Things I learned tonight

The (glass) coffee table in the family room is about 15 hand prints across.

Small boys who’ve just scarfed down most of the two giant pizzas I made them and declared themselves full will still manage to demolish two giant bowls of popcorn not ten minutes later, in about five minutes flat.

Our “incredibly soundproof” home where we often cannot hear the children playing upstairs is not quite soundproof enough to mask the unmistakable sounds of seven small boys JUMPING ON THE BED.

Telling people “no gifts, please” is apparently southern-speak for “cold hard cash is preferred.” I swear I did not know this. (Note to self: Come up with a list of donation options before breakfast tomorrow morning.)

It is appropriate to wait 15 minutes after guests arrive before offering beverages. At that point, the herd of thundering children will signal that it’s time to break out the wine for any adult brave enough to endure the carnage.

My son is a giant goofball who is very easily impressed.

My daughter’s mother hen propensities can be very useful when the house is oozing testosterone.

A roomful of boys in pajamas will, at any given time, contain at least two boys who are grabbing themselves to verify that they haven’t, you know, left their little penises somewhere else, and one boy who is scratching his ass so deeply and with such fervor that you suspect he’s going to end up with a permanent wedgie.

Reason number 846 why my husband rocks: While I got everyone out the door at the end, he cleaned up EVERYTHING. Which was just a little bonus over not RUNNING SCREAMING INTO THE NIGHT at any point during the party.


  1. Heather

    Sounds like the boys had fun! ;-)

  2. Cele

    Oh mi gosh it sounds loud, stinky, and messy. I hope Monkey had a great time.

    Cash? you’re kidding right?

  3. Burgh Baby's Mom

    So was it the fact that the soundproofing failed or the bed crashing through your ceiling that clued you in on the seven boys jumping thing?

  4. Nell

    My son is now nearly 21, but I remember vividly the times when he had boys sleep over. The most prevalent memory is the smell that hit me when I checked on them late at night, most of them asleep. It was a distinct mix of dirt, sweat, and bad breath.

    My biggest fear with sleepovers is that someone would want to go home at about 3:47am.

  5. Catherine

    I have tears in my eyes from reading “A roomful of boys in pajamas will …” aloud to my husband. Our son must have skilz, he can check his penis and wedgie himself simultaneously.

  6. LuAnn

    Very educational. :)

  7. karen t

    Glad you survived the boy invasion! Last night we had my 14yr old son’s birthday bash. A whole bunch of wobbly voiced, wild haired dudes with electric guitars and enough popcorn to sustain a cinema audience. My porch looked like a shoe shop for giants!
    I’m totally with Nell about that boy smell. And it lingers.

  8. saucygrrl

    You have to hand it to Southerners, they are some of the most polite and giving people I’ve ever met (except for relatives, if you’re relatives this gives you license to openly and angrily argue politics and religion over your grandmother’s deathbed-Hi Uncle Paul! Love you!) I can almost hear the mom’s chattering as they opened their invites. “Sally, it says no presents. What does that MEAN?” “Sue Ellen I just don’t know. I’ve never been to a birthday party and where I didn’t bring a present. That little boy needs SOMETHING, let’s just slip him a little cash. It IS his birthday after all.”

    I think what it boils down to is that the cardinal rule is never show up to a party empty-handed. People feel funny going against that and, try as you might, you cannot stop excessive politeness. ;)

    I’m glad to hear that the party was a success AND that Otto… boy, he and Sean have a lot in common. If it wasn’t 7am I would say we should raise a toast them… would coffee be acceptable?

  9. Lori

    What is it with the fear of missing penises? I know boys can be forgetful, but really?!

    I had a sleepover for my 8yr girl during Christmas break & 3 of my girlfriends stayed over too. It was a similar scene (complete with wine.) At 11pm things were still going strong but soon were going to take a turn for the worse if we didn’t step in so the 3 of us sat on the couches & chairs watching them to keep them from chatting any longer. It worked! 3 of them were asleep within 3 minutes! Two more dropped off within another 5 min and the last 3 diehards (my daughter included) stayed up until who knows when – we all needed more wine and left the room. *grin*

    Glad you survived! You are the coolest mom!

  10. Sara

    For some reason the Phish song “Bounce Around the Room” keeps running through my head. I wonder why…?

  11. StephLove

    Oh wow, a slumber party. We haven’t been brave enough to try that yet. I don’t think it’s happening until a) he asks and b) his little sis is sleeping through the night on at least a semi-regular basis.

    My younger sister’s slumber parties always featured an interval during which she hid in her room and refused to come out until all her friends clustered around the door and begged her to come out. I’m not sure what that was about.

    I’m glad Monkey had fun!

  12. All Adither

    Cold hard cash can buy a lot of penises. Oh, that didn’t sound good.

  13. barb

    LOL at the boys grabbing and scratching themselves! I am raising 2 sons, along with a wonderful husband, and am daily surprised by how often the male must check his package to make sure it’s all still there! I never knew, when my beautiful babies were born, that one morning I would snap “would you PLEASE let go of your penis long enough to pull up your pants so we can go to school?” Nor did I know that, for males of all ages, the preferred position for relaxing and watching a movie involves one hand draped casually over your crotch, just to hold things in place! Oh the things you don’t know when you grew up in an all female household!!

  14. Jamie AZ

    My 4yo can’t keep his hands off of his penis – I’m not sure where he thinks it’s going to go if he doesn’t have it in his hand! We’ve got a great picture of the four cousins at Christmas (ages 6-3.9) and of course, my youngest has a hold of himself! My sister didn’t even notice it at first.’

    Glad Monkey had a great celebration and you survived. Wine = good!

  15. jennielynn

    Oh my gosh, Big Red does the same thing and he is only 18 mo old! We will literally take his diaper off and play with his “junk.” I have to keep zip up jammies on him at all times, even at church, since he will remove his pants and diaper to access the goods!

  16. Amy-Go

    Sounds like my house 24-7-365…

    And attending a birthday party in the South without a present is Not. Done. That would be tacky, darlin’. Somebody should have warned you! ;)

  17. Heidi

    Well, you should get plenty of google hits today!

  18. Daisy

    Boing. Boing. Boing. Boing. Boingboingboingboingboing Mooooom, we’re just jumping!

  19. D

    Okay, I’m from “the North” and I know that in the South you don’t go to someone’s house without a gift … and that was just visiting [“we’re all going over for tea, gotta bring something besides ourselves”] — or that’s what my Nana always told me.

  20. tuney

    I… I… ?? I am at once rilly glad I have missed the smells and kinda sad I’ve missed the antics of the male species. Don’t rightly know which one I should embrace, but since I get plenty of smells from the cats (how can something so small make gasses so rank??), I guess I’ll have to be content with the company of male friends. At least they are still on pretty good behavior around me, so crotch-grabbing is kept to a minimum. That’s a GOOD thing, right…?

  21. shannon

    i’m tellin’ you, i’ve got 3 boys and a husband and it’s true, they start grabbin’ themselves when they’re babies and they never let go!

  22. Suebob

    Most educational. Man, that thing about the cash…how embarrassing. I would have died a little too.

    As far as good causes, Beth Kanter from BlogHer is collecting to send Cambodian kids to school, which would seem an appropriate use for kid-party money.

  23. Scottsdale Girl

    Wait til they are old enough and you will be in the kitchen while 2-4 of them are playing some killemall video game and one of them says “BITCH! OR “shit!”…you are ON YOUR WAY TO CORRECT THE FILTHY MOUTHED BEAST when you think “DAMMIT! they probably learned that from me or their father” and you humbly turn around and walk away again hoping they don’t do that at school.

  24. Cheryl

    I just have to chime in with a loud “yeah, that” when you talk about small boys, penises, and wedgies! I’ve got 3 of the species, and while I’ve mastered “please” and “thank you” with them, I don’t know if they’ll ever understand the whole penis=privacy idea.

  25. mamalang

    My 5 year old boy is dying for a sleepover…it shall be interesting to see how they differ from his older sisters.

    Way to go on the nailing down, and letting them enjoy! you get awesome mom points for sure.

  26. dad

    Hey. That’s my grandson.
    I’m so proud.

  27. carson

    We’ve put the line “in lieu of gifts donations to your favorite charity.” I’m sure my son (who turned 4 on the 19th) would prefer the gifts, but there is only so much room on the planet.

    The best part about his parties is that we go in with the kid around the corner whose mom saved me from utter boredom when mine was locked in the NICU with strict visiting times. We pile all the neighborhood kids into one of those bouncing places and have a spiderman cake. No gifts, no goodie bags. That’s a party.

    Finally, I’m so glad that my precious little boy child will never EVER turn stinky. :plugs ears and begins humming:

  28. Megan

    Sleepover?? You gave a sleepover which meant SEVEN boys?? Wow, turn down that mom-halo Mir, you’re blinding me!

  29. Chuck

    You had a slumber party for boys? You are a BRAVE woman, Mir. Glad everything went well and that you didn’t have to clean up.

  30. Ben

    Ah, that is great. Sorry, I can’t add to all the previous comments; and yeah, they’ll pretty much be playing pocket pool forever.

  31. MaryP

    Boys and their penises. I had a friend who came up with a code phrase for her boy, “Hands up, Sam.” It meant “LEGGO THAT THING!”

    An aunt, exasperated beyond measure, once hollered at her son, “Andrew, if you don’t leave that thing alone, it’s going to FALL RIGHT OFF!”

    That worked.

  32. carrien

    “they haven’t, you know, left their little penises somewhere else,”

    Oh, I can’t breath.

    Must. stop. laughing.

  33. Manic Mommy

    My first ultrasound pic of RC has him grabbing his penis. We knew it was a boy for sure but still had to wait until he moved his hand.

  34. The Over-Thinker

    I can’t get out of my head…

    “I called for the doctor, the doctor saaaaid, No More Monkeys jumpin’ on the bed!”

  35. Katherine

    We just had a sleepover for my younger son (just turned 9). I’m only brave enough for 4 boys, and of them 2 left before bedtime – so I only ended up with my son and one friend spending the night.

    Southerners can’t NOT bring a gift to a party. I’ve heard one idea that works well is to ask guests to bring food for the food bank. I haven’t done that because 3 gifts doesn’t seem so much, but if we were inviting a whole slew of kids I certainly would. I don’t know what the people do who have 20-30 kids, all bearing gifts – stock their gift closet??

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