It seems that babies come in waves.
I haven’t attended a baby shower in more than a year, and after several Father’s Day ultrasound Facebook announcements this week, it looks like I may have something close to 5, 356 games of “Guess the Baby Food” in my near future.
(Back in the days of the standard 12-month deployment, we used to joke that there was “deployment season” and there was “delivery season” — because about nine months after deployment reunion, we played a month-long game of Meals on Wheels for all the new parents in our unit.
No, we have no idea how this happens. Please, someone give us an anatomy lesson.)
When one of these precious expectant families, either through birth or adoption, discovers they’re having a girl, I immediately take the full liberty of purchasing every obnoxious flower hair bow and ridiculous-looking tutu in sight. I don’t care that the mom-to-be has requested no more clothes on her baby shower invitation; she gets to buy tights and accessories and pants in colors other than “will-look-good-in-dirt” for the rest of her mommy life. She can sacrifice a little for a deprived boymom whose shopping experience includes stripes, solids and “which t-shirt will look best with rips from tree house jumping?”.
But when these families discover they’re having a boy, I skip the clothing aisle all together. Because, let’s be honest, it’s not like those clothes will ever stay tear- or stain-free anyway.
Instead, I gift them with a Boy Survival Kit — a collection of items that we, as boyparents, have discovered are helpful, useful or vital to life with boys. (These items probably also apply to children in general. But because all our children have penises, we can only speak to our own experiences. And those experiences are with boys.)
Dear Future Boymom,
CONGRATULATIONS on the news of your baby boy! As a boy family ourselves, we are SO, SO THRILLED FOR YOU!
Now that you’ve discovered baby is also a superhero in the making, your dear, loving friends are going to start buying you things — cute, adorable, crisp and clean GLOWING things like little boy hats, little boy bedding and outfits in sizes newborn and 3m.
Those dear, sweet, kind people, with their beautiful handmade garments and their pristine outfits with the white collars, they don’t actually HAVE any boys. Because if they did, they would realize that those little white collars will be red with BBQ sauce and strawberry juice before they ever make it into the public eye. And those cute new matching crib sheets with the anchors and little sailboats? They won’t be used for sleeping — they’ll be used for fort building.
Those people with their beautiful intentions, they don’t really love you. They love WATCHING you trying to keep the things they gave you clean and APPEARING like it’s not hard to get out the door by 8 a.m. without changing three sets of clothes first.
Our family — we ACTUALLY love you. Which is why we aren’t going to put you through the pain or delusion of even thinking that with boys, ANYTHING they wear or use will stay clean longer than the 5 minutes it takes you to iron it.
Because we ACTUALLY love you, we’ve assembled (with the help of three boys) something more practical: the Boymom Survival Kit. These are the REAL things you need with life with boys. There are instructions for use on each item. (The headache medicine comes with free refills for life.)
We love your family dearly, and we are so excited for all of your new adventures! You will never sleep less, run more or have MORE FUN IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE than you will with little superheroes in your home. :)
Bless you on all your adventures to come! CONGRATULATIONS!
BOYMOM SURVIVAL KIT CONTENTS
Icy Hot: For nights after days chasing boys.
Paper plates: Because one day, you might want to eat on a plate they can’t break. Or throw like a frisbee.
Washable crayons: Because there should be no other kind from this point forward in your home.
Lock: Because you will eventually need to keep boys out of something … your good china, your medicine, or more importantly, your REFRIGERATOR. (This is second choice to a new membership at Costco.)
Ear plugs: Because if you are going to tell boys to use their “inside voice,” they will assume there is some time they can use their “outside voice.” And you will want these for that time.
Orange cones: Because superheroes need rowdy boundaries.
Air freshener: To combat the permanent aroma of sweaty feet and gym socks that will now permeate your home.
Extra strength headache medicine: Just take it.
Headlamps: Because when the boys are crawling under the furniture and making forts out of your bed sheets, they will need light. Trust me — I am saving your favorite lamp from becoming fort collateral.
Five-hour energy: Because you will never sit down again.
Antibacterial wipes: Because germs are a boy accessory.
Mouthwash: For the days when the morning tooth brushing battle (which would require some form of hygiene on behalf of little creatures who don’t believe this matters) is not worth fighting. Keep in car to prevent death by morning breath. :)
Cars: Because if they race these, it might temporarily distract them from racing other things … like couch cushions down the stairs.
Furniture sliders: Because when the wrestling matches begin, your floor will fare much better with sliders on the bottom of your furniture. Just trust me.
Bottle of wine: Because one day, you may have to take them jock strap shopping. This is for that night.
Hair dye kit: Because children will turn those luscious locks gray faster than you can get to the stylist to cover them. (There’s a reason I’m 33 years old and back to blonde. It’s a good disguise for WHITE.)
First aid kit: Sista, keep one in every room.
This kit also comes with a free pass for a girls’ night out and a margarita on my front porch, where we can commiserate, collaborate and share the stories of answering awkward public questions about penises for the next 18 years of our lives.
Believe me, after one little gaze from one precious superhero, you’ll be willing to sacrifice your dignity (and your flowerbeds) for the rest of your mommy life. :)