I see you there with other mom friends. Wth friends is an extreme exaggeration, of course. Somehow, those mothers are mothers of ethereal, angelic creatures who coo excitedly on the blanket on the grass, and act like they have never seen the toys their attentive mamas brought them from home before. When you bring toys from home and put your baby on the blanket, your baby looks at you like you’re crazy. “You took me to a brand new place with rocks to throw, stairs to climb, and no walls to stop me, and you want me to play with this small plastic car AGAIN? Isn’t that the one you gave me this morning when you were trying to load the dishwasher and you got mad when I crawled inside?”

Their babies never go past the fringes of the clean, pastel blanket. They wave their arms excitedly in the way that babies do at fun games like peek-a-boo, and seem to take an interest in the adult conversation by looking at each speaker in turn. Your trained eyes can see a mud puddle three feet away that would have taken your baby 27 seconds to find and face plant in, but no one on that blanket has any idea of its existence. 

Meanwhile, you Mama, just barely caught your 9-month-old from throwing himself off the edge of the slide. (Yes, as your friends applaud the 8-month-old who just did his first lurching crawl, your baby climbed to the top of the slide.)

While your friends share healthy snacks for their babies that they had time to make at home while their cuddle bug was napping the ergo, (how do these people and their babies even exist?), you cannot even get your oldest child to sit down to eat the open package of graham crackers you hastily shoved into the bag at home. He is too busy running as fast as his little legs could go towards the parking lot because “THERE’S A TOW TRUCK MAMA! LET’S GO SEE IT!”

Having corralled the oldest, you go back to the playground where the baby immediately shoves a handful of leaves and rocks in his mouth. You give the other mamas lingering looks. Are they discussing something you need to know? Well, you’ll never know, because now the toddler has decided that jumping OVER the baby while they are BOTH on the slide is the next best game. I guess the simple ‘collect sharp sticks and throw them at people’ game can only last so long.

Take a deep breath, mama, and think of five years from now, because all of these things are true: five years from now you will have happy, healthy boys who will run and hike and climb (as long as they haven’t broken TOO many limbs by then). You will be able to take walks and they will walk in front of you (probably far in front) on their own. They will go fishing and find big trees and go surfing with you.

And you will be so healthy. Not only will you know how to run (out of necessity) but you will probably have to run enough to finally lose that last five pounds you’re still struggling with. There are a lot of people who have to buy treadmills, struggle to find an extra half hour to exercise, and then have to find the motivation to actually get on the treadmill. Those will not be your problems! Also, you know how now you rationalize stuffing your face with chocolate during their nap times because you ‘need a break’? Someday they will never nap AND they will eat ALL THE FOOD. You will be so skinny!

So my fellow boy mamas, hang in there. Someday this will work out for you. In the meantime, quick, turn around and catch your toddler as he tries to go down the fire fighter’s pole by himself. You need him to live until then!

Dana Boyer

Dana grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and has her degree in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She currently lives in Hawaii, with her husband who is in the Marines, and two small boys. They all love the ocean, traveling, and arguing about whether or not they need to wear shoes. They spend many nights not sleeping and often have a messy house. She blogs at http://www.dananicolenews.com/