Introduction: “Boy, oh, boy, it’s a boy!”
You’re likely here because you’ve heard that line at one point or another, generally an inappropriate and disturbing commentary on a newborn’s engorged, sludge-covered genitals, meant as some sort of perverse pat on the back from a physician with years of schooling but little taste or judgment.
Let’s hope it’s the last time as parents someone compliments us on our baby’s manhood. I mean, I can’t think of too many scenarios in which that could be OK again, other than if he becomes the protagonist of a major pornographic film, which, in most cases, would be considered only a somewhat desirable outcome.
A few years later, once I dared to go out in public with my almost three-year-old and our brand-new second boy, I realized I had just joined a club — women who had worked in the trenches in solitary confinement with two or more males would approach me and tell me that boys were “the best!” I was a member of a club, and hadn’t even applied! Yeah! We were cool! Don’t mess with us.
But we know the truth about the others: You talk. In secret, you people with your single girl and single boy are feeling sorry for us, secretly tsk-tsking as our children crawl over the tabletops. You marvel that you dodged a bullet. And to that we say, “Well, didn’t things just turn out perfectly for you?!” Go scrub your matching Hanna Andersson sweaters with your two quiet angels and piss off — we have some serious screeching to do!”
Speaking of noise: With two boys, the total testosterone count in a house is more than the sum of its parts. I’m pretty sure the toddler has just about none, but he’s already roaring like a tiger for comic effect. He’s 1. What’s going to happen at 3? Or that little-known testosterone surge at age 4? (Yes, that is a thing. But why? What could he possibly need it for? Knife fights in first grade? Shaving at 6? I don’t know, but I’m sure I’m going to find out soon. Stay in touch.)