parenting

Raising boys

I’m from a family of girls so when we found out our first baby was going to be a boy it was a bit of a surprise. I’m one of two girls, my Grandma had two girls, my Nanny had two daughters before she had my dad and my sister has two girls. Like I said, we normally have girls in my family.

Having a baby full stop was always going to be stepping into the unknown but I really wasn’t sure what to expect when we found out we were expecting a boy.  Perhaps that sounds a little silly, especially as everything is gender neutral nowadays but let’s be honest there are some differences between raising boys and raising girls, even if they are purely physiological.

The dreaded golden shower at nappy changing time

Funnily enough, they don’t cover this one in the NCT classes. I’d never changed a nappy before having our first baby, and those family and friends I did speak to have girls, so the first time he started to wee whilst I was changing him was a bit of a surprise. It shot off all over the place like a garden hose, hitting the wall and drenching him. Quick wet wipe down and change of clothes and a huge lesson learned. Open the nappy then shut it back down again for a minute, then generally you’re safe to change…just in case you’re a mum to a brand new baby boy or are expecting a boy.

Being obsessed with poo, bums and farting

I’m sure the obsession with poo, bums and farting is not exclusive to boys but I’ve not heard many of my friends with girls talking about how their little ones call their friends poo poo bum face. I’m more than happy to be corrected if I’m wrong.

To give you an idea of the extent of the obsession Big’s favourite word is ‘anus’ and because he’s four and still learning boundaries he randomly just says it or sings it regardless of whether we are at home or out and about. The mortification when he does it is humongous. The wee one is also starting to get in on the act now he’s two, he deliberately farts in the bath now. We’re just waiting for the day when it’s more than wind and poor Big jumps out of the bath in horror!

The other thing that Big does, which I’m guessing isn’t specifically a boy thing , is that he likes me to check his pants to see if he has skid marks…his favourite time to ask is just as I’ve sat down for dinner. Thanks kiddo. It’s just what I want as an appetiser before I eat! Sometimes he’ll treat us to a chorus of ‘Ring of Fire’ during this delight if we’re really lucky.

Being obsessed with their penises

Perhaps a little naively I had assumed that the obsession with manhandling their manhood came with puberty.  Err, not so! As soon as the boys were aware of their winkies, their arms were long enough and they had the co-ordination to reach down that’s where their hands went…every nappy changing time.  And it’s no holds barred in the bath as well, I mean they grab their penis and see how far they can stretch it like an elastic band.  I’m honestly waiting for them to have a completion to see who can stretch theirs the furthest.

Play fighting (really aggressively) with toys

The other thing that’s surprised me is the way that the boys play, particularly Big.

When I was younger I remember playing schools…a lot. I was always the teacher and I made my sister be the pupil (it’s the older sibling’s prerogative to be the boss right?). I gave her work to do, proper maths questions etc, as I took the role very seriously.

Big likes me to join in his games, obviously I’m given instructions as to what I have to do with my toy, but it’s normally along the lines of “Mummy Stegosaurus and Transformer are going to have a fight. You have Stegosaurus and by the way he looses”. At which point he absolutely batters poor Stegosaurus with his Transformer until he has declared Transformer the winner.

Rough and tumble play

The boys are very physical when they play, particularly with their dad. They have no qualms in crawling all over him to tickle or be tickled. I think it’ll be interesting as the wee one gets bigger as he’s definitely the stronger and more determined of the two so Big may come in for a bit of a battering.

Don’t get me wrong my sister and I did do some rough and tumble play when we were younger. Much to my Mum’s horror, our Dad thought it would be fun to teach us how to parachute role from the top level of our garden to the bottom. It was only about a foot and a half drop but needless to say she did not like it when we did. Clearly, we didn’t see the problem what with being about 10 and 8 at the time.

Although I had no idea what to expect and they surprise me on a regular basis I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I truly love being a Mummy to my two bonkers boys.

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