Monday, February 1, 2010

Chick Break

My son has been surrounded by pink since the day he was born. With three sisters, one just 16 months older, he was born into a world of ballerinas and Barbies. I still remember the day my neighbor brought a gift for the new baby. It was a box full of blue blankets. "Now we don't ever want to see him wrapped in pink again," they smiled, insistently.

I've heard it said that kids are kids; gender doesn't matter. And yet, he was making boy noises with his hot wheels before he could communicate in complete sentences. Lord knows I didn't teach him those. I still can't make any kind of decent boy noise. My machine gun sounds like a baby blowing bubbles and my laser gun is more of a slow leak in beach ball. Even now, I question my ability to speak his language. Just yesterday I was being schooled on the difference between a speeder, a jet and a fighter. I listen. I smile. I nod. But I can't really join in the conversation the way I can with my girls.

My girls don't realize how lucky they are to have a brother. They are learning the lingo much better than I ever did. My son and his closest sister (the quiet, yet calculating one) truly speak the same language. Being so close in age, they have been best friends since the days when she would steal his bottle while he was strapped in a car seat and couldn't retaliate. I would stand back and watch as they figured out how to play together in a way that would combine baby dolls and guns.

"You be the mom and the bad guys come and steal your baby and I'll be the police and save the baby."

I would stand back mostly because I wasn't exactly sure how to raise a boy, outside of buying boy toys. But even before there were many of those, my son used Barbie bicycle handlebars as a space ship. He didn't care that it was pink, because it sounded very much like a real spaceship, thanks to his over-developed, in-born boy noise making mechanism. A Tupperware bowl was his Buzz Lightyear helmet. With that bowl on his head, he was Buzz Lightyear. To this day my son is extremely creative. So maybe I did something right with my "hands off" approach to boy raising.

Maybe, I've inadvertently discovered one of the secrets to successful parenting: Guide them in what you can and let them figure the rest out on their own. He seems to have done a pretty good job of it so far.

Still, sometimes I worry that he's living in his own world at home. While the sisters loudly discuss the latest teen girl crisis, throw fits over bad hair days, and threaten bodily harm if she wears her favorite shoes one more time without asking, my son happily builds a Lego Space station or celebrates passing the next level of Halo (if there is such a thing). I asked him the other day, as he scooted into his Legoland bedroom, why he was going to his room. He just smiled and said, "I need a chick break."

Last week, when I tucked the kids into bed, I noticed that the quiet, calculating daughter was covered with the Pirate Blanket while my son was wrapped in Ballerina Fleece.

"Hey, buddy. I'm sorry. The blankets got mixed up. You want me to trade them for you?"

He shook his head and answered in his resigned manner, "Don't worry about it, Mom. Some of us are secure in our manhood."

So all you Roaring Moms of boys...are all boys this easy or did I just get lucky?


  1. Great Post, Deborah! I am going to bookmark this and come back oftern. :)

  2. I didn't get a boy for the fourth. I remember the nurses in the delivery room asking if I wanted a boy, after having had three girls. I told them no. I think they were surprised. :) But then I was suprised to be having a fourth! By this time I wasn't sure I could deal with a boy with three older sisters, even though I'd only wanted boys, and especially with who the sisters were. I thought he'd have to be the meanest kid in the county to hold his own, or he'd be a wimp. Obviously you and yours prove me wrong!

  3. Renita, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed it! You are an awesome mom, so I know you can relate to a lot of these issues. We'd love to have your input.
    Rox, it's makes me nuts when people think we finally stopped just because we had "our boy". But I'm certainly glad we did have "our boy". My life wouldn't be as blessed without him. And obviously, he's boy enough all by himself to balance out his very "girl" sisters.

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  5. Okay, at 42 I still think Legos are cool, must be a guy thing.

  6. I have to say I enjoy them, too. I love it when he asks me to help him build something. I usually do it wrong and he has to redo it, but it's still fun!