A few days ago a friend came over for a play date with her child. Her ONE child. Her ONE FEMALE child. After she left, she called a mutual friend and said she thinks there’s something wrong with my son. Apparently she said he’s “wild” and “crazy” and “a total a-hole.” Well what the hell does she expect? He’s a 4-year-old BOY! Of course he’s a wild, crazy a-hole!
I hate parents who get all judgy about rambunctious boys. I know what they’re thinking as they smirk at me over their non-fat soy chai lattes while my son barrels down the slide headfirst at 45 miles per hour. I know what they’re thinking, because I was one of those moms.
Once upon a time, I had one kid too. A girl. An adorable, sweet, calm girl. I sneered at moms of “active” boys and assumed something was wrong with the kid or the mom or both. “He can’t sit for 3 hours and do Rainbow Loom? GASP! My daughter can …”
Then my son was born. And the difference between him and my first, female child was immediately apparent. At 6-months-old, he started throwing things at people’s heads. At a year, he became obsessed with moving vehicles. He’d bounce like a frog on Redbull screeching, “Ca! Ca! Ca!” every time he saw a car. He started running before he started walking. In my son’s world, sticks are all swords and any high surface is an invitation to climb. He saw a squirt gun in the prize box at the pediatrician (what the??) and instantly knew a) he had to have it and b) exactly how to use it despite the fact that he’d never seen a (fake or real) firearm before in his life.
He’s all boy.
The truth is, the day of the play date he wasn’t even that bad. Sure, he was excited to have someone come over to play so he was showing off a little. “Hey, look at me! I can jump off the sofa and my mom won’t yell because there’s a witness in the house!” But it’s not like he bit or hit his friend (he saves that for his sister). It’s not like he did anything different than any other preschool boy would do. He was just being a dude. A little, active, excited dude who was thrilled to have a play date because he’s a second child and his mom sucks and never schedules them.
So yes, my son may be “wild” and “crazy.” And sure, he can be a total a-hole—who can’t be? But there’s nothing wrong with him. He’s just a boy. And I love that about him. I love his energy and his impish smile. Even if I do wish on occasion that he would sit for 3 hours and do Rainbow Loom like his sister.