Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be assholes.

Men. How they turn out in life is 50/50, regardless of who raised them. The most amazing mothers in the world have turned out rotten sons, and the most rotten mothers have turned out amazing sons. It's a crap shoot when it comes to the kind of men little boys will become, but if I do an adequate job at raising mine, then I hope I will have lessened the likelihood they'll grow up to be...jerks.

Of course, "jerk" is subjective. One person's jerk is another person's president. Which brings me to my next point: any jerk can be successful; any "loser" by conventional socio-economic standards might be the kindest heart out there.

But most guys, and even most women, have an uncanny ability to show their jerk side. It usually comes out in subtle ways: Off-handed remarks and idle comments; impulsive and reactionary behavior....neither sex is immune. But I'm a woman, and so it bothers me more when guys act like...jerks.

Take ogling, for example. What is that? Most girls don't mind getting a little attention, but what's with the leering that some gross men can't seem to control? Like the guys in the pick-up trucks who turn and stare at a woman walking down the street? Or what about the boyfriend who constantly looks at other women when he's out with his girl? How fucking disrespectful is that? Look if you want, sure. But don't make it obvious, idiot.

I never liked the term "boys will be boys". What a cop-out. My boys will be men, dammit. And it's going to happen sooner than I realize. Tonight I will be cleaning out a closet full of baby and toddler toys no longer used by my children. The kids are with their father this week--and they seem to be having so much fun that they don't appear to miss me at all, which is a relief as much as it is a bit of a bummer not to be missed just a little--and I'm tackling some over-due spring cleaning around here. There is a part of me that never wants to leave this apartment, and whether I stay or go now or two years from now, one thing is certain: The baby toys must go--now.

Because in all likelihood I probably won't have any more kids, despite previous postings and musings suggesting I'm considering it. And on the very off-chance I did have another child, I'd want to get new toys for him or her at this point. The ones in the closet have been well-used by two children, and it's time to pass them on to other children who will play with them rather than save them in the basement for the phantom third child.

I started working on the closet last night, cracked out and wide-awake from Ashley's coffee oreo ice cream that I enjoyed with Heide, who came over and gave me some much-needed insight into my sewing machine. After she left, I was about two hours from collapse, so I had time and energy to burn. I went through all the kids' clothes, and sorted what to keep; donate; give away to friends with kids. In the process, I had a wicked allergy attack, having been assaulted by dust from the clothes and toys in the closet. Those clothes and toys had, for the most part, traveled from my old house to this one without seeing the light of day. The dust from my old house flew up my nose and into my body, making me forcefully sneeze several times in a row, several times throughout the night. It's as if I couldn't shake the old house off of me no matter how hard I tried.

Tonight I get to go back at it. I'll pitch and sort toys that saw me and the boys through long winter days and hot summer weeks, when my children were tiny cherubs with big cheeks and diapers. Those days are over now. We're busy with Legos, Star Wars, and superhero action figures around here. I am now fully in the process of raising little men. If I had a third child...God Almighty. It might actually be a girl.

Then I would really be challenged to raise a child right.


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