4 GREAT independent play activities

There are two red grapes on my kitchen floor that have been laying there for over two weeks. I know this, because before we left for our family trip to San Francisco, I noticed them – sitting there, still joined by a single, thin grape branch. Such is life for a mother of boys.

I took note, because well, that’s what you do when you’re a mom – you notice everything. But what I did not do, was bend down to pick them up. Nor have I bent down to pick them up in the days and weeks that have followed. Half as an experiment to see if any of the other people in my home are capable of picking things up off the floor and half because I have reached a point in my motherhood journey, where I’ve decided that while there is a lot that I will do for my children, there are somethings I just won’t.

As a mother of boys I will: Pick boogers out of your nose for you

Mostly because I don’t want you to eat them, but also because no child wants to be the boogery kid in class. If I can save my children that little bit of grief, I will happily pluck green crusts from their flared nostrils (and if I’m being honest, which obviously I am, I actually kind of like doing this. I also like clipping toe nails. I’m weird. You got me.)

As a mother of boys I will not: Hold your snotty tissue

If you are old enough to blow your nose without assistance, you are old enough to navigate your way to a trash can. I don’t know if somehow I’ve started to resemble a 73 year old man, who willfully elects to keep a snotty handkerchief in his back back pocket, but you kiddos are going to have to hold on to your own mucus-filled Kleenex, because that is one thing this mama will not do.

mother of boys

As a mother of boys I will: Make you meals that include at least one thing that you like

I’m a vegetarian, but I am not a monster. So I solemnly swear on a stack of meat-free cookbooks that I will never serve my children a meal of spaghetti squash, green beans and steamed kale without something kid-friendly on their plate. I promise to always throw them a bone (well, not an actual bone) so that dinnertime can be as peaceful as humanly possible.

As a mother of boys I will not: Tell you how many bites you have to take

Because, KILL ME. I’ve made the rookie parenting mistake of demanding a certain number of bites that my children are required to eat before they can leave the table and that is not a road I want to travel again. Just freaking try everything! I don’t care if you chew it up and spit it in a Kleenex – as long as you don’t expect me to then hold said Kleenex. Just try it. The worst that can happen is you vomit at the table. And that’s already happened like, at least three times, so what’s the big deal?

As a mother of boys I will: Hold your cicada exoskeletons, point out earthworms and accidentally show you a Black Widow spider

You’re little boys and gross things are cool, so if I see a gross thing I will show it to you. Hell, I’ll even hold it in my pocket for you until we get home – except for the Black Widow, that thing is going nowhere near my pocket.  As a mother of boys, I recognize that it is part of my job to introduce you to maggots, slugs and snails. To weird things under rocks and gooey stuff dripping down trees. This is my duty and I’m cool with that.

As a mother of boys I will not: Find your shoes for you

First of all, I can literally see them from where I’m standing, so the fact that you’ve not been able to locate them in the ten minutes I’ve allotted for this activity boggles the mind. They are your shoes, not mine, so while I may hint around at their “20”, I cannot and will not find them for you. Even if that means scooting them into plain sight so that you can stumble upon them on your own, I’m not letting you go through life thinking your shoes are my responsibility.

As much as I wanted to end this post with the obvious, yet hopelessly cheesy mother of boys mantra: “I will: Love you forever” – I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. But it goes without saying, right? We will all love the crap out of our kids, no matter how many snotty tissues, lost shoes and vomit-filled dinners they throw at us. Because that’s what being a mommy is. It’s loving our children through the bodily fluids and bug carcasses and finding joy in the insane, chaotic mess of it all