Smelly Socks: Watching kids grow to little men just one of joys of boys

July 25, 2013 at 2:25 a.m.

Usually, when I write stories about my boys and their quirks, they tend to lean toward the gross and often "boyish" things that they do.

But this time, I'd like to write about why I love having boys. They are not always the dirty, smelly, rough creatures that I sometimes make them out to be.

The spa day

The boys know, subconsciously, that they are a lot of work - or at least they hear me say it to various people. They know that they wear me down day after day.

But they also know how to amuse me with the ideas that some days just pop into their heads. One day not too long ago, I was taking a break from cleaning and was sitting on Adam's bed watching them play with their Legos, when Adam says "Mama, lay down and put your feet up."

So I did as I was told, and then Adam looked at Charlie and said, "come on," and they ran off to my bedroom but told me to stay put. They came back with hair brushes, a makeup bag, hair clips and a magazine. Adam then instructed me to read the magazine as he began to massage my feet, which felt more like tickling than massaging - still, I appreciated the sentiment.

Charlie pulled out some blush and a makeup brush and began putting it on my cheeks, my forehead and my nose but not before putting some (too much) on himself.

They combed my hair, put in clips and bobby pins and in general made feel like a princess even if at that moment I didn't quite look like one. Pictures were taken, but they somehow were mysteriously deleted.

The special dessert

Once in a while, after dinner, Adam and Charlie have started making what they call a "special dessert" for Mama. They then proceed to get up on the step ladder and pulled out a butter knife and other supplies needed for this dessert.

I usually try to stay out of the way and only get involved in the cleanup afterward. The dessert usually consists of bread with Nutella hazelnut spread smeared on super thick, banana slices and five sugar cubes arranged strategically on top.

Most of the time, it is marshmallows, but one time, it was sugar cubes. I tried to explain that if I ate the five sugar cubes along with the bread and Nutella, I might as well start taking diabetes medicine immediately, but they didn't quite understand and instead popped one into their mouths.

I removed the sugar cubes and proceeded to eat the bread with Nutella and watched as they smiled the whole time I ate it.

When they sleep

Boys get dirty and don't mind it. My boys have eaten food with dirty fingers (unbeknownst to me) while the dirt just accumulates on the bottoms of their feet throughout the day.

They chew on their nails (sometimes the dirty ones, too) go around all day with dirty shirts and messy faces and would eat bugs if dared to. But once they take a bath and have been asleep for some time, I like to go into their rooms and just breathe in how sweet they smell.

All that dirt and mess of the day has been washed away, and all that remains are slumbering little men. It's one of the moments I love to experience every evening.

So, little boys aren't all that bad; you just need to give them the room to become little men.

Anita lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two boys and two dogs, one of which is a girl. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at smellysocks@



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