When the doctors held up a screaming baby in the c-section room and said “It’s a boy!”, I did not fully comprehend what that meant. I was too busy listening incredulously as the youngest doctor I had ever seen since Doogie Howser was telling me that my incision was really very small and I was going to look great eventually. I was straining to see my baby in the corner of the room and thinking “Dude, Doogie, are you… bragging? Fucking arrogant surgeons! I just had a REAL LIVE BABY and you’re trying to tell me how good your hand-sewing is? Time and a place, man!” He was probably trying to reassure me that I could appear in public in a bikini once the weather warmed up without fear of the no-drug-natural-birth-mommas pointing to me and yelling “SHAME!” when they spot my scar. What he doesn’t know is that if I were to appear in a bikini everyone around me would be shielding their eyes from the glare of the sun bounding off skin that hasn’t seen the light of day since my 20s. And I am too polite to cause snow-blindness at the beach.
So, they handed me this tiny boy and told me he was mine and I was soooo excited. Then I went to change his diaper and he had a penis in there! Yikes! How was I supposed to deal with that? I didn’t know anything about the care and feeding of penises. All my previous penis experience had been recreational. Gah!
Once I got over the penis-anxiety (Did I just write that? Please page Dr. Freud.) I was super-cool with being a mom to a boy unless I happened to walk through the girls section at Target where the clothes are sooooooo cute. Boys clothes have no appliqued daisies on that at all. Tragedy. Anyway, I knew there was a certain amount of inevitable boy-ness in my future and that I should probably pay attention to moms with older boys so that I would know in advance what boys think is cool and guide my son on his path into little boy-ness.
Um, right. Boys don’t need to be taught to be boys. Just ask my friend S. who had to put her 2-year-old back into onsies to keep him from spending all damn day walking around with his hand inserted into his diaper and a big grin on his face. Boys know they are boys and behave accordingly. Which is why I should not have been surprised the day I noticed C. standing at the edge of the playground looking raptly at the street and yelling “Bus! Bus!”. Bus? Really? Who taught him bus? I don’t think I ever explicitly said “Look, C.! A bus!” Moreover, I’m certain I never said “Buses are so cool!” He just somehow assimilated the boy-group-think about buses and spent may happy hours at the playground shrieking “Bus!” each time one passed. That playground was in a park near several major bus route so there were a lot of buses – I bet C. felt like the luckiest boy in the world.
Buses were followed by motorcycles. Then diggers. The we got specific with the diggers and Mommy got a crash course in backhoe loaders, excavators, and rollers. Then airplanes. Did you know there are videos of airplanes taking off and landfing on YouTube. There are. Zillions and zillions of hours of airplanes taking off and landing. Zillions. Now it’s all about the trains. And football. Or soccer. Or basketball. And this kid, at 2, has more coordination when it comes to sports that his father or I have ever laid claim to. He can shoot free throws into his toy hoop. Crazy!
The vehicles and the sports were not unexpected obsessions and I’m happy to encourage him because the kid who’s into garbage trucks? Is a kid who stays happy in the car if he thinks we’re going to see a garbage truck on the road.
What I forgot about and didn’t expect was the bathroom humor. Boys like funny words like booger and ca-ca. Just ask Jud Apatow. Or the Great Guy I Married. Yep. My husband laughs at words like booger and ca-ca. Particularly if C. is the one saying them. He likes to say “Who’s got the ca-ca?” and get C. to repeat it. He thinks it’s hilarious to encourage C. in shouting “I got a booger!”. The two of them giggle uproariously over the ca-ca-booger talk, sounding for all the world like a couple of 11-year-olds.I did not marry an 11-year-old! And I have 9 years before C. should be behaving like an 11-year-old! I am not amused by boogers and ca-ca! Stop giggling!
I fear this will escalate. Boogers and ca-ca are probably the mildest potty-words I will hear. Someday, no doubt, C. and his friends will play games like “101 Words for Fart”, or “Who Can Come Up With The Grossest Combination of Foods to Chew Then Show Off By Opening Their Mouth Really Wide”, or “How Many Times Do You Think I’ll Puke If I Drink A Whole Case Of Beast?”, I’ll be absolutely longing for the halcyon days of “Who’s got the ca-ca?”.