I had three brothers and grew up on a farm which involved a lot of mud, cubby (fort) making and cow shit throwing. It was idyllic even with all that masticated grass getting around in your hair. I was called a tomboy. I wore shorts almost exclusively. My brothers didn’t leave me out of their efforts to beat the shit out of each other just because I was a girl, so I learnt to defend myself. I was surrounded by boys and boy things; even at primary school, girls were outnumbered 4:1.
So I know a little bit about boys and was pretty ambivalent as to whether I’d be raising one or not.
However, I’ve had conversations with mothers of baby boys or women who have found out they’re having a boy and their fear of having ‘a boy’ is palpable. I’ve heard statements such as:
“I only grew up with sisters.”
“The only boy I’ve ever liked is my husband.”
“I’m uncomfortable changing nappies with that thing waving around.”
“I don’t want to wrestle on the ground- I’m not that kind of mother.”
“Boys clothes are awful.”
“All they do is talk about poo.”
But don’t worry, I’m here to calm all those ridiculous completely valid fears the hell down.
As babies, boys really aren’t that different. After all, in those early months it’s just a blur of feeds, sleep and nappy changes. Yes, the stories about baby boys having a fire hose attached to them are true- I’ve had wet ceilings such is the speed and strength of the wee coming out of that tiny appendage during a nappy change. But don’t worry- most new mothers are so full of post-partum happy hormones you’ll be weeping with the joy and delight of their cleverness and thanking the gods you’re covered in baby elixir (wee) as you change your clothes.
The penis is a big thing (ha- sorry) for boys and this love affair begins from the moment they have the dexterity to grab at objects. And why wouldn’t you? Here’s something that hangs off you, feels good when you give it a bit of a rub and you can write your name in the dirt when you go to the toilet with it. There are innumerable nicknames for it, we call it a trossie when we’re joking around (like when it doesn’t quite make it into underpants after going to the toilet eg “Get in those pants trossie!”) and a penis at other times (eg “We play with our penis in our room, not during family photographs.”) I’m not sure whether that’s correct, but it’s what we’re doing.
So what’s not to love about all of that? Playing with it constantly- most parents don’t really enjoy that. We just tell the Boetman that’s something he does in his room; not at the dinner table.
On the subject of having no filter, little boys do love a fart joke. Or anything to do with farts. In fact, even the suggestion that someone, somewhere at some time farted is enough to dissolve our four year old Boetman into hysterics. We didn’t have this issue with Sussie- she just gave a cheeky smile and toddled off. As Thirty Something Dad mentions, ‘ even princesses fart on your leg.’ All this fart-loving is slightly distasteful but I would suggest you simply send the boy to the nearest adult male who will most certainly enjoy all those fart jokes- I have no other solution.
Fortunately, to temper all this unpleasant farting comes the delightful side of boys- overreaching affection. Most little boys will give it to you in spades. Kisses on the leg, random cuddles as you fold washing, little strokes of your arm as they walk by… Of course that stroke of the arm will turn into a hand-stingingly painful high five, that beautiful, loving cuddle will end in a rugby tackle or if you squeeze too hard, a fart joke. But the sentiment is there. You WILL end up wrestling your little darling at some stage, if I were you I’d just make sure I was choosing the battle ground: beds and couches are way softer than concrete and less messy than the lawn.
They are sensitive, inquisitive and they ask just as many questions as girls.
And then they grow up and become moody adolescents. And then full grown men of which there are the exemplary (Chris Hemsworth and Dr Carl) or the snot stains on the dirtiest handkerchief of the most leprous toad (Donald Trump and Roose Bolton).
But they all started as little boys, craving your attention, your love and the odd fart joke. Give it to them!
How do you deal with little boys and farts?
[This is part of the Problogger 7 Day blogging Challenge]