Make no mistake, I love my son with all my heart. I just can’t stand playing with him.
Yeah, I’m going there. Most mothers of boys—especially boys who are into traditionally gendered ‘boy’ toys—would never admit they’d actually rather watch the spin cycle on their washing machine than play fight with plastic army men. One of my friends, who has three sons, will admit it and has said to me: ‘Do you think I liked laying on the floor and lining up trucks? No, I was bored out of my f**ing mind!’
Lining up thousands of toy trucks for hours? Snooze. Building forts with the couch pillows for hours? Snooze. Playing with plastic army men? Snooze. Play fighting with plastic Batmans, Spiderman and Wolverine? Snooze. (How impressed are you that I know who Wolverine is? Just don’t ask what his power is.)
My son is drawn to everything car-related, sports-related, killing-bugs-related, super-hero-related and gun-related. He’s into the Avengers (who I still keep calling, ‘The Adventures’, and, most recently, ‘Transformers’). Snooze. Snooze. Snooze.
I have had to learn all the names of superheroes, and just when I’m almost there, I then have to learn all The Avengers (Captain America!). THEN I had to know the Teenage Ninja Turtles, and, most recently, I now must learn the names of The Transformers. Honestly, there is very little room in my brain for all these characters!
While I have learned many of the names of these good/bad guys, I have no idea what any of these characters do, or what their superpowers are (Is The Flash just fast? Or does he do something else?) I also don’t get why so many of my son’s toys are ‘bad guys’. I ask, ‘Why is this guy bad?’ My four year-old will answer, ‘Because he’s bad!’ Well, okay then…thanks for enlightening me.
Then there is Lego. Where do I start? I don’t mind the big Lego pieces meant for ages 3 and UNDER. I can build towers. But my son likes Star Wars Lego (Or is it Star Trek Lego? I should probably know the difference, since he now walks around the house saying, “May the Force be with you!’ Star Wars, right?) The pieces are so small, and I can’t/have no interest in following the instructions, thus I don’t know how to put them together. I get so frustrated I just want to throw the pieces down the toilet. (Turns out, I’m not as smart as an 8+ Lego builder.)
Recently, I had a chance to spend a lot of time with my son at the cottage. Sometimes, I wearily think I’m raising a serial killer, which, of course, is worrisome. My son will literally pick up black ants in his chubby little fingers and squish them…to death. Why? ‘Because they’re bad,’ he’ll say. Why is everyone in my son’s play life ‘bad’ ?
We also had a container of worms for fishing. He poked and prodded them with a plastic spoon, for hours, while I tried not to barf. But this is what he likes to do, and as his mother, who needs and wants to spend time with him, I have to play with him, even though I was actually dizzy with disgust. (Please don’t call P.E.T.A.)
My son, too, likes to fight. A lot. He likes to wrestle, pillow fight, water gun fight, and basically shoot things and people. I am so anti-gun, which makes it hard to enjoy playing with them, even if they are plastic and cost 99 cents.
Which brings me to video games, which, aside from ‘Ms. Packman’ or ‘Donkey Kong’ (Yes, I’ve aged myself) I can’t stand playing. He loves to play Lego Avengers, and Lego Batman on the Xbox. I don’t even know how to turn on the friggen TV which is hooked up to the Xbox, and even if I manage that feat, I have to literally Google search, ‘How to pass level one on Batman Lego.’ I have never got past level one, although my son’s superpower seems to be getting past many stages of these game, by blowing things up on the screen.
I often try to direct him to making popsicle stick houses with glue, like I used to do with my daughter, or have tea parties, but they always end with him smashing something on purpose.
The one thing I love doing with my son is making his security blanket, which looks like an elephant, talk and make up imaginary stories. My son loves when I tell stories in a fake voice, pretending it’s coming from the one and ONLY stuffed animal he likes.
Of course, cuddling and reading to him is nice before bed. But, then, when I say, ‘Goodnight. I love you to the moon and back,’ my son will respond with, ‘I love you poo-poo-pee-pee-fart-face.’ Boys. Can someone please help and suggest how to enjoy ‘playing’ with my boy? I can’t be the only girly-girl mother who finds boy’s toys painfully tedious.
This ‘Poo-poo-pee-pee-fart-face’ mother needs all the advice she can get!