Sunday, 21 July 2013

Parenting boys

When I started out on my parenting journey, I had very little doubt in my mind that if I could choose the sex of my child, I would most certainly have chosen a girl.
You see, I had previously had a great insight into boys as a result of working as a nanny and as a Montessori teacher......
In my many years of experience, I came to recognise two very distinct types of boy. The first is the calm, slow moving, gentle kind and the second is the 'bounce off the wall, in to everything, run on overdrive until bedtime' type. Both types of boy are undoubtedly lovely and as a parent you wouldn't be without them, but what I am referring to is the amount of energy needed by you the parent to cope with their characteristics and ways.
My experience of girls at that time was that, in the main, they are controllable and are easily persuaded to like and be interested in similar things to their mothers (as boys are to their fathers). They (in most circumstances) remain calm and will sit for hours completing tasks if they are interested.
Of course there are always those who differ from my observations, they are very generalised and not intended to offend in any way.
My thoughts at the time were that if I had a boy I was fairly certain that I would find myself with the high energy, latter a girl it was to be and a girl the first child was.

Miss P is to become a teenager this year!

When I was pregnant with my second child, I was certain that this little wriggly bundle of bump undoubtedly had to be a boy......the little lady came along :-)

Such an industrious hard worker she is too......

How very cosy, two beautiful little girls, so easy, so calm (most of the time) child number three I actually wanted a boy....well it would make a change wouldn't it? Having girls around was by that point pretty easy stuff.

POP! After a whole 50 minute labour, 'welcome earthside' came our little package of trouble all wrapped up in his embryotic sac. The hospital staff informed me that was lucky and that he'd probably be a sailor or a seaman.....ummm!!

Small Boy started out as the easiest child. Perfect at breastfeeding (always hungry) and brilliant at sleeping (happy to be put to bed awake - unheard of I know).....I was rapidly drawn into that amazing sense of euphoric love that you have a for a child, but I was never prepared for the challenges that I have faced so far on my parenting journey.

Up until Small Boy was eighteen months old, he was a dream, everything just sailed along very nicely thank you, but literally the moment he turned eighteen months old......POW!!!!! The trouble began!

It started the day I noticed that a pot of houmous had been spread quite literally over ever item in the fridge. I loVE houmous but it really  sticks like 'sh.. to a blanket', no easy task to clean that off!

Secondly, it was the mystery of the apple that had been eaten in the main but the core had been replaced in the fruit bowl......STRANGE!!

Things got worse.......twenty plus eggs thrown at a wall with a friend in the drive of which the dogs were very pleased to lap up....the black mess that followed on the beige carpets was not a pleasant cleaning experience!!

The siege of our friends car when he left it on the drive, which ended up being plastered on the inside and the windows with thick emollient cream......

The truck!!!! I'm not sharing that one....!!!!!!

The stones in the lawn mower tank, the potential water in the petrol tank of the car, the mystery of the beer being taken from the fridge......Okay I'll share that one although I'll probably have all my rights to parent removed.
The fridge in our porch was left open and a can of beer had been removed. I followed the mystery trail that took me to a barn by our house where we were restoring a car at the time. Small boy was standing at the far end holding the can with a rolled up piece of paper in his hand. 'What are you doing'? I questioned, to which he replied 'I'm having a can of beer and a cigarette'....Mortified mother!! I was quite upset by that one but did chuckle when he wasn't looking. He was only just two and had managed to properly open the can!

I was reminded of these stories this evening when Small Boy ran inside telling me that he'd just put a snake on the fire. We were burning some garden rubbish and I had left him to clear up the last bit. He's good with fire he was taught to respect it from a very young age. Anyway, I sort of half hearted listened (as you do) and didn't really give the idea a serious thought until he insisted on showing me. True to his tale he had in fact managed to burn a slow worm alive. He'd picked up a pile of dried grass and thrown it into the flames, only to find that the 30cm slow worm was inside. Poor thing was 'no more' obviously :-( He was a little upset but proceeded to dissect it anyway, shame to waste the opportunity!

There are many more stories to tell, he's provided great entertainment!

But on a serious side, having a boy has really enriched our lives (the girls might disagree with me there), he is an extremely sweet natured chap, definitely very masculine but also understands the feminine species. Plus he takes me out of my comfort zone. I can expect the unexpected! I do have to climb trees with him and lay on river banks watching the fish, I do have to sleep under the stars and sit at gates during the night time hours waiting for foxes to come out. I do have to show an interest in dead animals and slimy frogs but I also have wonderful cuddles and hugs and a very sweet young friend :-)


  1. Boys and girls are so different aren't they, my son has such a different physical presence to the three girls, his energy is so, well, big! He is also so open and easy to chat too, I feel very lucky to have a son and daughters too x x

  2. I have the calm, slow moving, gentle kind of boy and a bounce off the wall into everything run on overdrive until bedtime girl! I wouldn't change them for the world :)

  3. Whoever says that boys and girls are the same certainly hasn't had a son like mine ;) Sure, there is a whole spectrum in each gender and no two are alike. I strongly believed when pregnant that the nurture would overcome the nature. I tried very hard to bring all three up as gender neutral as possible, avoiding gendered colours or toys, being careful about what attitudes they were exposed to, but when the boy started using the doll as a football and then thought it hilarious to pretend to drown it in the bath, I knew I was up against something far stronger than my political correctness lol.

    And once they reach teens, well...