Thursday, February 14, 2008

Boys, Boys, Boys

After a rousing discussion with my father this morning regarding circumcision (definitely a longer post is in this topic's future), I am realizing how utterly terrified I am to raise a boy.

I never had a brother. My house was entirely female-centric. I was never around boys, really, at least not in any capacity where I was paying attention to much besides whether he was "cute" or not. Even my little boy cousins who I always adored lived very far away from me. Basically, when it comes to raising a boy, I am starting from zero--make that Less than Zero (shout out to Bret Easton Ellis). And I am no less than terrified. Seriously. Terrified.

This is sort of hitting me by surprise because up until now, I have purported to be "cool with either." I thought, no problem, I would love to have one of each and blah, blah. The reality is much murkier and scary because up until we had Sam, I had zero (again: make that Less than Zero) interest in having a boy. Now before the mommy police gets its panties all in a bunch and comes after me for breaking the cardinal rule of parenting (ie. always lie and say you don't care which gender pops out of the canal), let me assure you that first and foremost, I want a healthy baby. But after a healthy baby, coming in at a distant second, I wanted a girl. The thought of having a boy just never really entered my brain. What does one do with a boy, really?

But then I started seeing these darling little bundles of blue in my mommy and me classes. They were so cute and sweet and so I figured, what the hell? Maybe I could wish for a boy, too. At some point. Down the road. Not like NOW. But now here I am, probably about to become the mother to a boy (I never really 100 percent rely on ultrasounds--or on a healthy pregnancy--no need to jinx). I need a lot of help.

It is not that I don't like boys, it's just that all the gender stereotypes--the rambunctiousness, the sports, the war games, the violent toys--kind of make me nervous. Now I know as the parent I will have some control over what kinds of toys he plays with. But if he wants GI Joe or to watch football with his dad, am I going to say no? Am I going to tell him he needs to come and dance to Abba with me and his sister? I doubt it.

Maybe the problem is that all of my ideas of boys are wrapped up in stereotype packaging, probably because I never was around boys. I know he will be an individual, but boys seem so foreign and scary. And yes, I know this is getting way ahead of myself, but does having a boy also mean I need to the some woman's mother-in-law someday? Because that ideas scares me. I know I will probably be that horrible type who thinks no one is good enough for her son and then my daughter-in-law will hate me and I will never get to help plan their wedding or see my grandkids (or at least not as much as her parents) and that will make me cry and they will probably talk badly about me behind my back. See the kind of pressure I am under here??? All I can say is it is a damn good thing I have Sam to be my little girl. At least I can be super overbearing and pushy in her life.

I am very excited, don't get me wrong. This is a new and exciting challenge and I cannot wait to meet this little boy. I have no idea what a boy from my side of the family would even look like! I know I will love him every bit as much as I love Sam and I know I will learn to love all the things he loves, too. Even if they are things I currently despise (like football). Okay, maybe not. But I will at least go to games if he likes sports. I will be supportive, if not enthusiastic.

When we found out Sam was a girl, R took a couple weeks to adjust to the idea. I was so offended and annoyed. But now, I really, really get it. It is scary. And if he can raise a girl, I can raise a boy.

Our house will not be male oriented or female oriented. It will be the yin and the yang (at least until we have the third). This son brings balance to the force.


Lis Garrett said...

Hee hee!

My son is now six, and I just love, love, love him to pieces!!! Although he has been my most difficult child (because he has some very real issues that we are addressing with professionals) he's also been one of my most loving. I just LOVE the bond that we have. He pretends to be all macho, but he still can't resist a good cuddle with his mom. He still carries around "blankie," which is endearing.

You won't have any problems, I assure you. I had no clue about boys either. The only thing you need to do differently is cover up his penis when you change his diaper. Other than that, love away!

Kristi said...

I have zero experience with boys too. My mom and dad divorced when I was so young that my house was an estrogen-fest from very early on. All my close-in-age cousins are girls, my dad went on to have two more girls with his second wife, and most of my extended family members are women too.

But, you like a challenge as much as I do, so I know you will be a fabulous mom to a boy, once you figure out the whole train, truck, GI Joe, football thing. ;)