I was raised as a gal’s gal. In a family of two girls, my gentle father didn’t have much of a shot at perpetuating a rough and tumble boys’ world. I happily enjoyed a house filled with multiple cans of hairspray and thought the whole world watched Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman on Saturday nights. Wait, they didn’t??
You can imagine what a shock it was when I married my husband because he was a man. Who had been a boy. Who had been raised in a house full of boys. He enjoyed things like farting and then talking about his farts–at length. Whew, this was going to get interesting…
And then I had a boy. My very own male child. Sure I was nervous about my competence with a foreign gender, but let’s be honest, at first, except for the shooting pee, not that much is different. Things were okay.
Yet, while he’s only four and it’s not as though I’ve had a lifetime of raising a boy, some notable unique situations have come up.
Like the time he came to me and said, “Mommy, my penis hurts.” My husband was deep in the middle of an extended work meeting and “unavailable”. Excellent.
“What do you mean, your penis hurts?”, I flailed.
“It hurts.” Super, I was really getting somewhere now. As I mentally ran through treatment options ranging from various creams to ice packs, this was one of the times in my life I really wished I had my own penis–so I could know what the heck he was talking about. (To clarify: the other times I have wanted a penis were so I could experience perpetually avoiding ever throwing dirty clothes actually inside the laundry basket versus beside the laundry basket without the slightest sense of self-annoyance.)
Months later and no repeat incidents of achy penises, I thought perhaps we were in the clear. And then, he said it. The words my girlie-girl self had long feared ever since my little dude learned what the Wii was.
“Mommy, you wanna play Mario Kart with me?” Craaaaappp…..
We never had video games in my house growing up. They were scary and weird to me. Moreover, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THEM. To be clear, I do not like them. And I don’t want to play them.
“Uhh…sure, buddy? When were you thinking?”. I try, I really do.
“Monday!”, he brightly answered. We were in the clear! It was Tuesday, so surely he would forget in 6 days time…no worries.
Except…he didn’t forget. Monday, aka Doomsday arrived. Again, craaapppp….
Okay, I could do this right? I was semi-intelligent person. Pass me the remote; I could figure out how to drive a virtual car? I could not. The highlight of our Wii session was literally watching the secondhand of my watch tick by out of the corner of my eye, praying for a miracle from God to somehow fast-forward time. It was going well.
I could have stealthily hid the spare Wii remote, formulated dramatic lies about how I wanted to catch up on laundry, or just flat-out broken his heart and said, “no more”, but…I love him.
And my son loves his Wii. He’s so excited about his new game and giggles with glee whenever it’s game time. So when he asked me a couple days later if he could “show me Lego Star Wars”? Okay, buddy, okay.
So I got on my big girl pants, stashed my watch out of sight, and settled in. And you know what? It was actually kind of fun. As video game compadres go, four year olds aren’t so bad. When I can’t figure out what the heck I’m supposed to be doing and make stupid mistakes, he doesn’t make fun of me–that much. When I give up and start to laugh because I’m so utterly lost? He laughs with me. And he’s pretty cute when he does it.
But even if I didn’t laugh–even if I hated it with every fiber of my being? I’d play the boy’s video games. I’d actually follow him to the ends of the earth and back. Because I love him.
Video game date in 5, little man.