Several mom friends recently posted on Facebook that they were looking forward to accompanying their tween daughters to the Selena Gomez flick, "Monte Carlo." And all I could think was, "There but for the grace of God go I."
God knew what he was doing when he gave me boys. Seriously. I could probably make it through "Monte Carlo," because I generally like Selena Gomez - no doubt because the character that she plays on "Wizards of Waverly Place" is a tomboy. Like me.
But I could not make it through, say, the Justin Bieber concert movie. I cannot decide whether "viewing a Justin Bieber concert" (filmed or otherwise) is slightly above or slightly below "visiting an American Girl store" on the spectrum of Fates Worse Than Actual Death. But I can tell you that they are a hair's breadth away from each other. Separated only, perhaps, by "attending a Sweet N Sassy little girl makeover birthday party."
Yes, I recognize that I might have more of a tolerance for these things if I had girl children. But I promise you this: such tolerance would be learned behavior. Because girly stuff, in general, is anathema to me.
Well, that's not entirely true. I clean up as good as the next girl, I paint my toenails, I enjoy a mud mask from time to time, etc. But Girl is not my native tongue. See, I am an only child, and a bit of a daddy's girl. Growing up, there wasn't much that I enjoyed more than having a catch with Dad in the backyard. My mother (a recovering tomboy herself) encouraged this. Also, Mom had a background in biochemistry, and Dad's background was in mathematics. Thus, it's probably more accurate to say that my native tongue was Geek as opposed to Boy. But, you know, close enough - the languages are similar. They're dialects, really.
My favorite toys were Legos, robots and this building set called Capsela that could have been the love child of a Lego and a robot (you connected the pieces, but the pieces had motors and wires in them, and if you connected them correctly, you created circuits and could power a car down the driveway or a pontoon boat across the bathtub).
Although, if you asked, I would tell you that I planned on becoming an archaeologist or paleontologist, depending on who was hiring.
Fast forward a few years, and you can find me at the Museum of Science and History with the boys, knee-deep in dinosaur stuff. Literally. I am sitting IN the fossil footprint at Dino Labs while Parker takes a picture of me, or I'm in Dino Dig demonstrating my mad sand removal skills with a paintbrush and a digger. While we are waiting for the planetarium to open, we have a lively discussion about superheroes, and debate the age-old question of what is the most desirable superpower.
The next day, you might find me in the swimming pool, diving after dive sticks - and no doubt catching odd looks from the girl moms who are not diving after dive sticks, but, rather, are stretched out on loungers and therefore, getting even tans. I am not getting an even tan. I am getting an extremely irregular tan - possibly a farmer's tan, if I am wearing my Body Glove rash guard.
Lord, how I love my Body Glove rash guard. Know what else I love? Board shorts. I used to hate going to the water park with the kids, and one day I realized that my hatred stemmed from the fact that, due to certain cultural expectations, I was expected to walk around said water park, essentially, half-naked. Whereas the rest of my family got to wear actual clothes - a shirt that looked, more or less, like a shirt, and bottoms that looked like actual pants. Versus, you know, strutting around in their underwear.
Swim coverups didn't get me there, for a couple of reasons. First, they tend to take the form of dresses. (What's worse than walking around a water park in your underwear? Walking around in a party frock.) Second, they tend to lack pockets.
And, one day as we were walking around a water park, and I was awkwardly juggling sunscreen, a locker key, etc., I realized that I REALLY, REALLY WANTED POCKETS. Seriously, why should guys rate them but not girls? Right about that moment, I saw a mom walk by, with three boys in tow, and she was wearing a rash guard and board shorts.
I bought my own rash guard/board short ensemble. I wore it to the beach later that summer. And I was the happiest that I have been at a beach since my childhood days in the Pacific Northwest, where most beach trips involve shorts - and a sweatshirt - due to stiff winds and cold temperatures.
I felt adequately covered. Sand did not get in places where sand ought not to go. For the first time in the history of McGlinchey family beach trips, my spouse was the one who finally declared that it was time to depart for the hotel. Usually, I am the one who is telling everyone to wrap things up.
So rash guards and board shorts have made it into my closet . . . . Um, wait - I've gotten kind of far afield here. This was supposed to be a post about boy movies, and I went off on a tangent. Sorry about that.
So let's just stipulate for the record that I enjoy being a boy mom. And, because I enjoy being a boy mom, I participate in conversations like this one with my spouse:
Spouse: Hey, while your Keno group is at the house on Monday, I thought that I would take the boys to the movies.
Me: Ohhhhkay. But what are you going to see?
Spouse: Well, they really want to see the Green Lantern movie.
Me: Riiiiiiiight. But I really want to see the Green Lantern movie. So, go fish.
Spouse: They haven't seen "X Men: First Class."
Me: Nor have I.
Spouse: "Pirates of the Caribbean"?
Me: Yeah, okay.
For the record, it's not that I didn't want to see "Pirates" - in fact, I had my third birthday party at the Pirates attraction at Disneyland. (See? Tomboy.) I just felt like I had to throw him a bone, and "Pirates" was the movie that I cared about seeing in the theater the least.
So that's how it works in this Boy House: when the grandparents offer to take the little 'uns to films like "Mr. Popper's Penguins", I throw Hamiltons and Jacksons at them like I'm making it rain at a strip club. But they had better not offer to take them to see "Transformers 3." Not unless I'm going with.
Reasons why "Transformers 3" is a bazillion times better than "Monte Carlo" (from the admittedly warped perspective of a boy mom):
1) They blow up something like 300 cars over the course of the movie.
2) Some of the cars have Gatling guns. Have I mentioned that my dream car would have a Gatling mounted to the roof? Yeah, that will teach you to cut me off on the freeway. BOOYAH!
3) No prepackaged pop music on the soundtrack - just Linkin Park. You cannot have a Transformers movie without Linkin Park. My boys LOVE Transformers, and they LOVE Linkin Park. I'm not sure which came first - it's a chicken-and-egg thing. What I do know is that, if I had a nickel for every time I was asked to replay "What I've Done" in the car, I would have a carload of nickels.
4) LEONARD NIMOY IS THE VOICE OF SENTINEL PRIME. This is so incredibly kick-a**. Seriously, how cool is it to be Leonard Nimoy? "Um, it's not enough that I will forever be associated with one iconic sci fi character. I want to be two." I believe that it was the six year-old who pointed out that Leonard Nimoy plays Spock Prime in the Star Trek reboot film (if you were a boy mom, you, too, would know that his character is referred to as "Spock Prime" to distinguish him from the Zachary Quinto character) and Sentinel Prime in the Transformers film. "Mom, HE JUST PLAYS PRIMES NOW. That's all he does." And why not? He's Leonard-flippin'-Nimoy, damn it. If he wants to play Primes exclusively, we should let him.
Says the boy mom, as she blogs while watching "Batman: Under the Red Hood" with her darling Y chromosome-toting offspring.