On the eve of becoming a temporary mama to a GIRL for the very first time, may I just make a confession?
I'm getting nervous.
Not just nervous about what to DO with a girl. (When all else fails, purchase a 14-pack of bows on Amazon and fake it ‘til you make it. According to my sweet girlmom friend, "The bigger the bow, the better the mama." My new colorful collection of hair accessories says I am a girl mom BOSS.)
But how to protect one in the midst of boy world.
I bought a brush (because getting these boys to use the TOOTH kind is already a battle — I don’t even KEEP one around for the hair), I borrowed boots, I bought bows ... but none of my friends had a full armor body suit in a children’s size 7. Nor did they have gas-blocking nose plugs, noise-cancelling children’s ear phones or booger defense shields that might protect this sweet thing from the waste that is flung from the noses of these boys on a daily basis. And I'm starting to worry about how I can protect this sweet superhero from this lovely mess of dirty, loud and crazy chaos that is about to change her world.
This sweet girl – I can’t stop watching the video of her daintily dancing before her nannies and sitting so patiently in a chair for a hosting interview and earning the nickname “The Perfectionist” because of her need to get things RIGHT and have ORDER. (Clearly, I love her already.)
But this ain’t no ballet up in here. I love these boys dearly, but the dances our family room features are the kind where boys tackle each other to music or whip wet towels at brothers and then wiggle their hips and dance nude until someone insists that they can’t eat (my best negotiating tool and my biggest point of leverage) until they put away their boy parts and put on some clothes.
Dreaded, dreaded clothes.
They dirty them. They don’t wash them. If they’re underwear, they forget to WEAR them. And if I’ve just done laundry, they’re sure to change into and stain at least 20 pairs of them. In one hour. Just to see if I’ll cry.
Yesterday, as I was preparing dinner, one superhero walked into the kitchen for dinner wearing nothing but (likely three-day-old) underwear. As I tried to figure out why he would remove his clothes after wearing those magical things just minutes before and having hours to go until bedtime, he started literally running in circles and leaping across the room.
“Mom, do you think they would let me run my next 10K in underwear? I didn’t realize how those heavy pants have been holding me down all these years!”
He was thoroughly disappointed when Siri couldn’t tell him where the nearest naked race took place.
Then there is the backseat wrestling.
Thankfully, I drive a vehicle in the discreet color of habanero orange, so I’m sure no drivers-by notice when my vehicle is rocking back and forth from the motion of wrestling boys who share a space the size of a dog crate when we’re driving around town. I’m cheap, and so I happily squeeze three boys into a tiny car to get 50 miles to the gallon and save $150 a month in gas.
Save my money, lose my sanity, I always say. And my ear drums. And my patience. And all my hair.
That’s definitely where it’s gone.
As have all the boogers that have been plucked from boy noses, plucked from brother noses and flung across back seats in contests that resemble paper football.
(Mental note: Vacuum back seat before Joy arrives. Check.)
I now have 36 hours to teach these precious, perfect, nudity-loving wrestlers who have the BEST HEARTS but the WORST HYGIENE how to love clothes, use gentle hands and keep all waste from both ends to themselves.
And also not kill this sweet angel who, if she doesn’t learn how to operate a Nerf gun in the first 15 minutes in our house, may just die.
Sweet Joy, these boys have been WAITING for you and PRAYING for you and SACRIFICING for you for months now, and no child will love you more PASSIONATELY than these three. Their hearts for you are HUGE!
But if orphanage life looks calmer (and smells better!) than the first 24 hours in our home, please just give us grace. I’m offering a month of Naked Saturdays after you leave to the boy who scares you the least with his habits and his hygiene.
Clearly, I'm whipping out the big guns and giving it all I've got.
Thirty-six hours to go …