This is a guest post by my friend Rita, mother to 3 year old Ouri and 1 year old Ran.
A lot has been said about my husband Ilan and my son Ouri‘s scooting sessions. But it’s more than that.
I love watching them together. I feed on their raw energy, just like my conversations with Ilan a few seconds before we fall asleep at night helps me put parenting in perspective. They are friends. Buddies. Homies. Ilan gets permission to be a child again, and Ouri gets a partner in crime.
They are in the now. They have an understanding. It’s like they have an inside joke.
But like a typical Jewish mom, I have something to say about everything they do. Their evening scooting trips usually include a (crappy) dinner that I’m not happy about. Their mutual baths leave the bathroom floor (soaking) wet. Their wrestling sessions usually result in (minor) bruises.
I once heard a comedy bit by a famous Israeli comedian about differences between men and women. It was corny, but very precise. One of the things he said resonated with me, and sticking to that simple truth saves me a lot of energy when it comes to everyday quarrels:
You can not tell a male what to do, and how to do it.
Apparently it’s true for small males as well.
I try not to comment on what they do, but it’s stronger than me. “Don’t stay out too late,” I say. “Take an umbrella with you, it’s about to rain,” I ask. “Please try to eat something nutritious,” I beg.
I am usually shushed and ordered to mind my business. “Fine,” I say. If there is anything I have learned about having 3 boys, it’s that I have to pick my battles.
Sure enough, they arrive, soaking wet at 9:30pm with a bag from McDonald’s.
Their boys’ club is impenetrable to moms. And thank god for that.
“But what do you propose I should do?” I ask my husband after fighting with Ouri about some mundane thing.
“There are boundaries of course, but mostly let him do his thing. At his own pace,” my husband tells me again and again.
It’s easy for him to say — he usually doesn’t have a 15lb diaper bag of stuff, or a 19 lb baby strapped on him, or concerns about making it on time/lunch/naps, etc. Leave it to the boys and Ouri will look like a little hobo, living solely off fries and pizza in no time.
Well, this is where mothers come into play, because every club needs basic maintenance. Secretly though, without making too much fuss about “the right thing coming out of the 15lb diaper bag at the right moment” or “chicken soup with the right amount of shkedei marak waiting for them after they’ve been scooting for an hour.”
But not too much. Because you don’t want to mess with the magic of boys’ club.
I love watching them together. They are in the now. They have an understanding. It’s like they have an inside joke. And sometimes, when I’m hanging out with both of them, I feel like I was let in on it.