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Snips and Snails and Sugar and Spice


It was a good thing that I was lying down when they told me my first crotch parasite had a hot dog instead of a hamburger or I would have probably fallen over. I was 158% certain that the baby who had HER feet stuck up in MY liver was a GIRL, thankyouverymuch and her name was going to be Elise and excuse me?

SHE has a PENIS?

What the hell kind of GIRL has a PENIS?

Where did you get your ultrasound degree ANYWAY, lady? SEARS?

But she zoomed in and showed me a dangly bit and a comically large sack, and assured me that it wasn’t some circus freak of a girl/boy I was carrying. Nope, I was having a BOY. A bouncing beautiful baby BOY. (I made up the beautiful part because he sort of looked like a pixelated version of the blob)

I was TERRIFIED. We’d gone in for an emergency ultrasound because the doctor had heard “something” on the fetal heart tones that made him “unhappy” and I couldn’t get what specifically that was, and although I was only twenty at the time, I did love my baby, despite what all of the people who came up to tell me my business thought (oh, Pranksters, you have no idea, except those of you who do).

His heart turned out to be just perfect and his twig and berries, well, they were unexpectedly there, but fine as well.

And now, I was a mother. Of a boy. Pretty sure I was soon to be a single mother. Of a boy. I was shitting my pants. Or I would have been, had the prenatal vitamins allowed for it.

Several weeks before he was born, stuck for a name, it came to me suddenly and I named him Benjamin, meaning “son of my right side” and hoped that he could be a kind, strong, good and sweet person.

He is. That and so much more.

When I found out I was having his brother, Alexander, I scoured the shelves at the toy store to find him a non-girly baby doll, and when I did, Seth came home with us. Still Seth is a fixture in my house and he frequently is put down for naps, gets bottles, and gets his diaper changed.

Alex came rocketing into the world, in March of 2007 and I can tell you that no one was more excited than Ben.

I implore you to a) ignore the horrid jacket that my darling firstborn son is wearing because I DID NOT DRESS HIM and 2) please look at Alex’s face. It’s HILARIOUS. It’s also the way Alex looked for an entire year.

It turned out that all of the fears I’d had about having boys were unfounded. Of my children, if I am to fall down and hurt myself, it is my sons who will run over to comfort me and wrap their spindly arms around me until I assure them that I am fine. Amelia may come over and investigate, sure, but it will only be to then hurl something large at my head.

(she is her mother’s daughter and my clone in just about every way)

And Alex, oh sweet Alex, the small love of my life, he has his baby, too:

Sure, maybe he carries the thing around by the top of her head and sometimes throws her at the wall for a laugh, but his heart is so crushingly huge that I sometimes wonder if he really is related to me. And then he farts and laughs hysterically and I know that he clearly is.

It’s when they pile on top of me, the three of them, all elbows and knees and giggles, like a squirmy pack of puppies, that I know I’ve done right by them.

And I am happy. If I do nothing else in my life, I have done right by my children.

57 Comments to

“Snips and Snails and Sugar and Spice”

  1. On July 29th, 2010 at 11:29 am Tania Says:

    Awww…so sweet. My boy likes to snuggle too. The girl child not so much! It us took about three weeks after she was born to realize that she preferred looking at us from her bouncy seat versus being held. She’s now fourteen and we’re pretty sure she’s part cactus. She’s also my worst critic. But if she leaves my house in four years and kicks the world in the balls, then I’ve done my job.

  2. On July 29th, 2010 at 11:43 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I somehow think that this is a good trait in girls.

  3. On July 29th, 2010 at 11:32 am AmyBlam Says:

    what a great post. Bratchild is exactly like me-I was convinced I was having a girl and I did, I didn’t know what I would do with a boy.
    It drives my ex-hubs nuts that she’s such a mini me so that’s an awesome added bonus.
    I came across a note in the garage the other day from a teacher and until I got to the end I thought it was about bratchild. Then I realized it was a note from MY first grade teacher. Yes, if we touched it my mother boxed it up all orderly like and put it in the attic.

  4. On July 29th, 2010 at 11:43 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Amelia is my clone. She hates dolls and is about as sweet as mud. The boys, though, they’ll be wonderful fathers some day.

  5. On July 29th, 2010 at 11:33 am michelle Says:

    awww…you’re getting so deep here lately, “mommy”. kind of uncomfortable for me, but i like it! it’s a good uncomfortable. gotta say, you do breed some good look’n babies.

  6. On July 29th, 2010 at 11:42 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Dude, it was uncomfortable for me, too. I’m more of the “LET’S MARRY ROD’S MAGIC HAIR” kind of blogger, but today, I just kinda felt like I should write about my boys.

    Tomorrow, I’ll do better.

  7. On July 29th, 2010 at 11:40 am a Says:

    Ha! I was going to say all the “sensitive” ones in our family are boys, but then I realized…it’s just my daughter who’s completely insensitive. She gets that from me, but in every other way, she is exactly like her father.

    I’m betting that it’s actually a lot of fun to have rambunctious little boys running around the house…

  8. On July 29th, 2010 at 11:41 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Yeah, Amelia pushes around a baby carriage…with a top in it. She’s about as maternal as I am. By which I mean…not at all.

  9. On July 29th, 2010 at 11:44 am Kathy Says:

    I was sure I was having a boy, both times. And both of them are girls. My poor husband is now thoroughly out numbered.

  10. On July 29th, 2010 at 12:49 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    See, I thought I’d have ONLY boys. But Alex insists I’m going to have another child, which fits into my “love child” theory.

  11. On July 29th, 2010 at 11:46 am Mary Says:

    The last time my family went to Disney World, my 20 year old son came along. He walked through the park with his arm around me. I joked with him that he probably wanted to make sure I didn’t wander off and get lost. He also likes to show me his favorite music videos and share weird pictures and web-sites that he finds. We are the only two people in the family who watch horror movies. Definitely takes after me. He’s 6 feet tall, taking after his grandfather. He also works out at the gym, don’t know WHERE he got that from. None of my kids really like to read, maybe the fourth child I never had would have inherited that from me. But then I would be totally insane, beyond hope.

  12. On July 29th, 2010 at 12:49 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    That is awesome and it’s what I hope to have with one of my sons (at least one).

  13. On July 29th, 2010 at 12:02 pm meredith Says:

    the real question here is how do you get them so damn pretty? i mean, it doesn’t hurt that you are gorg. but. that certainly doesn’t guarantee that shit. so. secret?

  14. On July 29th, 2010 at 12:10 pm Becky Mochaface Says:

    Ah, children. A gift I am not ready to be blessed with yet. So I’m hitting the damn snooze button on that fucking biological clock for the moment. Though someday when I manage to turn it off by actually shooting out my own crotch parasites, I hope they’re as cute as your kids. And as awe inspiring.

  15. On July 29th, 2010 at 12:16 pm Rebecca Says:

    This is a really sweet post Aunt Becky. Your kids are darling!

  16. On July 29th, 2010 at 12:19 pm Fran Says:

    I had 2 boys and then a girl myself. My oldest did not acknowledge the existence of his little brother until the baby was 2 months old. It was kind of like “Baby? What baby? I see my Mommy and she’s holding a lump but there’s no baby here.” Fast forward 7 years when his sister was born and he was in love! Mostly an age thing because he and his brother are inseparable now. In fact, they aren’t here this week and I really miss the little boogers!

  17. On July 29th, 2010 at 12:20 pm Brianna Says:

    I was totally convinced I was having a boy, with both #1 and #2. I was dead wrong. When I gave up and admitted I was only ever going to breed girls, I finally scored a right answer with #3. Nevermind that all I ever wanted was boys, because HELLO, wtf am I gonna do with a girl? I hate pink, I hate ballet, rainbows and unicorns make me wanna puke… I think the universe was laughing at me hardcore when it gave me all girls. Not sure what puppies I kicked to deserve it, but hey. That said, I love my girls. I do. I may never know the correct way to handle them, but I wouldn’t give them up for anyone or anything. (No matter how much I threaten to sell them to gypsies…)

  18. On July 29th, 2010 at 12:29 pm julia Says:

    your children are beautiful! πŸ™‚

  19. On July 29th, 2010 at 12:42 pm Andygirl Says:

    can we please trade places for a day? I can play with your pack of child puppies and you can be single and lame with two retarded cats. yeah? no? bummer.

  20. On July 29th, 2010 at 12:58 pm Melissa Says:

    I totally get boys. And you DO have a wonderful maternal instinct!

  21. On July 29th, 2010 at 1:05 pm Kelly Says:

    I love the look on Ben’s face while holding the screaming Alex. He kind of looks like he doesn’t know whether he should laugh or cry…

  22. On July 29th, 2010 at 1:06 pm leanne Says:

    Earlier this summer my son became too big and old to hug and kiss me goodbye. But sometimes while we’re riding the bus to or from his summer program, he’ll pick up my arm and drape it around himself so we can snuggle.

    My daughter, on the other hand, is a hard core snuggler. Also she brings tissues to people when she sees them crying. But she’s got a mean kick. I think we did a good thing by putting a soccer ball in front of her at an early age.

  23. On July 29th, 2010 at 1:23 pm Mwa Says:

    I thought I was having a girl three times. Twice, the PENIS shocked the hell out of me, causing me to phone everyone I know to shout PENIS at them.

  24. On July 29th, 2010 at 1:26 pm Shin Ae Says:

    I love it. Sons are awesome.

    I just knew I was having a girl both times. Nope.

  25. On July 29th, 2010 at 1:51 pm Txtingmrdarcy Says:

    We all love your crotch parasites too. πŸ™‚

    And I just figured out the perfect career for Mimi: Mafia Boss. Mimi Soprano: Delivering Severed Horse Heads to a Bed Near You.

  26. On July 29th, 2010 at 2:07 pm flutter Says:

    You just made me cry, jerk!

  27. On July 29th, 2010 at 2:08 pm daisybv2 Says:

    Aww what a sweet post your parasites are soo stinken cute! I had my daughter first I wanted a boy but I knew from the moment I found out I was preggo that it was a girl! She is so sweet and kind with a heart of gold… my first born

    Then came my son… all one and a half pounds at birth he has been a fighter from the beginning. He is sweet and loving but ONLY to ME! otherwise he has the horns… but I always say to myself when he tests me that if he did not have the spunk in him things might have been different in the beginning.

    Geese all this talk makes he want another one. I wonder if I did would it be a boy or a girl and how would they be?

  28. On July 29th, 2010 at 2:09 pm Betty M Says:

    You are all awesome!

  29. On July 29th, 2010 at 2:16 pm Ally Says:

    Sweet, sweet post. Your kids are adorable. I love the adoring big brother look on Alex’s face.


  30. On July 29th, 2010 at 2:57 pm Amy Says:

    Doing right by your kids……what more can you ask for???

  31. On July 29th, 2010 at 3:01 pm thenextmartha Says:

    I have two sons and you have put into words so beautifully how I don’t feel about them. kiiiiidding. Sorta. Since we’re not having any more children I will love my sons and they will (mostly) love me back.

  32. On July 29th, 2010 at 3:13 pm Mommy on the Spot Says:

    How sweet! I was afraid when I learned that I was having a boy. But now, that is all silliness.

    When I was crying at his 16 month appointment (which is another story), he handed me the kleenex I had given him earlier. How friggin’ sweet?!

    Yes, that fear is all silliness now.

  33. On July 29th, 2010 at 3:59 pm Jess@Straight Talk Says:

    That is the sweetest damn thing ever. You made a great argument for having boys.

  34. On July 29th, 2010 at 4:12 pm Kacey Says:

    I was SO sure I didn’t want boys especially as a single mom, but I’ve had so much fun with Brady. He already had a couple dolls, but last night he asked for a little beanbag doll for his “being a good boy while mommy shops” treat. I obliged and he spent the evening kissing and snuggling his baby and saying “Mommy, Daddy isn’t baby sooo sweet?! He’s as likely to push a dump truck around in his sandbox as he is to make a smoothie in his play kitchen and nothing makes me feel like I’m doing an OK job more than that.

  35. On July 29th, 2010 at 4:23 pm Teisha Says:

    This post made me laugh and cry all at the same time. Try explaining that one to your boss….

  36. On July 29th, 2010 at 5:07 pm TheMom(aka Amy) Says:

    Damn woman, you made me tear up like I was all human or something. Don’t fucking do that again. Now make me laugh!!

  37. On July 29th, 2010 at 5:12 pm Kyddryn Says:

    I have often had concerns that I am doing the right thing by my son, the Evil Genius. I have recently had cause to wonder if I will do right by the New Spawn (flavour as yet unknown) when it is sprung on the world.

    Last week, a friend inadvertantly said something that helped make up for many of the doubts (those I’ve foisted upon myself and those fostered by the freely vocalized concerns of others who think they know better and can sense self-doubt like Dingos can sense a crippled fawn)(or something) – she told me she has no doubt that whatever else I may be, I am a good mother and my child/ren will gorw up knowing they’re loved.

    I think we all have doubts or concerns, one way or another…and in the end, all we can do is our best and hope it’s enough. It so frequently is, and yet we so frequently question…

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K (who, when asked what she hopes this baby will be, has been answering “born with all the right parts in all the right places”, although she did tell her mother if the cherry had a stem we weren’t removing just because grandma wants a little girlt to spoil)(you can dress little boys any way you want until they’re old enough to know better, and the photos will be priceless slide-show fodder if they get snotty when they’re teens…)

  38. On July 29th, 2010 at 8:21 pm Heather (qtberryhead) Says:

    Sorry Ms. Stunt Double…what did you do with Aunt Becky? How much is the ransom? Free Aunt Becky!!
    Kidding…you’re awesome and you obviously passed some of it onto the little crotch parasites.
    (And good Lord woman! Did you have a make-up team come in for the birth of Alex? Because you look amazing for just having had a baby)

  39. On July 29th, 2010 at 8:34 pm K odell Says:

    Oh- those giggles! They make motherhood so worth it. I’ll tell you, the daughters are the hardest of all. My daughter used to say “da duh” to people with her little pudgy finger pointing. Im not sure if that meant stop that, shut up, or eff you. Knowing that she was soon nicknamed “the beast” whereas her dear brothers were Nonee and Bobo, I think it meant eff u. from a one year old. and she meant it.

  40. On July 29th, 2010 at 8:37 pm dualmom Says:

    I had my first at 18. What they said behind my back was 453 times worse than what they actually had the balls to say to my face. Cowards. So happy to prove them all wrong. Like you I did the two boys then the girl thing. Like you, she couldn’t be more like me had they cloned her. My mother is laughing her ass off in heaven as we speak.

    BTW, those are some damn fine looking anklebiters.

  41. On July 29th, 2010 at 9:06 pm giggleblue Says:


  42. On July 29th, 2010 at 9:08 pm Andrea Says:

    I did not grow up with brothers, so the thought of having boys frightened me. And then two at once…holy hell.
    Well having boys has been a great lesson in why men are the way they are. The minute my boys had dexterity in their hands, they grabbed there package….that explained a lot and confirmed my saying of “they are just born that way.”
    Thank you for sharing the joys of boys as they get older. She’ll hate my guts, but I’ll be their mommy πŸ™‚

  43. On July 29th, 2010 at 9:35 pm Mrs. Call Me Crazy Says:

    It honestly took me a minute to figure out the first sentence. I have a HAMBURGER! I get it! That’s so awesome! It’s like a hamburger patty…or we could call her “Patty”…like she totally has a name now! I am so stoked!

  44. On July 29th, 2010 at 10:32 pm linlah Says:

    I love your stories about your children, so heartfelt and love.

  45. On July 30th, 2010 at 12:53 am GingerB Says:

    Because I had my kids later in life, my girls will be going through puberty while I go through menopause. My husband is doomed, because at 4 and 2, my girls are just as hard headed and wicked smart as I am. He. Is. Doomed. He says that is why he is fixing up the garage so nicely.

  46. On July 30th, 2010 at 1:21 am Kristin Says:

    You know, I had the same “what the hell do I do with a boy” reaction when I found out my first was a boy. Like you said, they won me over quickly.

  47. On July 30th, 2010 at 7:24 am Trista Says:

    Love it. If at the end of the day we mothers can say that we did right by our kids (whatever form that takes) then I think we’re doing okay. My two-year old girl is sweet and cuddly but also stubborn and scary smart and independent, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m now pregnant with #2 (although I probably shouldn’t continue to call ‘it’ that once ‘it’ arrives, *snicker*), and as much as we’ll be thrilled with either gender, if the ultrasound tech tells us it’s a boy I’m going to have a similar initial reaction to yours – holy crap!

  48. On July 30th, 2010 at 7:33 am Neeroc Says:

    So completely awesome, good job Aunt Becky!

  49. On July 30th, 2010 at 8:00 am Dot Says:

    Beautiful! And that smile is out of this world!

  50. On July 30th, 2010 at 8:18 am April K. Says:

    Boys are the best at being caring and loving, aren’t they? Mine is they same as yours – he’s the one who comes running to help if I get hurt or sick or whatever. My daughter, on the other hand, is currently roaming around the house in a ninja outfit with both a sword AND an ginormous gun. Heaven forbid I tell HER that I woke up with a case of the sniffles this morning – all she’d probably do is throw a box of Kleenex at me and then try to off me when I wasn’t looking, lest she get sick with whatever I have. Yeah, she’s gonna make a GREAT mom someday!!! πŸ™‚

  51. On July 30th, 2010 at 8:51 am Alex@LateEnough Says:

    I was the same way when the ultrasound tech said: it’s a BOY. WHAT? We are not meant for boys. I’m a FEMINIST for goodness sakes. (Not that that has anything to do with anything but who knows why I think the things I think) And anyway, I was totally wrong. E is the perfect boy for us.

    PS. And he has the SAME baby doll as you boy.

  52. On July 30th, 2010 at 12:15 pm Zakary Says:

    Ooh, I love it. You have indeed done right by your kiddos and right by us for having this bloggity blog.

    I’m glad I know you.

  53. On July 30th, 2010 at 3:38 pm Tracie Says:

    I just knew my second was going to be a girl. I hadn’t even looked at boys names. Just one of many things I was wrong about.

    PS Love the expressions on Ben’s face. My oldest was not happy when little brother was born.

  54. On July 31st, 2010 at 7:08 pm Hamlet's Mistress Says:

    What a lovely post about your babies. I laughed at the beginning and cried at the end. I love you and your blog.

  55. On August 2nd, 2010 at 2:59 am Kelley @ Magnetoboldtoo Says:

    this made me cry.

    Damn motherfucking hormones.

    Too had a boy doll who PEED OUTTA HIS PENIS called George when Boo was born. Moo had a ‘girl doll because girls are better’ called Sophia – pronounced So pee ah.

    I miss my babies.

  56. On August 2nd, 2010 at 11:02 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Yeah, I was in Gymboree this weekend and looking at all the wee baby things made me ovulate. HARD.

  57. On August 3rd, 2010 at 8:51 pm MamaSkates Says:

    too damn sweet…& so relatable! love it!

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