Baby Boys 101
Dear Great Amalah,
I have two little girls (ages 5 &6). I am due with a little boy in about 6 weeks (although I am really thinking that 4 more weeks is more than enough…..sigh….). My sister in law also has a girl and is expecting a boy about 10 days before me (we planned that well, didn’t we?). My friend has two little girls and just had a boy almost two months ago. Noticing a pattern here???
So my question is, what do I need to know about little boys??? I’ve got the girl thing totally figured out; no clue about what to do with a boy. And his boy parts. And the boy stuff he will do that will really make me wonder about his intelligence.
In the interest of saving my sanity, could you compile some sort of list of boy facts you wish you had known. An FAQ list of sorts. Something. Anything. Cause I know nothing about little boys.
You know, a few weeks ago I mentioned on my blog that I was going to write a book called THEY TOTALLY GET BONERS: And 250 Other Things Nobody Told You About Mothering Little Boys. It was just a joke, but some days I do think: I SHOULD TOTALLY WRITE THAT BOOK.
Now, I could get into a big whole thing about sex vs. gender and how gender stereotyping is bad and all that. I could assure you that my sons have both had complete freedom to choose the toys and interests they want, rather than what’s expected of “boys.” I could tell you that they are allowed to play with my jewelry and try on my shoes and have only the vaguest sense that there’s anything “different” about girls except that we sit down to use the potty. I could tell you that we own baby dolls and dollhouses, that Noah loves the Disney princess movies and that Ezra’s favorite toys include his play kitchen and a miniature pink baby doll stroller. This is all true.
They also love cars and trucks and trains and planes. Monsters and dinosaurs. Pirates and Star Wars. My long-ago notion that my children would not play with weapon-like toys has gone down in laughable flames, because even if I don’t buy them weapon-like toys, sooner or later they figure out how to MAKE TOYS INTO WEAPONS. We have lightsabers and swords made out of drumsticks, Tinker Toys, pencils and empty paper towel tubes. Finding one tiny little plastic gun in a Lego set was all it took for Noah to figure out that he can make his fingers into the shape of a “shooting thing” and go around pew-pew-pewing me all damn day. They wrestle and jump off the couch and hurt themselves and behave like total jackasses. Ezra is perhaps the worst offender — there was a time when Noah was the quiet, book-reading, puzzle-assembling type, but now he mimics his crazy friends and the baby mimics his crazy brother, with no fear and less sense, refusing to accept that he is littler and not coordinated enough to climb all the way up the monkey bars yet.
Buy extra washcloths and put them over his penis when you change his diaper. For the first few months, something about that diaper coming off will trigger an immediate need to pee, and it will arch up and out and all over the wall or you if you’re not careful. Don’t buy any of the little pee-pee teepees or whatever: the pee sends those things flying. Washcloths or small cloth wipes are where it’s at.
At some point, the air-to-pee trigger will stop. Right around the same time he’ll figure out how to grab himself. He will smile, and he will NEVER LET GO.
Seriously. There’s a lot of penis-grabbing and tugging and pulling.
The specifics of how to care of his penis will depend on whether you circumcise or not, but don’t worry: They will totally tell you how to take care of the boy parts at the hospital. At first, just plain soft cloths and warm water are best. Maybe some Cetaphil.
Check for HAIR. Your hair. Especially once you hit that postpartum shedding phase. Hair somehow ALWAYS manages to get into their little diapers and wrapped around the business. This can really injure them and/or get infected, so keep an eye out for that.
Cleaning poop from the testicles isn’t fun.
If you notice any rashes or irritation, your doctor will probably recommend either plain (unscented) Vaseline or Neosporin if the skin looks raw. Keep both on hand.
Boys can get yeast infections too.
They can also scratch themselves.
Or stick fruit stickers in their diapers.
But call the doctor anyway, if you see anything out of the ordinary down there.
At some point he will get defensive about you touching or cleaning his privates. It’s normal. Try to teach him to care for that area as much as you can.
At some point he might figure out that certain things Feel Good When You Touch Or Rub Them. Also normal, also innocent. Don’t make a big deal about it; just start working on the concept of Private Time In Your Room & Not In Front Of People.
And yes. They do indeed, totally get boners. It’s a nice little surprise for that first early morning diaper change.
But boy-parts aside, your son will be who he is because that’s who he is. He might want to do to everything his sisters do because he wants to do everything his sisters do. Or he might not want to do ANYTHING his sisters do. He will be your special little guy, his cuddles will melt your heart into your toes, his tears will stir up the deepest Mama Bear urges you’ve ever felt, and his antics will both fill you with alternate waves of terror and laughter. You will want to eat him whole because he is your precious little baby for always, while feeling the immense weight and pride that comes from the responsibility of raising a little boy into a man. It’s amazing. Welcome to the boys club.
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