I consider myself incredibly lucky to have my two wonderful little boys, so there is one thing that continues to frustrate me and that I’ve heard many times since my second son was born;
“So when are you going to try for a girl?”
There are people who appear to be convinced that I couldn’t possibly be satisfied because I don’t have a daughter, that because I ‘only’ have two boys something must surely be missing from my life. When I was pregnant the second time and I found out that I was having another boy, somebody even consoled me thinking I would be disappointed by the revelation! But having two boys is great and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Of course there are the obvious advantages; clothes can be passed down from the eldest to the youngest, I save a fortune by recycling school uniform and both boys enjoy and play with the same toys, but there is so much more to having two boys than just that.
My sons, Sam and Henry, are the best of friends. They are two very noisy peas in a pod. Obviously a brother and sister can be just as close, I wouldn’t suggest that they can’t, but I just love to see that when my boys are together they have such a very close bond. They are little soul mates. Every morning when they wake up they come out of their bedroom together. I’ve still not quite worked out if one wakes the other up or if they both wake up at the same time, but they always emerge as one. They look out for each other and look after each other. They hold hands in the car and when walking along together. When they are in the bath having their hair washed Sam will put his hand over Henry’s face because he knows Henry doesn’t like getting water in his eyes and he willingly gives his little brother the last raisins from his breakfast bowl because they are Henry’s favourite. When they are not together they want to know where their brother is. When Sam returns home from being out the first words he will utter are “Where’s Henry?” and vice versa. They truly are the best of friends.
They share the same sense of humour too. Now I think it could quite accurately be stated that boys don’t generally have the most sophisticated sense of humour. My two can usually be heard laughing raucously about, among other things, bottoms, poo poo, willies and trumps. Simply by adding ‘poo poo’ to the beginning of a word, such as (and brace yourselves, things are about to get quite riotous) ‘poo poo man’ or ‘poo poo banana’ it can be transformed into something so hysterically funny that my boys can hardly contain the hilarity of the whole situation. Now while I don’t find what they are laughing at particularly amusing their giggles are contagious and I end up laughing along with them. Boys’ humour, despite not being at all sophisticated, is very easy to be around.
Dressing boys is so easy too. I’ve never been particularly ‘girly’. I was never a girl who was into pink or frills or sparkles and whenever I attempted to dabble in accessories they never seemed to accessorise very successfully. Consequently, whenever I’m shopping for clothes for my boys I happily pass by the rails of pretty dresses, shiny shoes and sparkly adornments. I walk on past the displays of lip glosses, jewellery, glittery bags and cute purses. I bypass the endless offerings of One Direction embossed everything and I head into the familiar, simpler realms of boys’ clothes. And whereas some of the products designed for girls appear to be aimed at making them grow up too fast, boys clothes are just that, clothes. They are simply practical and they don’t require accessorising! I can effortlessly dress my boys in trousers and a shirt and they are good to go. None of this fiddling around with fiddly extra bits. And hair? I can barely do my own hair let alone anyone else’s! Some of my friend’s daughters have the most wonderful, elaborate hairstyles. I just know I could never aspire to that. But give me a comb and some water and I am a dab hand at coiffing my boys into cherubic little choirboys in mere seconds.
It’s not all just boyish things in our house though. Of course there is an abundance of blue and an overwhelming presence of cars and they love to play sports but I find it quite sweet that one of the TV shows that my sons adore watching is ‘Sofia the First’. They enjoy cooking and baking, and Sam recently did some sewing at school which he enjoyed immensely. Yet they are still very aware of gender stereotypes and amazingly they first began to pick these up when they were very young. They proclaim certain toys, colours and activities to be ‘for girls’ but it always makes me smile that while watching ‘Sofia the First’ they will pull faces and say ‘bleurgh’ when adverts for dolls and princess toys are shown! They believe, despite mummy tirelessly propounding otherwise, that sports such as football are just for boys and that boys and girls should conform to a certain image. When we were on holiday over the Summer, Sam and Henry befriended a young girl who sported a very short haircut and who, the first time that we met her, was wearing a football kit, so they insisted on calling her ‘him’ and ‘that boy’ all evening. On our last night we saw the same girl wearing a dress and Henry was unbelievably confused. He asked, “How come that boy has turned into a girl?” Young children pick up these ideas so early in their lives and although my boys are undeniably very boyish it’s great that they have a sensitive side and will happily participate in what they see as ‘girls’ activities.
Knowing my sons the way I do, I’m amazed that anyone could suggest that something is missing from my life, or that I need a daughter to complete my family.