Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How Do You Get a Superhero to School on Time?

We had one crazy morning around here, and I’m blaming it all on my friend Rachel of Testosterhome fame.

Tim came running in the house yesterday with a package from Amazon. In it were three copies of Rachel’s book, How Do You Tuck in a Superhero?. I bought one for myself. The others go to two stalwart women who have Testosterhomes of their own – my mother- in-law, Janet, and my sister, Karen, both mothers of four boys.

Tim and Kolbe got their hands on these books and, well, I hope we aren’t looking at a lot of homework this week because they intend to read them cover to cover.

One came running to me to let me know that, yes, corn dogs do constitute the food category known as Awesome. Kolbe was laughing about plans for “play-dates” that might include assigning a friend to call an ambulance should one be needed.

At 8:06 this morning, were they eating, brushing, hopping in the van? No, they were reading Rachel's book. I think Kolbe's half finished. They are mesmerized.

Five or six years ago, Rachel read vignettes about life with boys at a backyard Fourth of July party. Tim was captivated as Rachel regaled us with tales of underwear flying out of second story windows and dinosaur excavations in the yard. At the end of her reading, Tim turned to me and said, “I want to play at her house.” Rachel had hit the mark.

Up until August 5th , we had a Testosterhome of own, of course, but with two big differences. Rachel has five boys; I have three. The oldest four Balduccis are close in age, whereas, the Dolins, previously of spotty fertility, have four and six year age gaps. Thus, I would conclude, that the hormones are slightly diffused.

All that being said, I can relate to so much of life with a bunch of Superhero-wanna bes. It is Lego Land South around here. I fished a small grey piece out of Ainsley’s mouth just an hour ago.

We certainly struggle with our share of hygiene issues. When does a desire for clean teeth kick in? I asked a nameless son if he had brushed this morning. His reply? “No, but it’s okay because I did a really good job last night.” Sigh.

Left to their own devices, my boys would live on macaroni and cheese with a generous side of popcorn. John thinks the base of the food pyramid consists of chocolate and goldfish.

And the state of the bathrooms? Let’s just not go there. No pun intended.

Prior to my years as “Auntie Mame,” to my nieces and nephews, I would have sworn that girl and boy behaviors were enculturated. Then came the day I watched three-year-old Megan grab Nicky’s hands and yell, “Let’s dance!” His response? “Let’s fight!” This went back and forth like the “Less filling! Tastes great!” chant as I sat and pondered what comes hard-wired.

At the pool last summer, I watched two-year-old John standing at the fence enraptured at the sight of a bulldozer moving dirt for a new parking lot. His fingers were entwined in the fence, and he stood motionless. On Tuesdays and Fridays, John listens for the sounds of the garbage truck and darts to the window to catch a glimpse.

Having all of one sex invites attention and comments as I found out after John’s birth. Nobody comments on two of one sex; three seems to a benchmark of some sort.

I love Rachel’s story of the cashier who sized up her brood and then asked, “You didn’t want any girls?” Sooooo funny! I had a very nice man at our church look at our boys and comment, “Time for a girl!” He then went on to tell me – and I am not making this up – that there were certain timing issues that could work in our favor. To call this TMI just doesn’t quite capture the moment. His wife caught a whiff of the conversation and that was that.

After Ainsley’s birth, someone said, “Well you got your girl, but you had to have three boys to get her.” Huh?

I didn’t have to have three boys. Rachel didn’t have to have five. We were open, and God was generous. We are both grateful.

What Rachel does particularly well in her book and in real life is to love the life God has given her. She talks about how most people end up with boys and girls, and then adds, “The rest of us wind up something that looks different than what we imagined but is somehow the answer to the hopes and dreams we never knew we had.”

Congratulations on your book, Rachel! I’ll pop by tomorrow for a private book-signing.


Kelly said...

Great post! You really hit the nail in the head. Boys are different. I have 3, and like yours they LOVE the garbage truck. I also have 5 nieces and they are sooo different than the boys.

Meghan said...

I have 2 boys and everyone is wondering if we will try for a girl. Likely, we will have another kiddo, but we aren't trying for a girl. I'd love a girl, but I trust God's vision for our family more than my own desire to play dress up or have a shopping buddy;)
Can't wait to read Rachel's book.

Kelly said...

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Rachel has said before, "You try for the baby, not for the girl."

I would never want these precious boys of mine to feel they're second best. I love them and all their zaniness!

Patti Doughty said...

The world would be a much sadder place without Tim and Kolbe. Certainly, NO ONE would trade John. And as much as my Deanna wanted a little sister and got Daelyn, she now can appreciate the joy her youngest brother brings to her life. God's plan is perfect - of that I have NO doubts.

Kelly said...

Absolutely right, Patti. Who but God could have designed these kids?

Sarah said...

Love it! The boy comments multiplied tenfold when I was pregnant with Paul (the third... you're right!) and they just keep coming. It takes a lot of willpower not to throttle the people who insult my sweet boys, but I tell myself that they don't mean it the way it sounds. All I can really say is that I'm so glad that God is in control, because I was scared to death of having boys and being forced to slay my mess-hating flesh, and now I'm hopelessly in love, even with all the messes.

Kelly said...

Sarah - I agree. Most people are not deliberately unkind. I saw a woman at church with stair step girls. I said something that I hope came out as "That's so neat!" and not as "Wow! What were you thinking?"

As to the messiness, I'll quote Father Brett: What a blessing that you have so many opportunities to grow in holiness!