The Precious Only Male Child

Getting into Clara’s crate for this pic was his idea. So was flying the one finger salute.   We’ve had Clara since 2005, so this was taken when Steve-o, the illustrious Precious Only Male Child, was 14.  This was right after he had dyed his hair black, and right before the Jezebel Incident.   Now he is 6’1″ and about 200#, so I don’t see him fitting in a dog crate intended for a 70# Belgian Malinois.

When I was growing up I wished to be a lot of things.  I wished to be tall.  That didn’t work.  I’m only 5’4′ – and with the proportions of a mutant troll.  I wished to be attractive.  Yeah, right.  Wish in one hand, shit in the other, which one fills up first?  I wished for contacts- which I got shortly before I learned to drive- but in my cougardom I have found glasses to be more cost-effective, and a lot less geeky than in the late 70’s- early 80’s.

My dearest wish growing up was that I could have been born an only child.  My oldest sister was the most evil and sadistic child ever to have been dropped upon this planet.  Those who are familiar with the cartoon series “Rugrats” have seen Angelica- the horrible little brat who terrorizes all the younger kids, but appears to be a perfect angel in front of the adults.  My sister was sort of like Angelica, only a hundred times worse.

When “Angelica” was nine years old, Dad noticed that her mattress wasn’t lying flat on the box spring.  When he lifted it up, he discovered $37.50 in quarters- a small fortune in 1975.  When he pressed her to find out where she had gotten that kind of scratch, and to find out why it was all in quarters, she told Dad she had a business enterprise.  When he asked what kind of enterprise, she let him know that she had it all fixed.  The boys gave her their lunch money (school lunch at that time was fifty cents) so she wouldn’t beat them up.  A few boys learned the hard way that fifty cents was not worth a beating like she would dish out. They gladly handed over their lunch money.

My sister the extortionist.  I didn’t have any money to pay her off and it wouldn’t have mattered if I did.  She took any money (on the rare occasion I turned in glass bottles or otherwise scrounged some change) I had anyway. I was her practice punching bag- even after I had learned it was better to just assume the position and take the pounding.

My other sister (also older, but only by a year and a half) more or less went along with the older one to keep from getting her ass kicked, but her heart really wasn’t in the beatings.  She preferred avoiding “Angelica” altogether and spent most of her time hanging out with her  friends.  I don’t blame her.  I would have hung out with friends too- if I’d had any.  “Angelica” had ways of scaring off anyone who might have felt motivated to be my friend.

I can go on and on with my bizarre and dysfunctional childhood, but suffice to say that I would have been thrilled beyond words had someone decided to send my older sisters-or at least “Angelica,” off to live with the starving kids in Africa.  It would have been worth going to Confession an extra time to see her gone.  My Dad would have been thrilled beyond words if by some stroke of luck any one or all of his three daughters could have been replaced by one son (although he would never say it out loud, or openly admit it.)

Then Steve-o comes along .  The First Grandchild.  And it has a twig and berries!  My parents can’t keep their mitts off of him, which is rather fortuitous for me, as I was extremely ill for weeks after Steve-o’s Murphy’s Law as it Pertains to Childbirth from Hell that almost killed me.  Mom may be borderline OCD, and I had to warn her not to actually bathe the child in Clorox, but she was a huge help when I was so ill and weak and Steve-o was an infant.  Those days were very difficult to say the least.  I was very strongly advised not to have any more children- a piece of advice that no one needed to tell me twice- after that experience.  My ex proved to be the worthless POS that my mother had always said he was, so to make a long story very short, I divorced my ex not long after Steve-o was born.  Jerry is legally Steve-o’s Dad (adopted him in 1996) but he’s not Steve-o’s sperm donor (no DNA is shared between them) and that’s why they share no physical resemblance other than they are both (cocky, indulged, domestically impaired) males of the species.  They are, however both Precious Only Male Children (POMCs) even though Jerry has siblings.  How can Jerry have siblings and still be a POMC?  Easy- he has three older sisters. He was the long-awaited and coveted Male Child in that family, and that gave him POMC status.  With a vengeance.  Jerry was even more privileged than an only child, because his sisters indulged and mollycoddled him as well as his parents.  They still do, in some ways.

So not only is Steve-o the POMC, he is the First Grandchild to boot.  That gives him an extreme amount of entitlement and privilege that multiple children and female children just don’t get.

This is Steve-o at three days old. He had a full head of hair and weighed 10# 2 oz when the hospital released him.  He was 9# 9 1/2 oz at birth.  I knew which one was mine right away because the next largest infant in the nursery was just over 7#.  Just give me the behemoth child, although he wasn’t fat at all.  He was all head and shoulders, just like the shampoo.  The nurses had to cut the armpits out of the t-shirts so they would fit around his shoulders.  This is a six month outfit.  He never wore it again.  He never wore “newborn” diapers either.

POMCs are readily spotted by a few defining features:

1. They’re cocky.  But when you are the cock of the walk, I guess that’s how you’re going to act.

2. They are domestically impaired.  Dishes? Laundry?  Disposing of one’s own trash?  NOT happening.  Unfortunately that’s usually Mommy’s fault for not MAKING them do it. My mother-in-law had the same problem.  I not only inherited her problem, but passed it on.  Steve-o always figured if Dad didn’t do it, why did he have to?  You are made exempt from household chores by the magical power of possessing the Twig and Berries! Jerry never literally spelled it out that way, but in practical application he might as well have. A swinging Johnson apparently gets nearly half of the human population out of a LOT of work.

3. They are hygienically impaired.  It took me years to get Steve-o to the point of bathing daily using both shampoo and soap, brushing and flossing twice a day, and using Kleenex when appropriate.  Steve-o had major problems dealing with his snot goblins.  He also had major problems seeing the necessity of both wiping and flushing after dropping a deuce.  But since he didn’t do laundry (see #2) he never got to see the consequences of omitting that important “wiping” step.

4. They are excessively mollycoddled and spoiled and sheltered – especially by their mothers- and I am incredibly guilty of this.  So is my mother-in-law.  She has three daughters also, but it is obvious to all even at Jerry’s advanced age that he was- and still is- the Little Prince.

The hardest thing for me to do as the mother of a POMC (and he will be 20 years old June 21st, so he’s not a little boy anymore) is to stand back and let him screw up for himself.  I want to rescue him from his screw-ups.  I want to keep him from dingbat Jezebels who have nothing to offer him but 34DDs (he is obsessed with short, blonde, buxom women) and a lifetime of mooching and misery.  I want him to make something of himself and not be one of those guys who is 35 years old and still has to ask, “Do you want fries with that?” as part of his job.

7 thoughts on “The Precious Only Male Child

  1. Cat says:

    OMG you are too funny! When did you write this, as I could NOT find a date on it! The POMC thing is so f**king true as I am the oldest girl in a German-immigrant family, 2nd generation, and when my grandfather died, guess who the sun rose and fell on??? The f-ing YOUNGest child, the POMC, my first cousin and only male grandchild, who flubbed and joked his way through the coveted eulogy and even got the country he emmigrated from wrong. Wow. On another note, I am also raising a first-born son, who is also, cocky, it’s their birth-rite. Every couple years he takes stock of the male-ness of the family. Like, “Gee, Dusty the cat and I are the only males in the house here…..can we get a Great Dane?” Um, let me think NO! And when his biological father anounced that him and gf were going to have a baby last summer, my son was the least enthused person in the fam because the ultrasound had already revealed the baby to be female. So gee I guess being the POMC could also be a little LONELY? LOL! God help us, mine’s 18 and cruisin that territory we don’t like, havin “guests”, etc. So good luck to you, I love your profile picture too! Your blog entries and funny and so are your categories. Really creative, way more than mine is. I mostly just rant, eh?

    • Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it, and that I’m not the only one to experience the joy of dealing with the POMC phenomenon. I just posted this page last week. My Dad is one, my husband is one (and he’s the worst of all thanks to being raised by wolves AND being the long awaited male child, coming after three older sisters) and my son is a POMC if only by default- I couldn’t have any more kids.
      Actually, the POMC page is rather recent. I just added it last week. However, the realities of dealing with the cocks of the walks seem to be remarkably similar. I wish you courage. It does get better, though. As I’ve said, my POMC will be 20 in June. We have succeeded in getting him potty trained and literate. I didn’t ever think he would get “wipe” and “flush” down, but he finally did. He’s in college now, so the next goal is the ever-elusive Holy Grail of Parenting: Gainful Employment and Independence from the Parental Units. I wish you luck on that one too!

  2. Great post. I was a POMC (and only child of a widow, which made me just that much more P), and your analysis regarding some of the downsides of such an upbringing are spot on. Yes, I can be self-centered. No, I don’t go much for housework, and organization and self-motivation have always been a little more challenging. While I am personally hygienic (bathing, brushing, et al), I would be perfectly content to still be sleeping on an egg-crate mattress if my wife didn’t care about such things. When I was younger, I would often wish I had a sibling.

    HOWEVER, I would not trade my upbringing for anyone else’s in the world. My mom has been gone for almost six years now, but not a day goes by in which I don’t draw strength from the knowledge that to one person at least, I was the smartest, funniest, best-looking and most worthy human being in all of existence.

    Also, Christmases were the bomb.

    • It’s interesting how much a POMC can get away with, but one of the big drawbacks at least for my son is that we always knew who did bad things: like who shot the BB’s into the walls, who ordered the pay-per-view porn movies with the cable box, and other assorted mischief like that. But he had many resources (such as new clothes and his own room) available that I certainly didn’t growing up in bad economic times as the youngest sister with two older (and one sadistic) sisters. He also had the advantage of not getting beaten up every day. 🙂

      I’m glad to know for my son’s sake that even though he was probably (and still is) mollycoddled too much, he does have a very strong sense of confidence and can do anything he puts his mind to-even washing dishes from time to time- when he’s motivated. Now all I have to remember as he is becoming independent (and will soon have a child of his own) is that “mother” does not start with the letter “S.”

      Thanks for stopping by, and I am glad that you are blessed with such a wonderful memory of your mother!

  3. Lady Millwood-Sinclair says:

    We have more in common than I thought…..I am the mother, wife, sister,niece and daughter of POMC……and to this moment had never realised the full extent of their presence in my life.Thanks for that.

    • It’s certainly a pattern. I first witnessed it with my Dad, whose mother absolutely doted on him her entire life. Jerry’s mother (who also had three daughters) was the same way even though Jerry was not an only child. I’d like to think I am not the same way with my own son, but I know full well I am.

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