Before becoming a parent I never really thought about what it would be like to have boys. It's a loud and dirty wild adventure, with days colored by mud and potty humor, breaking up brawls on the living room floor, and matchbox cars on the stairs.
My sons and I have a Monday tradition. In the course of the morning, the telltale sound of squeaking brakes, metal clanging and hydraulics reaches us in the backyard or somehow penetrates into the quietest part of the house. And we hear it: the siren call of the garbage truck echoes down the street. The boys and I frantically run, hollering and leaping out to see Dave the garbage man use his mechanical arm to dump our trash cans into his truck. We set up chairs, sometimes we bring snacks and we always, always wave. Dave honks his horn for us a few times as we watch him go up and down the street until he turns the corner. And yes, we are on a first-name basis with our garbage man. Being part of our own family garbage man fan club is not something I envisioned ever doing before becoming a parent, but here I am. I'm in the thick of it with days colored by mud and potty humor, breaking up brawls on the living room floor, and Matchbox cars on the stairs. It's awesome. (Well, except for the potty humor.) Here are five of the best things about having boys: Boys love machines and dinosaurs It's in their DNA. My sons were even thrilled to see garbage trucks when they were 6 months old, not to mention fire engines, police cars, cement trucks, utility trucks, semi trucks and any and all construction trucks. An engine noise was perfected before the age of 1. I have become well-versed in names of construction equipment: asphalt reclaimers, excavators, graders, horizontal borers, front loaders and road cutters. I also have extensive knowledge of dinosaurs, but it's mostly used by my sons to find out whether a dinosaur is a carnivore or a herbivore and which one would triumph in battle. Some things are just simple First of all, in their opinion, clothes are entirely optional during the first few years. Even for older boys, running around shirtless in the summer is preferred. When they are dressed, there isn't a battle over what to wear. As far as haircuts go, all a mom needs is a pair of clippers, a longer setting for the top and a shorter one for the back and sides, and she's set. (If they hold still...) Both my mother and my mother-in-law say that boys get over disagreements quickly, move on and don't hold grudges. So far, for me, that holds true. And finally, even the simplest things are toys for boys: a rock, a ball, a bug, a stick, a hill to climb. Getting dirty is inevitable Making messes is their way of life. There is something so satisfying to them in the experience of squishing their hands in ooey, gooey, wonderful mud. So satisfying that usually, the rest of them ends up in it as well. Last summer, we filled a plastic pool with dirt instead of water in an attempt for a quick and easy sandbox, and within a day, they had used the hose to make it into mud. They spent long hours burying dinosaurs in the mud and excavating them, smearing mud all over themselves and digging holes. It was boys doing what they do best: getting dirty. I used to fight the mess and the dirt, but in many ways I have learned to embrace it. If they are happy playing the afternoon away in mud in the garden, great. I have a separate wardrobe I put my sons in when I know they are going to have the opportunity to get dirty. Because if they have a chance they will get as dirty as possible. Mud, sand, murky ponds, cold campfire ashes, food. The possibilities are as inevitable as they are endless. They do not end a meal with their faces clean, inevitably covering their faces in barbecue sauce or yogurt. As their mom, this is a battle I will not win until they are finished and I am armed and ready with a washcloth. Or if it's mud, a hose. There's always room for a show of strength Hands down, their favorite pastime is wrestling on the floor with their dad. They call it "wrestlemania." My husband is a good sport and most of the time lets them believe that they can take him "downtown." They also love to race each other or see who can climb to the top of a hill first. They love to show me the heavy things they can pick up so I know how strong they are. They love to take off their shirt to try and impress me their "muscles." It's adorable. Building stuff and going on adventures LEGO. For some boys, that's all I need to say: It's a lifelong obsession. Whether it's LEGO, train tracks or wooden blocks, my boys love to build. Boys love building tall block towers to knock them down, or building forts and BMX tracks in the undeveloped land down the street. My sons are always ready for an adventure. They love to head to the river and catch crawdads and tadpoles. They love being in the forest, playing in the waves of the ocean, or following the tracks of an animal through the dirt. They love going on adventures through books, reading about worlds both real and fictional. They love to pretend to chase imaginary bad guys with their sticks that they're pretending are guns and dirt clods they are pretending are bombs. They howl like wolves in the backyard, throw rocks into ponds, or thrill to watch a caterpillar crawl up their arm. Boys can be loud and messy but they can also be sweet in all the moments in between, like when they make their baby sister laugh. Or when they collect dandelions to give to me, cuddle and read books before bedtime, and admire the clouds in the sky and exclaim "That's beau-full, mama!" Before becoming a parent I never really thought about what it would be like to have boys. It's a loud and dirty wild adventure, and I have no regrets.%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//beacon.deseretconnect.com/beacon.gif%3Fcid%3D162877%26pid%3D46%22%20/%3E