OH, BOY. In the years I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Mr. Wonderful’s twin sons, aka The Little Boys Club, they’ve taught me a thing or two. Life as a Bonus Mama is no cake walk – although cake would be a nice incentive during their occasional meltdowns. But the good news is that the little dudes already have two terrific parents, so I can take my cues from them. The following is an evolving list of important things to know if you are me.
1. If you see a stray stone or loose leaf, let it be. Do not even consider throwing away that rock, seed or twig. The wind did not accidentally blow it inside the house. It is there on purpose. That special treasure is exactly that. Trust me. Spare yourself the guilt of having just taken out the trash when a little voice asks what happened to the ____ that was right there a minute ago.
2. Instead of participating in the Saturday morning YMCA basketball/football/baseball game you’re playing, it’s often more fun to lie flat on the floor, hop on one leg or twirl around in circles. Sometimes you just gotta do your thing and it can’t wait for half time.
3. The competition is fierce. Truly. You must be faster, smarter, stronger and a better reader of sight words than your brother. It is the law of brotherhood.
4. Why use a fork when you can lick the plate clean? Literally. Face down. Get it done.
5. Don’t ask silly questions about safety. When you ask a boy if he knows what to do if his clothes catch on fire, be prepared for matter-of-fact solutions, like “Take my shirt off.” And if you ask a boy if he knows what he should do if we come across an animal on our cub scout hike, try not to showcase a look of horror when his answer is “Kill it.”
6. You might, at some point, find a rogue science experiment in the freezer. Do not mistake a Styrofoam cup full of acorns and flowers frozen into a block of ice for the latest juice cleanse – even if you do live in Austin, Texas.
7. Always carry Band-Aids.
8. In order to fall asleep, a little boy might need anywhere from two to six stuffed animals by his side. Sometimes it will be a tiny ninja or a Lego knight. Make room for them.
9. The two funniest words in the English language are “butt,” and “fart.” Do not try to understand this. They just are.
10. Repeating the words “SHOES” or “TEETH” multiple times does not ensure that either will be addressed.
11. Let them sit on your lap, hold your hand or squeeze in next to you under the covers at 6 a.m. because they might not be down for that much longer.
12. Reassure the boy that he is NOT “dumb,” like the kid in the cafeteria line told him at school. And then resist the urge to march into his first-grade classroom and find the little shit who said it.
… If only we could ensure that “dumb” is the worst thing they’ll ever be called.