Raising a Daredevil: Surviving your First Son

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Enjoying an oak tree at City Park. (Courtesy of Norris Gagnet Photography)

As I pause for a couple of minutes to jot some notes, I see my son, also known as the youngest daredevil in the world, out of the corner of my eye. He is slipping under and over the bottom rails of our bar stools with as much ease as a gymnast that I cannot help but giggle as he continues to suck his pacifier without missing a beat. Knowing he has my full attention now, he flashes me the biggest smile while biting down on his “noonie.” By his first birthday, he has performed more stunts than his sister attempted or probably even imagined in her two plus years on this planet. He is the reason why seat belts exist in high chairs and warning labels come on toys. He is a boy.

Raised in a household of girls, my interaction with boys was minimal growing up. We were surrounded by Barbie dolls, girly dresses and kitchen play sets. I never recall any one of us leaping from sofas or wrestling with one another. My husband, the oldest of all boys, recalls tackling his younger brothers, playing in the dirt and staying out until dark riding bikes. “This is only the beginning,” I am told by many. The beginning of what? Trips to the emergency room, pretending to be Saints’ linebackers, calls from the school nurse, hanging from the oak trees at City Park, chipped teeth and broken bones? I cringe at the sight of blood. And, you say his love for action, fearless determination and horseplay will only escalate as he reaches toddlerhood? My sweet boy – do not let his size fool you – has so much energy and willpower that I wonder if I will survive my child’s childhood.

photo(96)I had no idea that at the tender age of four months my youngest would already denounce his bouncer and threaten to jump. The look in his eyes revealed no fear, only excitement, for the unknown. He has also attempted to escape several times the safety of the carrier, while strapped to me of course, trying to wiggle himself out and thrashing his limbs across me. Changing his diaper becomes challenging with each day, but I am told, “This is normal.” An innocent game of Peek-a-Boo sometimes includes hiding in kitchen cabinets, crawling under his crib and hanging behind floor length curtains. Apparently, these are all ordinary actions of a boy, or says my husband and fellow girlfriends. Just the other day we had a play date with a family with three young boys and a grape flavored snowball was for contention. It became a messy situation and the snowball ended losing in the end. I would imagine that mothers of boys would have a large supply of stain remover on hand.

In the meantime, I have learned to hide away fragile items, minimize his time in the high chair and prepare myself mentally for the mini heartaches that I am sure will become the daily norm in the near future. Despite his adventurous nature, he does clings to me for nurturing love, and he is my adorable stalker. Our relationship, as mother and son, is unique, much like between fathers and daughters. These are among some of the differences I have already noted during his first year of life that were distant to me having initially raised a girl.

What advice would you give a mother rearing her first son?

15 Responses to Raising a Daredevil: Surviving your First Son

  1. Jamie September 9, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    I absolutely LOVE being a boy mommy. I have a 10 yr old and a 15 month old. They are complete opposites thus far – eldest was very reserved and calm as a toddler but youngest is a risk taker, adventurer and extremely active! Eldest was a daddy’s boy from the moment he stopped being nursed but youngest, a bottle fed baby, has been my little snuggle bug from day 1. My point is that regardless of the sex of the child, they can have either type of personality: adventurous or cautious. You just have to roll with the punches (literally sometimes! LOL) & adapt to each child’s individual personality. Yes, dirt & bugs come with boys but you’d be surprised how many little girls are intrigued by those things too! My eldest would bring lizards in the house that he caught, giggling with excitement at his achievement. Naturally, I would squeal at first and then giggle while coaxing him out of the house before the little reptile was lost under the sofa. “Boys!”, I would say to myself. Funny how being the mommy to THAT boy, that dirt digging, lizard catching, rear-end scratching BOY, has been the most rewarding and hilarious adventure of a lifetime. Now, I get to do it all over again with my youngest. I can only hope that this time, I’m more successful at getting him out of the house before the “lizerdard” squirms out of his hands than I was with his big brother! =) Good luck!

    • Ana September 9, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      Thanks, Jamie, for your perspective and advice! It sounds like you are having a great time with your boys. (I am impressed with how you handle lizards in your home. I will have to get used to the idea that one day he will bring critters into our home as well.)

  2. Bree Lyle September 9, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Just wanted to add that this is not limited to boys. I have a little girl that at 1 is already a tomboy. She is a major daredevil and shows no fear. I call her my monkey because she is always climbing on everything and getting into stuff she isnt supposed to. In fact as I was reading this she was attempting to climb an easel. But I wouldnt change anything about my adventurous monkey girl! 🙂

  3. Ana September 9, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Thanks for sharing Bree! Sounds like you have a climber on your hands!

  4. Andie September 9, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Ana, I am still raising my first son, but I will tell you- get lots of band aids, an ice pack and lots of cuddles at the ready because I have a daredevil on my hands too! 🙂

    I am also constantly chasing “‘cadas”, lizards, dragonflies and froggies and I love every minute of it! 🙂

    • Ana September 9, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      Great advice Andie!

  5. Kelly September 9, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    I am the mother of two boys (four and two) with my third son on the way. While my two boys have their own individual personalities, they have both been little whirling dervishes from birth (ok, maybe even a bit while still in utero!) Despite all the dirt, the sweat, the insects, etc., they have taught me so much. I can now identify every vehicle on the construction site; I can recite all of Spiderman’s greatest villians; and I know the quickest route to my ER from various locations around town.
    And while their flow of energy is seemingly endless, they will surprise me by stopping in their tracks to take a moment to give me a hug, maybe even a kiss, and remind me how much they love me.
    They are loud, fast, dirty, stinky, and unimaginably affectionate. I simply can’t imagine my life without all my boys.

    • Ana September 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

      Kelly, those are great points about having boys! I am sure my son will teach me soon enough about superheroes and cars. I hope you do not have to use your knowledge about the quickest route to the ER any time soon. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Jamie September 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Oh my gosh! I can completely relate! I’ve been blessed with 2 boys, 26 months apart. sigh. One time, I put a toy that was being utilized as a weapon on top of the fridge for punishment. The next moment, I turn around and the 20 month old child had built a stair case to the top! He had a kitchen chair, leading to his high chair!! I caught him teetering atop the tray of his highchair reaching for the golf club that was placed ON the refrigerator! Needles to say, confiscated toys now live in the laundry room….on the floor!

  7. Ana September 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Thanks for sharing an example, Jamie!

  8. Mary September 9, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    I can relate for sure! Having 2 boys myself, my house is always a zoo!

  9. Ana September 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Thanks for your comment Mary!

  10. Stephanie October 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    I Googled 20-month-old dare devil and found you! I’m glad there are others out there. My little guy likes to sprint to anything tall, chanting “Noo noo noo danger mouse.” (I say no no no, it’s dangerous!)

  11. Ana October 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    Stephanie, glad you found us! You are not the only one with a daredevil and hope his adventures become less “danger mouse” for you!

  12. Monica October 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    I so sympathize. We had my now 10 year old in the ER 3 times in 6 weeks…they made me talk to a social worker, and I couldn’t blame them. As a teacher, I’d have called on myself! He has cracked open 3 helmets in his life, had sprains and strains galore, stitches a couple times. The ER triage nurse recognizes us, and just says “What have you done this time?” We are waiting to see an Orthopedic on Wed for a shoulder injury. What has finally slowed down his accidents is getting him involved in competition swimming. I imagine any other sport would work. Having to tell Coach “I’m out for 4 weeks for being stupid” is much scarier to him than anything I can do to him!

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