This glorious mess: The joys and frustrations of raising a boy

If I had a nickel for each time I get shot in the face with a foam dart, got punched in the hip, or had to pick up those ridiculously fun balls in the picture there, I wouldn’t have to work a day in my life. Really, I wouldn’t have to. I would be living up in Trump Towers or own a small island in the Bahamas. Every moment spent with this 2 year old terror angel is a moment that is full of energy and constant defense. He likes to throw, hit, fight, hug, love, and cuddle. All within minutes of each other. He is the sweetest yet angriest little bundle I have ever met.

And he has to pick his own clothes. He never chooses clothes that match, which drives me batty. I try (I mean really try) to convince him to wear what I’ve chosen- but with no success. Matching clothes/ outfits are a thing with me. Almost an obsession. I will not wear anything that doesn’t match- ever. Even to bed. So this hurts me.

And as I try to write this blog, he’s pulling at my computer yelling “Share at me, mom!” with a scrunched look on his face. He wears superhero capes to bed, superhero masks to breakfast, and will never (and I mean never) miss an opportunity to pull the cat’s tail.

Before this little guy showed up to wrap me around his finger and tug on my heart strings, I was busy raising girls. These girls are a handful in themselves- really they are- but nothing (and I mean NOTHING) prepared me for what raising a boy would be like. The girls are independent and understand reason. My oldest always felt older than she really was; painting her own nails at 3, finding ways into things, and having conversations as if she was a little adult sitting there. My middle child is intelligent, eager, yet wily. She is going to be a handful, we have come to terms with this. My son, though. I don’t even know.

With my girls, I thought terrible two’s really weren’t all that terrible. Neither one of them really threw fits. They got upset, they cried, they whined, they argued, they were not perfect by any means. But they usually had a reason for it. When my son started throwing things on the floor because we breathed his air or made a noise when he wanted it quiet, I didn’t (and still don’t) know how to handle it.

How could a mess be glorious? Check out his room. Notice the balls everywhere? Here’s the story: We bought these for my middle daughter’s 1st birthday party. We put the balls in a little plastic pool. And then we put the balls away in their little carrying case (thrown up against his easel). We would take them out from time to time and would have a little mess with them. But when we picked them up and put them back away and stored them behind the chair in our front room, where they were forgotten. Life was good.

But now? I’m telling you, we picked up those balls more times in one week with this kid than the entire year before he was born. On a daily hourly basis, my husband or I would pick up these balls. We would try to stop him from dumping them. Eventually, I gave up. My husband is more persistent than I am, so he continued to pick them up only to see them dumped a few minutes later.

The hubs threatened to throw them out. He threatened time-out. He threatened bodily harm (just kidding). Nothing worked. And so after picking these balls up 6,478,922 times, my husband got smart. He hid them. He stuck them in the way back corner underneath my son’s loft bed (which he’s only plummeted from head first about 4 times, but that’s a different story). My husband was winning.

Until 9:48 that night when we heard one single ball thrown over my son’s gate, bounce, and roll into our room. He had found them. Under his bed. In the dark. Then, ball number 2. 3. 4. I stopped counting. And honestly, what else could we do but laugh? So we let him play with the balls until we fell asleep. The following day was a snow day. The girls were relaxing watching a movie and the boy had way. too. much. energy.

So, we went in his room and I just marveled at how insanely different this little creature was. I watched him throw things, hit things, yell at things, and then dance. So many little changes within the ½ hour that we played in his room. But I got to thinking: how lucky am I?

I get to have the love and anger of this little guy for the rest of my life. There will be moments that I want to pull my hair out. I already have those moments. I don’t know what he’s thinking at times. I can’t read him. I can’t make sense of his emotions. I can’t keep up with his messes. Sometimes I can’t duck in time and get hit with things. But this little guy will likely grow up to be just like his dad. And in that, I am blessed.

Every moment I am tried by his temper, wrathed by his wreckage, frustrated by his ferociousness, or confused by his cataclysm, I am still lucky. Lucky for the moments of compassion, the hugs, the kisses. If he has to go through this torrent of emotions to grow, so be it.

And, some days I mutter so many profane words about him under my breath. Some days I can’t keep up. Some days I need to leave the house. Some days I need to send him with his dad. Some days I don’t know how I will be able to do it. Some days I wonder what I got myself into.

But someday I will miss this. Someday I will be proud of him. Someday I will wish he was my little bugaboo who shoots me in the forehead in one second and then kisses me on it the next. Someday I will be begging for him to play in his room and throw things at my head instead of out in the real world facing real life problems. Someday I will be blessed to have a grown man to look out for his sisters and his mother. Someday I will be lucky enough to have another man in my life who loves with all his heart. Someday I will have a carbon copy of my husband. Someday he will make a woman lucky to have this glorious mess in her life (I also know I will be jealous because he will always be my little man).
Raising a boy who makes me frustrated, but also makes me fall in love with him with every smile, every laugh, and every kiss is glorious and messy, is worth every minute.

Claire Pelletier

About Claire Pelletier

I'm 30. Boy am I 30. I have three children: Shelby (almost 8), Harper (3), and Aidan (1). I work full time as an English teacher, full time as a mom, part time as a wife, part time as a cook at a Diner (this is actually a paid position), and a per diem house cleaner. Basically, I do it all. Oh and I like to write (revert back to my full time teaching position). This life is crazy, people are even crazier, and online blogging has given me a voice. Some may think it's a loud and obnoxious voice, but I kind of like it. I do my best to write about things that interest people, mainly about myself. Sometimes I verge into the political land, but that place scares me, so I mostly write about every day things that make me laugh, cry, or scream. Thanks for reading!