Growing up in a house full of girls, all sisters no brothers, left me ill prepared for being the mother to two boys (and one girl who is a total tomboy). I see the signs of it every day whether it be from the pile of clothes left AT THE FRONT DOOR from stripping immediately upon entering or the constant battle of the bowl in the bathroom or the spontaneous and intense wrestling matches that occur on the living room floor. All reminders that I am in uncharted waters here. I remember when GI Joe and I first got married, he looked at me and said in all seriousness and he was totally not saying it as a “line”, “Do you wanna wrestle?” You can imagine my reply as I looked at him as if he’d grown a 3rd eye. But to him this was a completely legitimate request as it was a normal occurrence in his house growing up with a brother, no sisters. I told him I am a girl, I do not wrestle and if he’d like to wrestle he should call his brother or a friend or wait until we have a son or two. You can imagine his elation when Blade was born and then Ryder, and they were old enough to wrestle, so you know, about 6 months. ;) But let’s be honest, even though I tried to shelter her from it, Dakota’s gotten in on a few of those matches too because she is not your typical girl and is one tough cookie. Her daddy is so proud.
So, boys. Boys are a different kind of species. Never was this ever more evident then when I took all 3 kids to the doctor last week for their physicals. I thought I was being super smart and efficient by scheduling all 3 at the same time. I didn’t really think through the logistics of it since they are all 3 getting to that age where it would be weird to have them all 3 in the same room getting their physicals at the same time. But our dr’s office is kind of smart so they put Dakota in one room and put the boys together in a room directly across the hall. I split my time between the two rooms, which left me wondering at what age are moms not supposed to go in the exam room with their kid? 13? 15? 21? J The nurse gave all 3 of them gowns and told them to change into them before the doctor got in to see them. I ran across the hall to Dakota’s room and she asked me to tie all the strings in the back so that it wasn’t gapping open, because she’s modest (and NORMAL) like that. Then I went across the hall to check on the boys and see if they needed any help. It was like I had stepped into their college dorm room in 2021 on a Friday night. Both boys were in their underwear, one sitting on the exam table, one sitting on the floor playing Legos, completely relaxed, with their clothes strewn all over the room. The gowns the nurse had given them still folded nicely on the exam table. I asked them if they needed help putting the gowns on and their response was, “We’re not putting on those dumb dresses, why can’t we just be in our underwear?” I had nothing, no response, I’m done. THEN Ryder had to go to the bathroom which was down the hall and around the corner. He was halfway out the door before I stopped him and insisted that he put on a gown if he was going to go out in the hallway WHERE OTHER PEOPLE THAT WE DIDN’T KNOW COULD SEE HIM. Seriously. I….just….I…I…give up.
The doctor came in where he was greeted by
a jello shot and a Playboy 2 mostly nekkid boys. Now our doctor has been their pediatrician since they were born. He’s in his 60’s and is this softspoken, little, scholarly guy. Great guy, we love him and I love that when we see him at the grocery store he doesn’t run and hide says hi and calls us by name. That’s impressive. ANYWAY, he must know us pretty well by now because he was unfazed. He went through the physicals, checked them out, chatted with us for a bit, and then said to the boys, specifically Blade, “Listen up, I’m going to tell you what may start happening to you within the next few years.” In other words, the high level puberty talk. I cringed because, well, have you met Blade and Ryder? You just never know what may come out of their mouths. The doctor started telling them about things that may start happening to them such as getting a little acne on their faces, getting more interested in girls, under arm hair growth, the body odor, you know, the usual boy talk.
And then he said the words that made my 2 boys sit up and pay attention. The words that made their eyes widen in wonder. The words that made them look forward to the next 5 years of their lives with great anticipation.
“And your BALLS will start to get bigger.”
This is when I fell off my chair and tried to hide in the cupboard under the sink.
Because I saw Blade’s eyes widen, the smile dancing on his lips. I was afraid, so so afraid.
The dr. went on, “It’ll be gradual so you may not notice it but throughout puberty your balls will be growing and getting bigger.”
When I was growing up, we didn’t even say the words “fart” or “butt” in our house and those words still make me highly uncomfortable, such crass words after all. But now I have our lil’ old nerdy doctor saying balls, in reference to a body part…..repeatedly. Not testicles, not some fancy medical term, nope, he said balls. Not only that he told them that they’d get BIGGER.
That’s it, I’m dead.
Much to my surprise, my boys were stunned into silence and withheld all comments until the doctor left the room. But as soon as the dr. left the room, the giggles and the “Did you hear that MY BALLS are going to get bigger?!?” began. I told them to get dressed (for the love of all that is holy) and went across the hall to check on Dakota and escape the ball talk.
The boys got dressed and came over to Dakota’s room who was also done but still waiting on her shots. And the first words out of Blade’s mouth were, “Dakota, guess what? My BALLS are going to get bigger!!!” As you might suspect, Dakota was overjoyed to hear this news….not. Sadly, having grown up with 2 brothers, not much shocks her anymore. She just shook her head and told him she didn’t want to hear about it. And then looked at me as if to say, “Really, you had to go and have them. Why couldn’t I be an only child?”
We checked out and got into the car, with the boys talking about, well, BALLS, the whole way home. And Dakota interjecting every so often to tell them to stop because they were being inappropriate. But that only fueled their fire. When we finally got home, we walked in the house and before I could warn him, GI Joe asked, “So how did the doctor’s appointments go?” We all started giggling, I’m sorry I couldn’t help it because I knew he had just asked a loaded question.
Blade was quick to answer him, “Daddy, did you know MY BALLS are gonna get bigger?!?”
Cue Ryder actually rolling on the floor laughing.
Cue Dakota RUNNING to her room.
Cue GI Joe shaking his head, looking at me as if I had some explaining to do. Hello, didn’t you go through puberty? You should know more about this boy stuff than I do! Geesh. Once I explained he just smiled and laughed at the boys who were reveling in this newfound fact.
All I know is that when my measuring tape goes missing, the boys’ room is going to be the FIRST place I look.