Ten Things *Only Parents of Boys AND Girls Will Understand (*or any other enlightened individual)

I don’t have ten things. I don’t have a list for you. These “only parents of boys understand” blogs just keep getting dumber and dumber so I had to address it. I spend my day with as many as 5 little boys, and as the youngest sibling with 3 brothers, I feel like I always have. There was a time, though, when I spent my days with girls, so often and so many I felt like Carol Burnett in Annie. Let me tell you, most of the points made in these blogs are not gender specific. Not only that, many of them simply don’t pertain to my life at all, with boys or girls.

These articles are are all about their specific type of parenting, not gender. You do not have to pick between Marvel and DC unless you choose to pick one. (Marvel, obviously, but we’re raising the kids with both.) Goldy loved Star Wars and boys’ sandals because they were more functional for climbing and even their jeans had better pockets and those legs that zipped off. Beauty loved getting dirty and covered in slime. Both girls knew how to bite a sandwich into the shape of a gun by the time they were five. My sons like wearing pretty wings and having “tea” parties with water, but, because of their dad’s influence, they are more into superheroes than my daughters were. Not because of their penises, I promise. Do you know how I know? Goldy and I both love watching superhero movies with them. (I grew up with them, she did not.) ALL of my kids, even the ones I watch, are or were, “noise with dirt” as one blog admits “might be true of some girls.” (Emphasis my own, because eyeroll.) I have no idea where anyone got the notion only boys should or want to get dirty. (See photos below.) Some kids love it and some do not, but most get dirty whether they intended to or not.

Maybe there are some universal truths, all boys might be one way and all girls another, but I haven’t found that truth in any blog post yet. What I have found, is that parents who think boys want trucks will buy them trucks, even though there is an age when all children want toys that roll. Hot Wheels, Barbie’s convertible, they don’t care, they just want to roll them. It’s part of their development. Parents who think boys will be boys will allow some wrestling and dirt play while they park their jealous little girls in front of Sophia The First because she is a good role model for little girls. I have encountered, and often, men that won’t let their sons roll the pink Barbie car or paint their nails. That is why these blogs annoy me. They perpetuate that idea that kids should be one thing or another, and they shouldn’t. They should be kids. They should do what is developmentally appropriate. All kids need big body play, not just boys. (Mothers of daughters, click that link!) All kids need art and the resources and opportunities to express themselves. All kids need to snuggle.

I don’t know where these women are getting the idea that little boys don’t want to cuddle and why they are so shocked when they do. I know, some kids aren’t as physical, but it does not seem divided by gender lines. As a young child Beauty reserved hugs for close family only. (She’s over that now, judging by her Instagram photos.) I’ve watched many children that only like to snuggle when they are hurt or feeling needy, boys and girls, but eventually, they all cuddle.

I’m cutting the authors some slack, assuming they only have boys and don’t realize their experience is limited. Also, I get it, it’s a blog. They’re trying to be whimsical and attract more clicks.

But this offends me, “Boys love unconditionally. The anal rententive in me screamed to stop this list at nice, round, even #10, but this is by far the most important thing I have learned about raising boys. Boys love unconditionally. They love unabashedly. They love with their entire little bodies. When your little girl stomps her foot and tells you to leave her alone, your son simply loves you. When your tween daughter is sullen and sulky and hates you, your son simply loves you. When you teenage daughter gives you the silent treatment, your son simply loves you. Their love is solid. Their love is strong and consistent from the start. And it sticks around for the long haul.
From: 11 Things Only Parents Of Boys Understand By Shannon Ralph/The Next Family

I don’t know anything about her family, though I could probably check her blog. I prefer to imagine she doesn’t have girls so this is an idea the media (social or mass) has put in her head. I wish I had video of my sweet, loving son, the one that says I love you a hundred times a day, stomping his tiny foot at me and yelling, “Bad Mommy!” He gets just as pissed as my girls ever did. In fact, at 15 and 19, I’m pretty sure I’ve only had a handful of, “I don’t like yous” from each girl, but I get that many a week from Sharkboy. Not that my daughters and I haven’t argued. Wall shaking, cat scaring arguments. But never, for even a sulky, sullen minute, did I think that my daughters didn’t love me unconditionally. I get mad at them. I’ve stomped my foot. We’re fierce. In this family, we all love unconditionally and unabashedly, even the females. I’m a girl. My love is solid. It’s strong and consistent from the start and it will damn well stick around for the long haul. Don’t sell my daughters short and don’t sell me short.

My baby BOY

Beauty, breaking gender stereotypes since 1998


Goldy and Beauty


my unicorn boys, Little S, Sharkboy and a playschool friend

real men wear pink

On Wednesdays we wear pink.