Ahhh… life with boys. When I was pregnant with my first child, I was sure it was a girl. Positive. Just knew it, and since I was the mother, of course I was right, right? Wrong. Two weeks before Son #1 was born, we found out he was decidedly not a girl. That was okay. All we wanted was a healthy baby, which shortly thereafter was revised to a live baby, and now we are proud to have a wonderful 11 year old son. With Son #2, we knew pretty early on that he was a boy, but I kept wishing for that girl right up until the turtle showed up on the ultra-sound. (For those of you unfamiliar with the turtle sign on an ultrasound… well, think of what certain anatomical male parts look like if you turn ’em upside down and squish them. Turtle.) With my third (and extremely unexpected) pregnancy, I was certain this was my girl. After all, I had two great boys, but I had to use the Madelaine on someone! Son #3 was called Madelaine until that fateful day when my oh-so-funny OB/GYN started humming the theme song to My Three Sons.
This is how I became the mother to three handsome, wonderful, rambunctious, obnoxious, testosterone-filled boys (a.k.a. Y oh Y oh Y). To be fair, I probably wouldn’t be a good girl-mom. I am a tomboy from the word Go, the house handyman (handyMom?), and would honestly rather be in a tank-top and shorts out painting the house than in a ball gown at a cotillion. Though I’ve been told I clean up well, and I do have a knowledge of what fork to use. Still, to sit and play Barbies with some delicate little flower probably wouldn’t have been my forte, so perhaps all is for the best.
But boys like to do things. Boy things. Icky, you-want-me-to-touch-what things. Okay, maybe I am a little girlie. This is particularly relevant in their new pursuit: fishing.
A couple of years ago, Son #2 joined Cub Scouts. Somehow or another, I got suckered into being a Den Leader, but that’s another blog altogether. As part of his sign-up bonus, he got a fishing pole. And gee, since they had two extra and I had two extra kids, here, Cate, take a couple more fishing poles. Gee, thanks. We had planned to go out to Wyoming where my dad could take the boys fishing for Rainbow Trout in the reservoirs, just like he did with me when I was a kid. Life being just one big conspiracy, however, we never made it out.
So it fell to Mom. Not that Dad doesn’t like fishing, it’s just that he works nearly constantly. So Mom and her boys loaded up the ole’ minivan with bait (not the live stuff, thankyouverymuch, but some pretty authentic plastic facsimiles) and the poles and hit the lake. We have done this at least once a week for the last month, the latest being last night. It’s pretty fun and cheap, since this lake is in a park, does not require a license, and is for families only.
The boys have no patience for fishing off the pole, so guess who got to take that task over. Over the last month or so, we’ve caught two Northern Pike (nasty creatures with teeth), a few bull heads (just butt ugly) and a carp or two, but nothing worth writing home about. All of which were returned to their watery home, by the way. The children, however, have discovered that if you take little bait holders with tiny hooks and put these little hot-pink Crappie Nibbles on it for bait, you can fish in the rocks along the shore and catch tons of little, tiny sunfish, bluefin and carp. They love it.
They also love it when people fishing near us catch something cool. Like last night’s guest, a snapping turtle. It was caught completely by mistake by a man who threw a line out for his little boy to reel in. The second it hit the water, something very big hit the line and Dad had to reel the sucker in. They couldn’t get it onto the dock, so they had to bring it over to the shore line, and still couldn’t bring it in all the way. The turtle was ticked, to say the least.
Long story short (too late!), it took six of us, two nets, two pairs of pliers and a whole lot of “ooh”s, “aaah”s and assorted giggles from five very excited little boys to get this poor creature off the hook and back into the lake. My boys now want to catch a snapping turtle, and I am praying to what I hope is a merciful God not to!
Then it occurred to me. Little did I know that the turtle sign I saw so many years ago actually meant I’d be dealing with real, live turtles. Karma is a bitch, ain’t it?