The Tail of the Cat
Building a Better Root-Vegetable-Based Mouse Trap

Boys Boys Boys

Sometimes I still wonder what it would be like to have a daughter. Usually while passing through the girls' clothing section -- the dresses! the tights! the...oh, just the EVERYTHING! -- on my way to buy generic truck t-shirt version number 437 off the sale rack. 

Sometimes it's while watching Jason gleefully rip open the packaging of Noah's first Transformer or win an eBay auction on the exact same Star Wars playset he had as a kid. That's when I remember that I still have a full and complete set of the original Strawberry Shortcake figurines in my parents' attic, and that my Rainbow Brite was still in remarkably good shape the last time I went through the boxes. 

Not that our toys are all so strictly, intentionally gendered. We have baby dolls and a tea set and Noah's a huge, huge fan of both The Little Mermaid and Princess and the Frog and owns quite a few toys from both, most recently the Princess Tiana beach towel that he chose over the Cars and Toy Story versions. Ezra's favorite toys are his doll stroller and a set of plastic pots and pans.

But still. They are SUCH BOYS. Noah asked for a dollhouse for Christmas and I saw the opportunity to FINALLY get something of mine out of the attic: my old wooden dollhouse, built by my mom when I was little. Oh! That dollhouse! Two minutes after the boys spotted it I realized I'd made a HUGE mistake, but it was too late. The front door was bashed in, a huge chunk of the roof ripped off and multiple windows were popping out their frames. I looked through the second box of furniture and laughed at how small and delicate everything was. I remembered meticulously setting the table with teensy plates and teacups and miniature flower arrangements; meanwhile Noah was trying to drive a car up the staircase and Ezra had his head and shoulders stuck in the living room.

(The dollhouse is currently sitting in the corner of our living room, hidden oh-so-cleverly by a blanket. Jason promised to move it up to OUR attic and...well. You know how he is.)

(The boys completely ignore it, though the last time we had a little girl playmate over, she instinctively found it and quickly had our Woody and Buzz Lightyear figurines set up a nice little household together, setting up a nursery and drinking imaginary juice boxes.) 

Ezra still calls every woman he sees "Mommy" but can correctly identify the difference between a Cah and a Tuck and Bus and a Chugga Chugga. On walks outside they have no interest in flowers or plants but lose their minds over bugs and worms and OMG A TRUCK JUST DROVE BY DID YOU SEE THAT TRUCK OMG. 

They wrestle and tumble and argue endlessly over the same single plastic dump truck, even though they collectively own several dozen plastic dump trucks. Noah simply has to walk by Ezra and he immediately clutches whatever he's playing with to his chest and shrieks "MINE!" at his brother. 

And yet, they give each other goodbye kisses every morning before Noah gets on the school bus, and then Ezra watches the bus drive away with a mixture of insane jealousy and intense admiration. They'll casually hold hands while watching TV on the couch, or in the car. Noah helpfully encourages Ezra to eat all his food so "you can be a big strong boy, like me!" and has already promised him his little scooter once he's old enough for a bigger one. Ezra calls his brother "Nona" and taps his nose when he first sees him in the morning, or right after school. Sometimes they just laugh and laugh and laugh at each other and I have no idea why. 

I'm so happy I have two boys, two brothers, and I'm grateful for all the times they let me join in the fun. 


PS. New @ TheStir: Also grateful that I no longer have to share my iPhone. 



Before he said "Mama," my younger son said, "Mine." So, yeah. Boys rock.


I've had a few people comment that we're probably hoping to have a girl next but honestly... I'd LOVE for Eli to have a brother and all of this (the giggling, the running half-mad through the house, shear destructive force of their glee) is the reason. I think we'll keep going until we have another boy, but regardless of the sex of our imagined future-children, if they get along as well and are as adorable together as Noah and Ezra, we'll have hit the jackpot.


Sigh. I want a little girl. But, seeing my two boys together melts my heart. They love being "bra-dah"s (or at least, half of the time.)


Aw, sweetness. I have to tell you that every time I see a picture of Noah, he's wearing something identical to what my son is wearing. Seriously. They have IDENTICAL wardrobes. Fans of Old Navy and Target boys' departments, UNITE!


I have a daughter and a son. My son is such the typical boy, but my daughter is SO NOT the typical girl. She is our first and never wanted ANYTHING to do with my old dollhouse, my Barbies, my Strawberry Shortcake dolls, pink, dresses...etc. She is a tomboy through and through although at age 8 (almost 9) she is starting to show interest in makeup, she just got her ears pierced, etc.

So there's no guarantee if you have a girl you'd get to play with all your old toys and shop for pink dresses.


I also love being part of "mom of two boys" club. But my god- the jumping - and running- and banging. Seriously- could it get any louder in my house?


So sweet. I was kinda hoping for another girl so they could have that kind of relationship you are describing but I love my little guy! Though it doesn't seem to matter than the house is completely full of toys, whatever Noelle is playing with, Noah wants. And whatever Noah is playing with, Noelle tends to rip out of his hands. I referee enough at work, do I really have to do it at home as well?

Sprite's Keeper

I always suspected Buzz and Woody had a thing going...


So sweet, and so true. Before we started trying to get pregnant, all I could think about was having a girl. Now that we have our little man, I can't imagine a girl. And now I'm okay with the thought of TWO boys if that happens for us. I never thought I'd be that way. Funny how they change your mind for you. :) I love having our little "destructo" of a boy. :)


Oh how I know how you feel. I'm still on the "should we try for a girl?" rollercoaster. But boys? Completely awesome.(Although, it's usually my 21-month-old trying to convince my 4yo that he should eat.)


As a mom of two girls (who are each 4 months younger than your boys), it's fun to see the flip side.

If it makes you feel any better, my elder daughter (M) has a dollhouse, and she has never once set up a nice little domestic scene in it. She does, however, delight in ripping off any extraneous part on it, like the porch railing and window frames. And the baby pretty much spends all of her time seeking out high surfaces from which she can fling herself. They just do those things in really cute clothes.

And I'm right there with you in digging the sibling relationship. I don't think I'll ever get tired of watching them play together.


See, I'm on the opposite side of this having two girls. My 3 yr old picks out her little sisters clothes everyday, helps feed her, and try to use my breast pump on her boo boos like Mommy! I won't know what to do with boys...but no matter what they have each other and that is perfection!


Funny enough -- and so few people really believe me -- whenever I think of having another (and it's not often) it's ALWAYS to give my son a brother, not to try for a girl. So brothers, boys, yes, so incredible.

FreeRange Pamela

Ah, how sweet. I love my boys, too. I can't wait until the youngest starts talking (he has a speech delay) and can express himself to his brother in words.

Malinda vast knowledge of construction vehicles came from my two year old. Don't tell his daddy, but I stuck Jay in one of my baby dresses when he was a year old. Even took a picture that no one has ever seen. I hope he can afford the therapy he will need after my mothering.


Great post. My kiddos are the same age as yours, but girl/boy. The dresses are fun, but there's just something about a mama's boy :)

Megan (Best of Fates)

Your sons sound so adorable - you're so lucky!


That's such a cute picture of them both asleep in the car :-)


We are having a second girl in September and when we found out we were...mildly disappointed. I will probably never know what it's like to be in a house of boys, since I grew up with a sister. Sounds fun. Messy but fun.
Our daughter really isn't into girly things at all, but neither was I. She does love having her toenails painted, but then again, so do my friends' sons:)


I am the mom of two boys and I must say it is quite awesome. My little one has autism, but he is a fighter and continues to make progress every single day. Pregnant now for the third time, I am hoping to add a girl to the mix, but I have found peace in my heart even if I have another boy. Know that no matter what happens in life, boys always love their mama's!

Life of a Doctor's Wife

Awwww... So sweet!

Jen L.

Crazy coincidence...I blogged about my own boy today! Must be something in the blogosphere.

Your boys are divine.

Jen L.

Crazy coincidence...I blogged about my own boy today! Must be something in the blogosphere.

Your boys are divine.

Amber H.

My little boy just turned two, and he's getting a brother in August. Which means your sweet post made me cry! So thanks for that. :)


My gaydar had already picked up on Woody and Buzz, so I'm not shocked.

I had two girls, 18 months apart. Then almost 7 years later my son came along. I feel lucky to have had some of each kind. But I can tell you that boys are SOOO close to their mamas, it's almost scary. So they're special, in spite of their affinity for bugs and frogs and farting.

I guess we always want what we don't have. I know that I had no interest in having a third daughter. But now, with two grandsons, I would KILL for a little granddaughter.

The little dresses are a pain in the ass. Stick with the t-shirts.


I have three boys and it's great. When my oldest was four and we were expecting #2, he was 100% absolutely convinced his new baby sibling was a boy. We took him to the Grand Ultrasound Reveal, and after the tech confirmed his suspicions, he turned to my husband and said, "See, I told you it was a boy. Can we go home now?"

#3, I was kinda convinced/terrified we were having a girl. Convinced because, well, the odds were with us, right? Terrified because I'd have to buy non-boy stuff and OMG I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT GIRLS DO. Despite having been one. Ahem. When the tech said it was a boy, my husband turned to me and said, "I'm sorry," and I said, "HELL NO don't be sorry." I was delighted. Boys need brothers, I'm convinced, and I was so glad that my middle child would have a little brother.

M. Bailey

I have two boys as well - they are so awesome!! plus: added bonus - you are always the princess of the house ;)


I was just thinking about the tire the other day. Coincidence?


Boys and girls are actually two different species.


Before I had my son, I wanted one of each, or two girls. Now when I think about another baby, I think of another boy. I told my husband that if our second is a boy, we have to have one more baby. Because if it's a girl that'd be great because we won't have one yet. But if it's a boy -- how adorable would three little boys be?

Parsing Nonsense

Reading this makes me so excited to see my little man grow up! I can't wait to start playing Star Wars and Lord of the Rings games with him!


Two of the same gender rocks -- instant playmate/ lifelong friend. My girlie-girls play together all day long. They don't even need me. And, yes, they play with my sister and my old Strawberry Shortcakes, Barbies, Pretty Ponies, and dollhouse. My mom loves watching them play with our old stuff. As one of two girls, having two girls was exactly what I wanted and probably needed. Funny how that works out.

Kristi Dunlap

My boys are 7 years apart at 19 and 26. From day 1 Josh adored his baby brother and Robert thought the sun rose cause Josh told it to. And I cherished every second with my boys. However, through my entire 2nd pregnancy the doctor kept insisting I was going to have a girl. When Robert arrived 3 weeks late, I cried and told the doctor he was a liar. 15 years later at the age of 45...surprise!! Abby Grace is now 4. She will probably be the death of me. I adore her, her father is sure she hung the moon. She is 4 approaching 16.. And now I rememer all of the warnings about girls being so tough. This is going to be a fun ride!! PS I have been following this blog since I was pregnant with Abby. Your honesty and willingness to strip it all down to the bottom line are a joy to read.

Snarky Mommy

We have the same exact carseat combo for our kids, down to the colors. Weird.


what carseat is that that Noah is in? My just turned 5 yr. old is giving me G-R-I-E-F about still sitting in his Britax Regent. "I want a booster seat!!" Yours looks like it's both a 5 point and a booster??


i have a 2 year old little boy named william who melts my heart every day. i'm 15 weeks pregnant with #2. i like the idea of william having a brother, but worry there's no way he could be as cool as #1. Isn't that terrible? I've heard people say there's always more love to give so hopefully that's true I really like that little dude even when he's being a turd and i just can't imagine loving someone else that much. Here's to healthy, happy babies!


And now I want another little boy.


I am in exactly the same position, just gender flipped. I have two daughters, that play barbies, want pedicures, play dress up and are bug haters for life. For a while I longed for a son. Now, boys sort of scare me. LOL, they climb trees and jump off top bunks of beds. Run into walls a full speed, they are fearless, or so at least it seems. If my girls got their hands on a boy, oh the humanity, ask our neighbor - Dean. I'm not sure if we are finished with adding to our family just yet, but if we are blessed with another daughter, then bring on the pink, I know the pink, I like the pink. If we are blessed with a son, Lord, will I be lost. Oh but how great would the day be that he brings a large toad into the house to show his big sisters, as they scream and panic that it will touch them. Then, bring on the blue cause man, that's some funny stuff.


Having one of each: girl first, then boy, I cannot even begin to describe the relief of having a child that *isn't* obsessed with pink, princesses and faries, and will happily wear whatever I put him in even if it isn't pink and "pretty".


We just found out that we're having another girl and while I am over the moon about it (I always always wanted a sister growing up), I am having "what if?" pangs. And my husband, who adores having a girl and wanted no part of a boy, is actually kind of depressed that he'll never have the father-son relationship. I guess it cuts both ways, even if you have one of each!

FWIW, in my opinion, the worst parts of having a girl are the hair (ohgod, the hair) and the clothes--you can dress up a little boy to look like a man but it's a fine line on a little girl between "grown-up" and "little tart-lette"!


Great post as always!

We have a 2 year old boy and another on the way. When I found out #2 was a boy I was slightly disappointed, realizing that I'll never have that girl to dress up and play Barbie/visit the American Girl store with -- but I look at my little guy and am so happy and in love with him and his boyish (destructive/dangerous/daredevil) ways that I quickly forget. I do have a goddaughter that I can spoil, which gives me an outlet at least!


Please, please have another one!

Think of the blog fodder! :)


Curious about Noah's carseat... what kind is it? It looks like the one I've been researching - the Graco Nautilus. Is it? Is it something better?


I am unabashedly thrilled to be having boy #2 in September - the first thing I said to my husband when we saw the ultrasound was "we'll never have to pay for a wedding!" and he replied, "yes, but the ER bills will probably add up to an equal amount!"

I always thought I would have little girls, but now that I see my friends' toddler girls with all their drama and clinginess and OH THE HAIR and the pinky pink pinkitude, I am so grateful for my Snackbox. Yes, he fell/threw himself down two different flights of stairs yesterday (only 2 steps each, but STILL) and he already thinks farting in the bathtub is the funniest damn thing EVAH, but OH, when he says "Mama!" and runs to me for a big hug my heart just turns into a puddle.


:) There's great stuff about both genders. Love my boys and love my girl.

Also, save your dollhouse! A couple more years and they might be able to handle it.


Having boys is pretty freaking cool, isn't it?


Amalah Mother of Men!


Hi Amalah!

Your boys are the cutest thing on earth! I recommend "Bringing up Boys" by Dr. James Dobson.... Fabulous book on boys and I am sure that after you read it, you will be able to comprehend why boys do what they do....

Dr. Maureen

I didn't read all the comments, so apologies if I'm the twentieth person to say this, but that wasn't Buzz Lightyear. That was Mrs. Nesbit.


My children are 15 and 12 now. But when my son, the oldest, was 3 and I was pregnant again, I was SO ambivalent. I had loved having a boy so much more than I ever thought possible, that I really wanted another one. But my husband really was hoping for a girl (he had two boys from a prior marriage). Then my daughter was born, and I have found that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE having one of each. I agree with the commenter who said that boys and girls are two different species. It's just so much fun to watch. And, as a friend once told me, I have an all-boy boy and a really girlie girl.

Guess it's just most important to be happy with whatever you get, as there are benefits all around.

(I have to add that I am also enjoying having a teenager. Never thought, after my step-parenting experiences, that I would say THAT. But teenagers are interesting and fun. Drama "tweens" are a whole 'nother post!)


As a Mom of two- and three-year-old boys, I loved your post. My Dad made me a toy stove/oven out of wood when I was a little girl (it was the '70s, so of course he painted it avocado green). I spent hours preparing pretend cakes and muffins, stirring soups and macaroni and cheese. My boys? They bake their dinosaur slippers and try to push the stove around the kitchen as if it were a truck.

Sure, the paint is now chipped and I had to hide the toy burners my Dad shaped and soldered by hand because the boys were repeatedly banging them on the hardwood floors; but, I think if the stove were Pixar-ized, it would be a happy and content stove (and it would be voiced by John Ratzenberger). To be loved, and in so many different ways, and across generations -- can't ask for much more than that.


i have three boys. it's nuts. and totally awesome.

From Belgium

Girls bring on a whole different set of crazy. I pity my husband, he will soon have two daughters and doesn't know what Barbie looks like. And I don't think my cat would like to be dressed in a pink tutu.


That is so sweet! This'll be a great one for them to read when they're older :)


Oh my GOD! That picture is DELICIOUS!


Saw these cookie cutters and thought of you


It's probably crossed your mind. But I'll just say this about thirds:

Our best friends tried for a third and got another boy. (Oh well, but yay anyway.)

My SIL is on her third and is pretty sure she struck gold with a girl. (Yay!)

A colleague tried for a boy after two girls and got more girls. TRIPLETS. (OMFG)

I guess you can't lose with more kids, but the odds seem stacked against the favor of those with a gender preference. ;-)


LOVE this post! I have two boys also, but mine are older. They are gonna be 14 and 11 in a week (holy CRAP!). When they were younger, I wished for a girl too for all of the reasons you posted and more, but as they get older, I am so happy that I have two boys and that they each have a brother. All of the girl drama at the preteen/teen age is unbelievable! And yes, mine still do things together too which makes my heart smile.

Once a long time ago when I was feeling sorry for myself about not having a girl, I told my sister I thought I would be a good mom to a girl. and she said "I agree, but you are a great auntie to one" awwww! that made me feel better!

Miss Britt


I wanted a daughter so badly for all of those reasons.

I have a daughter.

And she hates dresses and tights and pinks and "pretty" and wants to be just like her big brother when she grows up.


also, having read your blog for a while before I would NOT recommend a book from James Dobson

Jennifer Fink

I have four boys and could def. relate to your post! I blogged about it, too. Check it out at Blogging 'Bout Boys:



I'm another member of your two-boy club, and I keep writing posts about how much I love having two boys and screw girls and I wish I weren't even a girl myself. But I'll admit here that sometimes I feel like I'm just trying to hide the fact that deep down I'd really love to have a little girl. (Slapping my own face for admitting it.)


I have to admit, I was really jealous of people with two boys, when I found out I was having my daughter. Even though, when I was pregnant with my son, I feverishly searched for all of my old favorite toys on ebay (thanks for throwing it all away, MOM).

I have to say though, even though I love the matchbox cars and all of that, I am loving having a girl. Having a brother, she's equal parts girly and tomboy. I just found my old Rainbow Brite and meticulously cleaned her off, and am now looking for the color kids to go with her, because my daughter LOVES her dollies, and I REFUSE to buy the fucking whore that they call Rainbow Brite. And when she's old enough, I'll be introducing her to the chubby faced innocent looking Strawberry Shortcake, too.

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