hose for convenient potty breaks. All in all, though, being the only female in the house has been an ideal situation for me up until now. Now, my oldest son is now firmly in the throes of being a preteen. Situations in which I am asked to demystify the male anatomy are becoming more frequent. This might freak some women out, but I am not squeamish. I’ve never talked to my sons with baby talk about body parts. I’ll bet I utter the word penis at least five times in any given day, and I’m okay with that. I’m the one who gave my sons their first (very simplified) “sex talk” because 1) they had questions and asked me, 2) their dad was not interested in discussing it yet, and 3) I determined it would be better if they got the details from me than from one of their little friends who has erroneous information. Quite honestly, it’s been fun to hear the things my sons will tell me.

“Please put your penis in its house,” I requested of a not-quite-fully-clothed Joe who was standing in the hallway wearing nothing but a towel after his bath.

He looked down into the towel. “It’s not ready to get dressed yet,” he replied matter of factly.

I closed one eye, cocked my head, and pondered why it might not be ready to get dressed yet. Then I shuddered. Oh Good Lord. “It will be fine. It will fit into pajamas. Get dressed. I may not have a penis, but I know how they work,” I claimed.

“Trust me, Mom. They have a mind of their own.”

So I’ve heard.

You know, my whole life I thought that saying was a cop out. Turns out that even 11 year old boys know it to be true. The best part about being a mom to boys isn’t what I expected it would be. It’s not that no one is hogging the bathroom while doing their hair or that no one is breaking down into weepy, hormone-induced puddles, although those are both good things. It is instead the education I’m getting being able to see the male experience as it happens from birth. It’s given me an entirely new perspective on the male species. I still don’t truly understand men, but I’m getting closer. Apparently, it really is all about the penis.


  1. This made me laugh out loud. Probably because I’m the youngest of three girls (yes, my mother had 3 girls within three years time). I also gave birth to two boys. I wanted to have a third child and try for a girl, realizing It would probably also be a boy (I would have been fine with that). But my body decided it was done having children. When I gave birth to my second son (we didn’t find out the sex and wanted to be surprised), I remember my OB doctor saying, “IT’S ANOTHER BOY!” The first words out of my mouth were, “ANOTHER PENIS…. I’M SURROUNDED BY THEM!

    1. How funny, Gail. We waited until both boys were born before we found out if they were boys or girls. With Joe I was so excited to have a boy because that was what I wanted. With Luke, I was so excited to know Joe would have a brother. I’m lucky that my guys are the best of buddies too. For the record, when we decided to get another dog, I insisted it be a “she” because I thought it might be nice to have another female in the house to balance things out. 😉

      1. You don’t know how happy I am to hear that someone else didn’t want to know the sex of their babies before they were born. I was beginning to think I was the odd man out on that! I got tired of people asking me what I was having when I was pregnant– a boy or girl? When I would tell them I didn’t know– that my husband and I both didn’t want to know until the birth, I sure got some strange looks! I hoped my second was a boy too because I wanted my oldest to have a brother. I so understand about wanting a female dog in the house too. Sometimes I just really crave more estrogen in this house! We have to counteract all that testosterone somehow, huh? My teenage boys didn’t give me a minute’s problem and my guys always got along so well too. I can’t help but think that wouldn’t have been the case had I had all girls. They’re still close now that they’re about grown and going to the same college and even studying the same major!

  2. Our three sons are now grown, but I thank God every day that we had sons instead of daughters — mainly because if we had a daughter I would be in jail the first time she rolled her eyes when I was talking! I was a member of the Board of Education in a very large school district and every time I was in one of the high schools I would see the girls rolling their eyes when some poor teacher was trying to talk to them — for some reason that bothers me more than I can even describe!

  3. LOL when you texted me that the other day I was SURE it was Luke saying all of that. I see Joe more “reserved” so it MUST have had a mind of its own!
    Favorite line? “external pee hose” 🙂

    1. Joe speaks his mind quite plainly. And he’s only “reserved” when he’s been warned to behave. Didn’t say anything to him before we went to the doctor yesterday and he told her that Luke beats him up. Ha!

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