Husband, Smelly, and Fatso mean three boys in this household and only one me. Add Enis and it would have been four. When I was pregnant with Fatso I had been hoping for a girl and thinking of pink, but deep down I knew that once again it would be blue all the way. Husband also probably knew because while we’d agreed on a boy’s name he was only half-heartedly arguing over a girl’s.
Trouble is, I have no idea what to expect. I grew up with only an older brother, there were 6 years between us so by the time I was beginning to be aware of the awful stage that all adolescents have to go through, he was pretty much passed it. Add to that a serious lack of male cousins, and even the female ones were much older so I was never very close to them either, and it all means that this boy thing is very new. It’s not just that I have no idea what to expect, but more scarily for me is that I have no idea what is normal. OK, is there such a thing as normal, blah blah inverted comma’s etc… but quite often I’m finding myself giving them sideways glances thinking ‘should you be doing that’.
A friend pretty much put things in perspective when her Facebook status one day was – things she thought she’d never have to say (to her daughter) and it turned out to be ‘stop playing with your brother’s willy’. I nearly fell off my chair after reading that one but it wasn’t long before I found Fatso taking a grab at Smelly’s in the bath. It doesn’t happen every bath time but even so Fatso is very good at developing new games with Smelly following and joining in, even though Fatso is younger. Should I stop them, is it just something siblings do, from what my friend posted it perhaps isn’t just a boy thing.
Not having any experience beyond my own growing boys, I find myself leaning to Husband for help. Trouble is he doesn’t seem much use as he doesn’t appear to remember and even looks at me with concern when Smelly is fiddling. I suppose I should just get my act together and buy a copy of ‘Raising Boys’, but then that is written by a man, so will that really address the concerns of a mum with limited experience of boys as they grow up?
Then again, is any of that really the problem. Probably not, I look around and see mum’s with girls and how they are allowed to dress them up in pink and cute clothes for much longer that it seems possible with boys. Walk into any children’s clothes shop and there is a vast array of pretty clothes for the girls and yet for the boys, even when trying to buy for a 6+ month old the manufacturers and designers seem overly keen to put them in combat trousers, surfer dude styles, skateboarder fashions, all in dergy khaki’s, army greens, blacks and browns. Unless you are willing to pay through the nose there seems to be little in the way of baby blues.
I love my boys to bits, I’m not a big fan of Barbie and girlie stereotypes, but sometimes I look at my boys and think the older you get the less I understand you, the less I know what to expect and the more I feel like I’ll be scrabbling around in the dark. So I’ll have to treasure the moments now while they still give me the best hugs willingly, they still think I’m fabulous, and I can just about understand the games they play