Behind the Scenes of a Three-Boy Household

Well, make that four. You know exactly why the count went up, right?

For those of you that don’t, and need clarification, I’m referring to the fathers in this scenario. In this case, and in most cases of three-boy households, you’ve actually got yourself four of them at home.

Yes, the husband counts. But, for the sake of simplicity, let’s count him out.

But first a story

I met a woman a few years back, who was from Princeton, NJ. It turned out she was the mother to three rambunctious boys, just like mine- are there really ones that aren’t- and we instantaneously connected. We shared a laugh or two, discussing testosterone levels floating in our homes, circulating through the air ducts and in our everyday air that we breathe.

She then mentioned something I found both fascinating and genius. Back in Princeton, she said, was a club made up of mothers to three boys. That was the prerequisite.

It was a group that met every so often, and it worked really well. What they had in common connected them, on a level they all understood, and helped them to sustain an ongoing bond. A real-life Illumnati or Priory of Sion. Except theirs was made up of really tired women, coming up for air, their right hand carrying their calendars in case they double book a playdate by mistake, or inadvertently leave out a birthday from the schedule. Both grounds for 15-minute tantrums. The other hand squeezes tightly around the stem of a wine glass, whose contents vary from wine to apple juice to a leftover blend concocted days ago- someone’s effort to secretly smuggle vitamins into her little one (but which actually tastes like the bottoms of sneakers- hence the leftovers).

Apparently, it’s too hectic at this group to notice which they’re actually sipping on, but it doesn’t really matter, as long as they’re doing it together.


What makes a three-boy household so different

So many things come to mind.

At any given time, there is a mess created, somewhere, and in some capacity. You may not necessarily know where it is, but rest assured it’s there.

Also at any given time, a smell. I’m not just talking bodies, I’m talking clothes. Bags. Even drawers. In my specific case, I’ve got three (again holding myself back from not re-inserting the fourth) sporty boys and so their mere participation in activities kicks this section up a notch. I have had to, on more than one occasion, use kitchen tongs to remove suspicious items from a pile.

The stench issue doesn’t end there. There is, quite often, always an item left behind, from long, long ago (and possibly a galaxy far, far away).

*cue Star Wars music here*

Obi-Wan-12-year-old-Kenobi forgets a cheese snack at the bottom of his soccer bag and, lo and behold, I find it 3 months later.

Han-9-year-old-Solo forgets to tell me he didn’t finish his lunch and that the remains were sent home in his school bag.. discovered 2 weeks after the fact, by yours truly, and in some obscure pocket I swear wasn’t there before.

Darth-6-year-old-Vader happens to forget house rules and wanders down to the basement with a snack, found incidentally by mom while looking for a serving piece down below.. 12 months later.

5-year olds already master the art of bending the rules


Three boys.. (more we share as mothers of three boys)

Three boys wanting to throw around a ball.  At dinner. In bed. On the toilet.

Three boys who won’t step foot in the mall, thereby rendering me their personal shopper. Same goes for supermarket.

Three boys so obsessed with electronics they find it personally offensive when I set up ground rules against it.

Three boys who always find room in their tummies for food. Three boys who yell out, “Ma, meatballs!” at any given time (in reference, of course, to one of the silliest but funniest movies of all time.. anyone? Wedding Crashers, 2005).

Three boys who nod and agree with everything I say, but then turn around and do the complete opposite.

They 'aye-aye' us, but I know it means nothing..

Three boys who somehow always exit the car as if in a cartoon, spinning the beautifully clean leather upholstery around in a big cloud of twirling smoke, leaving it behind scattered with food particles, mud from their shoes, and various items picked up along the way. Goodie-bag contents make up the top of that list, followed by pencils and gum dating back to 2012 and before.

Three boys who feel the need to wear every favorite pair of shoes until its very last breath. Sneakers have no expiration dates in our home. They will be worn until toes stick out the ends. The other day, my son’s soles had rubbed off to such a degree that his teacher asked if we’d get him a new pair. Our heads hung low in shame.

Three boys who team up with each other to play, and yet manage to somehow always team up against one other, too. Someone is always disgruntled.

Three boys who have so much to say – so much to yell out all at once, in fact, that I’ve often considered selling tickets for our show (my husband lovingly calls us ‘The Corriel Band’ – we form a lovely group made up of various noises/bodily function bellows and would make for a successful comedic addition to any one traveling circus. I mean, would you miss us if we stopped at your town?)

Three boys who always, always, always need to compare each other’s loot. Why did he get an extra slice? How does he not have to do homework? Why does he have a playdate? He’s not sharing the air! (For details on that last one, read my story, A Atypical Nature of a Typical Day in My Life).

Three boys who remind me every day that I’m mom. Oh, no, not in that cute, cuddly way. They literally remind me. As in, the word “Mom” gets said once every 10 seconds.


What we don’t get, as mothers of three-boys

What we don’t get are the long talks. The detailed stories of their day at school- not happening.

The hair braiding. The long hours of combing through that hair, head cocked to the side, as twinkles and fairies float around above us.

The shopping excursions. Those 4 hours spent at the mall, mother-daughter, together in money-spending bliss. I tried it one with my son. 10 minutes in, he was asking when we’d leave.

The nail place experience. I will never be ushered into the nail place massage chair alongside my progeny. Never have little pink stars painted on little pinky toes.

Never have hair up in ponytails. Or those cute pink bows on the side. Or glittery clips. Or dressed with florals. Tights. Ballerina tutus.


Ending Words

Now that’s I’ve ranted and roared, mused and confessed, would I change any of it? Trade any of it in?

Not for the world.

"Behind" the Scenes of a Three-Boy Household


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