I Thought My Toddlers Were Hard...Before They Became Boys

by Kaly Sullivan
Originally Published: 

I vaguely remember pregnancy, and a birth or two, and some babies flailing around taking up a lot of the available oxygen.

I vaguely remember a time BUA—that’s Before Under Armour.

I vaguely remember sitting in my living room without a ball or a pair of dirty socks whizzing by my face.

And now here are these people, these boys, sitting at my table.

All I can say is WTF?

I’m not thinking, Where did the time go? or I should enjoy this because it won’t last forever.

I’m thinking, What the hell is happening?

Somewhere along the way my babies turned into toddlers who have slowly mutated into boys. And boys are crazy. And all-consuming. Some days it feels like they will consume everything in their path.

Like I said, WTF?

I look at my husband, his 6-foot-2-inch frame in the doorway, and because I’m afraid I might be eaten alive by the giant men who will soon take over my home, I say, “We’re going to need a bigger house.”

I don’t need a time machine to see my future. I will soon be living among men and their smells that commingle with their sounds and their ever-present physicality that dominates every room that they enter.

I see continued punching, wrestling and flailing in my crystal ball. There’s simply no way around it.

But that doesn’t make it any easier to live with.

Who are these people? These boys who are taking over?

They are smarter than me and can retain and recall information at an alarming rate. They remember everything.

My brain is like Swiss cheese.

They can run faster, throw harder, and have better reflexes than I do.

I’m still working on keeping my eye on the ball.

They have their own language, speaking in a combination of sports stats, Minecraft jargon and Regular Show quotes.

I’m barely able to follow their conversations.

They can, or at least they try, to argue their way out of everything. Between their investigating, interrogating and cross-examining, it’s like living in an episode of Law & Order.

I’m left exposed and crying on the witness stand.

They can eat more than me, rarely ordering off the kids’ menu, and inhaling cheeseburgers faster than I can ask, “Do you want fries with that?”

I spend most of my time at the grocery store.

They take longer showers than me. Even though they’re always covered in a film of sweat and dust, they adamantly deny their need to bathe. When they finally get in the shower, we have to drag them out.

I take lukewarm showers and remember the days when my towels were white and not a dull gray.

They are almost bigger than me. Their shoes, now purchased in the men’s section, cost more than any shoes I’ve bought in the last seven years, and they take up 85 percent of our closet space.

I go to Old Navy and buy another pair of flip-flops.

When my sons were babies and toddlers, I thought they took over our life. Every waking minute was consumed with their routines of eating, not sleeping, making unreasonable demands and playing.

Now that they are morphing into real people, I naively thought their presence would be less physically demanding.

But they are taking up more resources than ever. Whatever false sense of parenting control I’ve been able to maintain over the past 10 years has been completely obliterated by the presence of these mystery people.

It’s a full-on boy invasion.

All I can say is WTF?

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