So my blogging pal Renee at But Why Mommy whose birthday, you may recall, we celebrated here a few months ago is about to adopt a beautiful baby boy named Lion and our mutual friend Issa (who I adore and you should too) thought it would be a great idea to throw her a virtual baby shower. Seeing as how I’m probably the only guy that’s been invited to this party, I thought my gift should be to both Renee and her husband Scott about how raising a boy is different than raising a boy – and how it’s not. So, happy adoption Renee and Scott! Lion will be lucky to have you.
Raising a boy in this day and age is a challenge. On one hand, you want your son to be strong and confident enough that he doesn’t get his butt kicked out on the playground on a regular basis. On the other hand, you want your son to move beyond age-old stereotypes of caveman-like proportions. This means letting your son dress up in his sister’s princess gowns and try on fingernail polish whenever he gets the urge. It also means letting him play with dolls and fire trucks and dolls with fire trucks.
Raising a boy means you will have to answer questions Lots of questions. Some of these questions you will know the answer to and some you will have to make up. This includes questions like “How fast is that race car, Daddy?” or “Why do boys have penises and girls have vaginas?” or “Why do you keep saying, Sssshhhh?!” Questions. Be ready.
Raising a boy means messier meal times and a totally different rule book than the one you started creating for your lovely daughter. Rules that made your daughter cringe in fear will be laughed at by your son.
Raising a boy means really boring outfits. Remember all those incredibly cute outfits you couldn’t help but purchase for your little girl? Yeah, those don’t exist for boys. The biggest thrills you will get shopping for your son is deciding between jeans and corduroy pants.
Raising a boy means longer potty-training battles (“Point that thing down, son. Down! I SAID DOWN!!”). It also means dodging streams of pee shooting toward your face when changing his diapers. It will happen. Let’s hope your reflexes are up to the challenge.
Raising a boy means teaching him how treat the women in his life and the responsibility that holds. It means showering him with love and affection from both dad and mom so he has balance in his life when he goes out into the world. It means teaching him to express his anger with words, not with his fists.
Finally, raising a boy isn’t all that different than raising a girl. Love him and hold him close to your heart every day of your life. In the end, that’s enough.