I spent all day cleaning my house yesterday.
I had been sick all week, and the condition of my house was beyond.
Beyond my ability to tolerate it.
Also, we had no clean towels.
Partly because I had not done laundry in six days.
But mostly because five people in my house haven’t learned the fine art of reusing a towel.
Taking regular showers is really hard for some people in my family, so you understand why the extra effort of walking four feet to hang up a towel is asking too much.
Being out of commission for a few days definitely put me behind in my daily life.
And let me be clear, when I say “I was out of commission”, I just did less laundry. These children still needed to eat. And be educated. And be somewhat monitored.
And for some reason, my husband still needed to go to work. That pesky little responsibility.
aired out my germ-filled house cleaned my house, I loathed what I always loathe. You all know what I am going to say, so go ahead and say it with me: why can’t boys aim in the toilet?? Why must the smell of pee seep out of every inch of grout?
They’re just so…boy.
As I hopelessly cleaned their toilet while refereeing yet another fight, I made a mental pie chart of what raising a boy is like. And then I physically made it. Because I need you to feel my pain. Or, if you are raising boys, I need you to fist bump me in solidarity. (And also I may or may not have issues. I would like to blame this pie chart on being high from all the bleach I used, but bleach is sadly not to blame.)
Obviously, this is just a working theory.
And while I have issues, I also have responsibilities (like eating the pan full of scotcheroos I made on Saturday). So I threw this together in about 3 minutes.
Let me break this down for you:
1. About 20% of my life is spent trying to stay ahead of the smells in my home. I burn candles. I diffuse essential oils. I keep Febreeze in business. I use vinegar. I use bleach.
And I continue to lose this battle.
Obviously, I have complained about the urine issue more times than one person should in one lifetime. But that isn’t the only smell.
They smell like outside. (Smelling like outside is something my husband didn’t even know existed before I came along. I guess because he’s a male.)
They leave dirty socks and shoes in the car.
They think swimming in a pool is an acceptable alternative to showering.
To offset these smelly creatures, I overuse the aforementioned list of items to make my house smell
good not awful. And it still smells. All the time.
2. I am about to turn my living room into a boxing ring because about 55% of my day consists of refereeing wrestling matches. It’s always the other person’s fault. And no one ever throws the first punch. And the person who undoubtedly threw the first punch has a very good explanation why his brother needed to be hit.
This scenario plays out only about 457 times each day.
And I enjoy getting to referee these never ending battles. Except that I don’t.
3. Any mom of boys knows that potty humor is par for the course. And any wise mom of boys decides this is a battle not worth fighting. It simply must be contained. I have not succeeded in this, which is why I spend about 20% of the day reminding my children when it is appropriate to talk about their butts, farting, and feces. And they spend about 80% of the day ignoring my counsel. It’s a beautiful cycle.
4. I used to spend more than 4% of the time telling my boys to stop being weird. But I lost that battle so long ago that now I save this line for the really important moments. Like when they show their privates. I can’t explain the male need to drop their drawers at any given opportunity, but it’s a special calling.
5. Until last month, we had terrible health insurance. I decided this to be unwise, given my children’s inability to make good choices with their bodies. (Also see #2.) I cannot imagine we will escape childhood unscathed, so investing in better health insurance seemed like a smart decision in this family full of boys.
I could go on, but I ran out of pie chart space.
And also, it’s not that serious.
This is the interesting part of raising boys. They’re are so smelly and gross and weird.
And yet so irresistible.
I am so obsessed with them. And all of the above things are somehow endearing. There is just something so sweet about a mama and her boys.
(Photo cred: Mariana Rodriguez)
I could not be more thankful for the privilege of getting to raise three boys who will…against all credible evidence…become men.
Men who will still look for the opportunity to drop their drawers at any given opportunity. But men nonetheless.
Even though they are to blame for my many gray hairs, I adore my boys and am entertained by their antics. They are so hilarious. So fun. And they make my life a million times better.
As I write these words, my two older boys are playing hockey in the foyer. A foyer with glass vases and two windows. That will doubtfully remain in one piece.
And I’m ok with that. Boys are wildly fun. If a few vases are broken along the way, it’s worth it to watch them live life big. And loud. And with more energy than seems humanly possible.
Now if you’ll excuse me, this sweet moment ended when one boy took a shot to the weiner (his words) because his brother was mad he scored. I must go grab my whistle and referee battle #87 of the day.
It’s what I do.