Louie, my eldest child, was 13 months old when I became pregnant with my second baby. At the time it seemed like a really sensible idea to have my children close together , so that they would be playmates for each other. When I discovered I was having another boy I was thrilled. I pictured myself as a mum of two rosy cheeked little boys.
They would wear matching jumpers (yes, I am that mum). They would run around together in the woods in the autumn (why is it that, in my head, catalogue perfect families always hang around in autumnal woodland?) and they would always get along brilliantly.
The reality is that little boys are a bit of a mystery to me. The problem is that I’m a girl. This means I don’t fully understand boys or men, or what drives them. I don’t get Louie’s absolute devotion to knowing exactly how many cylinders are in each and every one of his toy cars. I don’t get why Milo (my youngest son) wants to be addressed and treated as if he was a robot (ok I get that more but still).
Also what is it that boys have about sticks and stones? My home is full of the aforementioned items. Every time I put on a load of washing I hear the tap tapping of a stone, mocking me, ha ha you searched the pockets but I was in the socks. It takes me half an hour to walk down my fairly short street because every two or three steps there is an exciting new stone to explore, pick up and of course take home for further examination. My husband, after I had said ‘I do’, revealed that he had a sizeable stick collection under his bed as a child. Luckily for me he now keeps his sticks in the garden, but yes he does still come home with a ‘useful’ stick or two after a country walk.
Then there is the way they interact with each other. It is like having a couple of lion cubs in the house. A large part of their playtime is spent rolling around on the floor wrestling. I ought to make them brightly coloured lycra costumes and train them up for the WWF, at least then this obsession would be profitable. Initially I tried to stop the wrestling, but as this has proved a fruitless battle I have admitted defeat. So they wrestle on the floor, the sofa, the beds, the trampoline, you get the idea.
Finally little boys need to be run, like puppies, at least twice a day. I, on the other hand, am a big fan of sitting down practising the chocolate biscuit exercise plan (arm goes up, mouth opens wide). Unfortunately, as no one in my area offers a boy walking service (here is a business idea worthy of Dragon’s Den), guess who has to take endless trips to parks, soft play centres and yes, those once longed for woodlands.
I love being a mum of boys, at times it is challenging but mostly my boys are delightful. I love their boundless energy, inquisitive nature, and the bear hugs I get from them every day. I look forward to each new stage of my boys development and I’m sure I’m going to be very proud of the men that they become.