Guest Post: An Ode to Boys

I have three boys, ranging in age from 14 months to seven years. It’s funny how people inevitably react with mild surprise to the fact that I have three kids, and then when I clarify that it’s three boys they give me a look somewhere between “What were you thinking?” and “Better you than me, sister.” Friends from high school have said that there is a perfect serendipity in me ending up with a house full of boys, considering I always chose the company of guys over girls growing up. I like to think I have a special understanding of the male brain and its idiosyncrasies, an understanding that has always eluded me when dealing with females.

For a lot of reasons, it’s easy having three of the same gender in the house. We’ve made great use of hand-me-downs, for instance, and it’s very economical to simply bellow “BOYS!” when trying to attract their attention, rather than trying to actually remember all their names.

For a long time, though, I made no secret of the fact that I coveted a girl. When I was pregnant with Lucas in 2007, it took me a good part of my second trimester to recover from the shock of finding out that I’d be adding a third—and last!—boy to my collection. Each time I found out I was pregnant, I was positive from the moment I peed on that stick that I was carrying a girl. (Note to self: career as a prognosticator probably not a good idea.)

Now, though, I’ve come to love my role as a princess in a house full of jesters, and am more than content with my lot. In fact, here are five (highly subjective and completely arbitrary) reasons why I think sons are better than daughters:

5. Boys love their mama. Oh sure, they love their daddy, too, and of course girls love their mothers—but isn’t there something unique and wonderful about how a boy loves his mother? Future daughters-in-law be warned!

4. Clothes are simpler. It’s long been a beef of mine that the boys’ section of kids’ clothing stores is often about a quarter of the size of the girls’ section. But, simplicity has its benefits. My boys’ standard ‘uniform’ is track pants and a t-shirt. On fancy days, we go upscale with jeans and a sweater. They never complain about what I put out for them, and we don’t have to worry about matching or accessories. Simple is good!

3. No mean girls. Girls are mean to other girls, not to boys. And while boys may beat the snot out of each other on occasion, bruises heal faster than the psychological scars that girls can inflict. Yes, as a matter of fact, I am flashing back to my own childhood here; I’m eternally grateful that I don’t have to revisit the demoralization of the preteen years as a girl even by proxy. I’m not sure I could handle it.

2. Boys have better toys. Oh sure, I’m as against gender-bias as the next person, but really? Boys just gravitate toward cooler toys. I’d rather spend hours building Lego spaceships or laying down miles of Tank Engine tracks than spend any time playing with Barbie or My Little Pony. Then again, it’s true that we’ve had some very edifying tea parties around my house.

1. Hair. We have no barrettes, no clips, no hair bands, and no elastics in our kids’ bathroom cupboard. Heck, you’d be hard-pressed to find a hair brush! Every time I admire a little girl’s lovely thick curls or long shimmering locks out loud to her parents, the parents inevitably reply with an eye-ball roll and a complaint about the tangles and the upkeep. It makes me grateful that the maintenance routine for our boys’ heads consists of subjecting them every couple of days to 15 seconds of lather and rinsing, followed by a thorough towel-tousling and haircuts whenever we get around to it.

What do you think? Anybody care to argue the merits of pink over blue?


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