If you’re like most mothers of young boys, your days are filled with confusion.
Confusion because, let’s face it, your son is not like you. Not just because he has the XY chromosome set-up instead of the more adorable XX, but he also seems to be interested in different things than you. You’ve tried and tried again to engage him in some of your favorite pastimes, hosting tea parties for stuffed animals, dressing up like fairies and playing house. (And if you’re Marinka, getting your 11-year-old son to watch The Bachelor with you.)
But through no fault of your own, Mom of a Son, the beautiful bonding just isn’t happening. In fact, for reasons unbeknownst to you, your son seems interested in playing with cars, trains, trucks, planes and other modes of transportation instead. WTF? It’s weird. And confusing.
Of course you may be scared, bewildered, and ashamed by this. You may not understand what exactly is happening, and why it’s happening to you, a mother who did absolutely nothing wrong and just wants to play Pretty Pretty Princess all day long.
But fortunately, help is available!
Yes, the fine people of Mattel, the makers of Hot Wheels, have answered the siren call of mothers who don’t know how to play with boys. These saviors in suits recently flew in some “influential mommy bloggers” (if that isn’t code for OMFG, we don’t know what is) to guide them through the mysteries of playing with cars with their sons. But first, they plied them with Bloody Marys and Mimosas. You know, because handling 2″ plastic cars is SUPER STRESSFUL FOR WOMEN!!!
“By talking to Mom, we’re extending the conversation to the actual purchaser,” Mr. Petersen [a Mattel VP] says. “I know it sounds so silly. It’s kind of like ‘Why didn’t you do that forever ago?’”
Yes, that’s the reason it sounds silly. And moms seemed to appreciate the wisdom imparted on them:
“I’m a girly girl,” Ms. Stroud (one of the possibly tipsy “influential mommy bloggers”) said. “So it’s kind of hard to understand how these little plastic machines can be so much fun, versus a Barbie that you can change her clothes, cut her hair, and do whatever you want.”
We can relate. Cars are definitely not like Barbie! They don’t even have a pretend vagina area! Panties don’t fit on them! LOL, cars are so strange! Next thing you know, we moms will be asked to DRIVE ONE! That is hilarious!
So thank you, Mattel. Thank you for knowing that as women we are incapable of playing with our male children. Thank you for understanding that we’ve been doing it all wrong for a few centuries now. Our sons will be better men because you’ve shown moms exactly how to push a little car on the ground and make this noise with their lips: Brrrrruuuuummmmmmm!
Finally, since the Mouthy Housewives have seven boys between us, we’ve followed Mattel’s lead and broken down how to play with some traditional boy toys for our readers. It may be tough, but hang in there, Mom.
The Mouthy Housewives’ Guide To Playing With Boys
Balls! by Marinka: Most balls are round. Yes, there is The Football which is football-shaped, but we will cover that in our Advanced Ball course, offered next fall. So, most balls are round. This means they are good for rolling, throwing, bouncing and catching. If you are not ready for such active ball playing, try to ease into it by drawing a face on the ball and some hair. Name the ball. Get two big balls and some little ones and make a ball family. The Ballers. This will make ball play more fun for everyone. Or at least you. Your son is probably crying for some other unrelated reason.
Sticks! by Wendi: Sticks are from trees. (Trees are the big things that grow in the ground. The singing birds in “Cinderella” probably lived in one.) Sticks can be used to hit, poke and whack things. They can also be used as “light sabers” which is something from movie called “Star Wars.” Moms may recognize the shape of a stick because it’s similar to the wooden spoons they use in the kitchen to stir cake mix. To play with a stick, simply hold it in your hand and yell, “ARGH!! I HAVE A STICK!”
Thomas and Friends! by Karen: Playing with Thomas trains will suck the life out of you, and the only way you’re going to get through it is with alcohol. First, you’ll have to suffer through hours of watching the videos, because all your son will want to do is recreate what goes down in them because boys don’t know how to make shit up. Drink every time Sir Topham Hatt tells Edward he needs to hurry down to the quarry because of some stupid shit one of the other trains got into. Drink every time your toddler says Percy and it sounds like “pussy.” Drink every time you realize that the money you spent on that fucking table (you bought a table. for trains.), plus the tracks and trains could have been spent on at least one pair of Louboutins. Fight with your son because you want to fucking be Thomas JUST ONCE. Maybe you should stop drinking.
Action Figures! by Kristine: Action figures, ladies, are miniature-sized people that you use in a game that psychologists and physicists call “imaginative play.” They are often sculpted closely after the male form with close attention paid to bulging groins, disproportionate muscles, and powerful jaw lines. Boys will place these superior hunks of plastic in their hands and say things like “I will make more money than you for doing the same work!” and “My gender is intrinsically superior to my female counterparts!” Note: it is not recommended that you leave action figures laying around with Barbies or other female dolls, as they may begin to multiply by means of coital osmosis.
Play Tools! by Kelcey: These are like real tools but much lighter and you can’t actually use them to fix anything. Not that you’ve ever used a tool to fix anything anyway! A gal would never get involved in that kind of man’s work in fear of chipping one of her acrylic tips. Play tools are used by young boys at their plastic workbench. So mom, don’t be shy! Head on over to the workbench and pretend that your food processor needs fixing. Smile appreciatively as your son gets to work. You two are really bonding now. Before you know it, you’ll be wearing his play tool belt as an accessory for nights out on the town. Give yourself a high five. You’ve got this boy thing down!
image source: Mattel