Raising a Nice Boy, Not an A$$hole

Written by ERICA

When I first found out I was pregnant, it didn’t dawn on me that I might have a boy. I am one of two girls, I have two adorable nieces, and for a short period of time most of my friends were welcoming baby girls. And while I had a hard time picturing myself surrounded by pink, ballerinas and baby dolls, I had an equally hard time imagining myself with a baby boy. I guess the truth is that I had a hard time accepting that I was old enough to have a child…girl or boy. I mean, I just had my bat mitzvah. I’m barely old enough to have sex. I am most certainly not old enough to have a baby. 

Note: if MTV’s Teen Mom has taught us anything, a bat mitzvah girl could absolutely have sex and a baby. Also, my bat mitzvah was over 16 years ago. So, yeah, there’s that.

Anyway, as my pregnancy progressed I started to only picture myself with a little dude in my arms. And at week 12 when we had our CVS test (without a doubt one of the scariest, most emotional and, thankfully, happiest days of my life), we got confirmation that within my womb there was, indeed, a tiny, healthy penis developing, among other organs. I cried because the baby was healthy, AJ cried because the healthy baby just happened to be male. He explained later that night that it was like hitting the first shot of a one-and-one free-throw attempt in basketball. I wasn’t sure what he meant, but I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes heavily in response to his comparison.

Anyway, it was official. We were having a boy. We were both THRILLED. I laughed hysterically every time an ultrasound technician made jokes about the size of our son’s male parts (sick senses of humor, those ultrasound techs). But at the same time that we were ecstatic, I also wondered what it would be like to have a son. Everyone told me that sons are typically mama’s boys. They’re easier. I was lucky, because girls can be b*tchy and boys LOVE their mommies. But I wasn’t sold. I had never spent time around a baby boy before. I really had no idea what to expect. 

And here’s what I’ve found…everyone was right. Owen is obsessed with me. I’m not saying that in a conceited way. It is a fact. He cannot get enough of my hugs. He’s not clingy, but when he sees my face he comes running at me with a snuggle that just makes my heart explode. As much as my little guy loves to play, explore, rough house, run around and cause trouble, he without a doubt LOVES HIS MOMMY.

Best buds who do everything together…even sip in unison.

And I love him more than anything. Even more than I thought I would. I mean, I knew I would adore him, but I didn’t know I’d also really LIKE him. He’s funny, and fun, and so dang sweet. And even on days when I don’t speak to another adult human being all day long, I’m OK with it. He’s great company.

But here is where things are starting to get complicated. Every time Owen gives me a big wet smooch I squeeze him as hard as I can and I’m tempted to say “no woman will ever love you like I do.” I want to scream that he is the most delicious boy I’ve ever snuggled. I accidentally/on purpose call Owen “handsome” regularly and I coo that he is too amazing for words when he does pretty much anything, including poop which requires absolutely zero skill. 

I can’t help it! And I think am in trouble. I think I might be becoming one of those moms who raises a specific breed of male; the kind of male that I HATE. You know the type: the cocky bastard who thinks that his sh*t don’t stink. The kind of guy who in high school walked around like he owned the place, and the kind of young man who at 22 got a job in investment banking and said crap like “I COULD BUY YOU” to other people. (Yes, that happened. Some douche said it to AJ at a bar shortly after college. I wonder if he had a god complex or anything.) 

Those guys are a$$holes. True, girls can definitely be b*tchy, but guys can be a$$wipes. Owen CANNOT become an a-hole!

Is this the face of an a-hole or a nice guy? I mean how could that angel face ever be anything other than sweet?

I mean, I don’t want him to be too nice. Let’s be honest, nice guys get walked all over. But I also don’t want him to be a jerk. I want him to know every day how much I love him and how special he is, but I’d also love him to exhibit some humility. 

I’d love a son who has manners, who respects all people, who loves animals, who can be funny and inappropriate and irreverent without being disrespectful. A son who can laugh and make others laugh. Who graciously accepts compliments and gives credit where credit is due. A guy who can play hard and work hard, but can also fail, learn from his mistakes and move on. A guy who appreciates beautiful things but doesn’t care too much about appearances. A guy who is sweet and sassy. And most importantly, a guy who knows that his sh*t does, in fact, stink. (I’ve cleaned it about 8 million times. I KNOW.)

Realizing what I would like Owen to become as a person is the easy part. Figuring out how to get him there is hard.

I’m starting small. Teaching him to say “I love you,” to give hugs, to say “hi” when he walks into a room and “bye” when he leaves. I’m teaching him to say “thank you” and not just to the nice women at Dunkin Donuts who let me cut the line and give him free munchkins. I’m trying desperately to watch what I say around him (so far I have completely failed) so that maybe his first full phrase won’t be “WHAT THE F*CK!” Like I said, small stuff. 

I’m sure eventually (and probably sooner than I expect) I’ll have to practice some actual discipline to ensure Owen stays the same sweet, delicious, nice boy he is now. And maybe (definitely) at some point in his childhood/pubescent years/adult life he will act like a jerk to someone. Probably me. And as hard as it is for me to imagine my little nugget not running into my arms for some QST (quality snuggle time), I know that day will come too. One day he’ll be embarrassed by me, and will definitely be mortified by this blog. He’ll look at me and say “moooommmmm-uhhh” instead of “I wuvvvv youuuu” and will squirm out of my arms instead of into my hug. And that’s all OK. As long as that phase passes with time and he comes out on the other end a nice boy. I’d even be OK with some devious behavior from time to time… I mean hello, I did get thrown out of tennis camp. Just please, let him not be an a$$hole.

OK, fine. He looks a little pissed here. Maybe he could be a jerkoff one day. I love you Owen! Never change! Always stay sweet and loving! Don’t be an a-hole!