Cari from Bubble Gum On My Shoe bats out her third guest post today. We've been doing this joint blog thingy where I post on her blog and vise-versa, providing two different angles on the same topic.
We plunged into the early days of single parenting with part 1 and pontificated on single parent self esteem in part 2. This time, we talk about the future of parenting, especially for a single mom raising a boy and me raising a girl. Head over to Cari's blog if you'd like choke the smoke I'm blowing.
It’s a safe assumption my newborn son could smell my fear as my husband and I walked out of the hospital. Males are sparse in my family, girls I know, boys...not so much. To comfort myself I muttered,
I'll potty train the girl, the boy is yours. Any "talks" about sex, related questions and any other general maintenance in the lower region will fall to the gender specific parent.
We high-fived and went home. Utterance to the wind people; two years later I was divorced with a 4 year old daughter and a 2 year old son. So how is this young chap going to fair being raised by a single mama? Some room for speculation here, but as you will see; he will have valid reasons for Therapy down the road.
I don't force gender specific toys, boys need to learn to be nurturing and girls need to pretend to blow things up and wrestle every so often. Perhaps the scales are tipped in favor of my daughter who paints my son's nails, and dresses him in glittery pink tutus; but she'll also participate in an episode of 'when dinosaurs set fire to and destroy the shark ship'. They play, they are kids. I'm not worried about what anything might "mean", my son has Autism, I'm just glad he's playing with toys period! My non-issue with the toys has produced a very girly-girl and a rough and tumble boy.
I never thought I'd say, "How did you get so dirty?" and "where are your pants?” multiple times a day. The pants-less-ness is astounding alone. And boys are smelly, I don't get it. We are still facing the hurdle of standing to pee. I never realized this was a big deal until I blogged about it. It made me recognize I know nothing about the rites of passage where the malegenitalia is concerned; I can't write my name in the snow with pee or just unzip and let it go. The fact that I have to deal with penis related issues makes me anxious. Have I answered the question, "why is my pee-pee bigger?" NO! NO I have not. I'm terrified and can't think of anything that is appropriate for a repetitious 5 year old and doesn't sound like it's straight out of the Encyclopedia Britannica. And really, I can't honestly answer a question of that magnitude to a child I refer to as Boo-Boo. More therapy.
My hope is that his Dad will be around to answer some questions to which I have no answer when he is older. If he isn't, I'll do the best I can. The teen years with my daughter worry me more than my son. I dislike that my son doesn't have a good role model present displaying what a good husband and father should be. I will have to continue to make sure men like that are in his life.
I can say this, for my son as he grows older, he will be sensitive to the needs of women. He'll have no choice really, poor kid. I'll also get to mold my perfect gentleman, yeah, yeah, stop rolling your eyes and let me dream a little longer. One thing is for certain, he will be loved and know it, and that is what's most important.
Oh, he does put the seat down, every time. You're welcome future Mrs. Boo-Boo, you're welcome.