When I was pregnant with my daughter some eighteen years ago, I never read any books on what I should expect during pregnancy, during birth, or beyond. I may have browsed the pamphlets and literature that was handed to me by the doctor and the Lamaze instructor.
The internet hadn't been invented yet (can you imagine how we even SURVIVED?!?) or if it had, we didn't have it. I had a mother that was perfectly content giving me all the glory and gory details of the upcoming event.
Fast forward several years when I was pregnant with my second child. Internet was available to a limited few, (not me) but I read every single book I could get my hands on. As a matter of fact, about the third time I came home from work with yet another sack from the bookstore, my husband said, "Really. I think you have enough books. What else could you possibly NOT know?"
That was the last time he ever cut me off books. However, I don't buy them new anymore either.
We're both fast learners.
There was a lot of things I didn't know. Some things had changed since I had my first child. One of the main things I didn't know was that second child I KNEW was going to be a girl was in fact a very large, ten pound bouncing baby boy.
(Yes, ladies. Ten whole pounds. And he came to town through the main highway.)
But a boy?!? I didn't know how to deal with all that stuff. Anyway, we made it through with flying colors and when I got pregnant with my third child a mere six months later, I don't think I cracked open any of those books that were collecting dust already.
I've been thinking that there is a reason that the books don't tell you what to expect after the second year.
No other child would be born. Ever.
The Trying Threes (none of my kids had the Terrible Twos) were nothing like the Pre-Teen years we are going through with the boys. Thankfully, my daughter really didn't give us much grief. She was pretty easy going. Still is.
But the boys? They are the reason that I have grey hair, sleepless nights, adult onset acne, and a secret stash of chocolate.
To make life even more complicated, they are polar opposites. When it is said that "opposites attract," it's not siblings that are being referenced. Believe it.
So to sum it up, we have two completely different personalities, unpredictable surging hormones that can't be helped with Midol or chocolate, unsatiable appetites for foods that aren't in the house, and the inability to hear my requests to pick up ____ (backpack, socks, clean laundry, books, etc.)
I have been making it my life's mission to inform everyone that I can of the impending doom that is boys. Only, I don't have any reference past eleven-almost-twelve. While, I am trying to spread the knowledge as far as I can, I also have to deal with the day-to-day activities and HOPE that I am not making some critical error that will forever alter his, mine, or our life path therefore insuring any and all success he could have had coming to him had I ____ (whatever.)
If I don't let him audition for the play, will that stunt his future chances of becoming an Oscar-nominated actor? (Because it is an honor to just be nominated.)
If don't get him a cell phone so that he can text with all his fifth-grade friends, does that mean he will be ousted and it will hinder his ability to win the election for class president his senior year thereby eliminating colleges he can apply to?
No matter what I decide or not to do with these boys, I am afraid of any possible damage. Big Daddy says that I am doing a good job and that they will have plenty of fodder for the tell-all book that will be written.
He's quite the active partner in the parenting process.
I've been working hard and diligently working on raising respectable children that will grow up to be responsible adults. The last couple of months have been much better than the six prior, but it is still a jiggling act at best.
Don't misunderstand me. I love my boys with every fiber of my being. I can't imagine my life without them. If I was given the ability to a do-over and have only girls, I wouldn't do it.
But you need to heed my warning: Boys are harder than girls. They will work your last nerve.
I have no doubt that should any of my children find themselves in need of therapy later in life, I will be blamed for everything.
I also have no doubt that should one, two, or three of them become famous their father will be the one that is thanked before I am.
I can live with that.