Sunday, 28 February 2010

Best Boy Insults

Here is a list of the 'insults' that frequent our home. Why boys find these so amusing I will never understand, but amusing they find them. You may find a theme occurring. Feel free to add to my list the (harmless) insults that are thrown around your boy-full home.

Poo poo stinky face fat face
Poo poo alien head
Stink face
Booby face
You stink of poo
Wee wee head
Stinky poo poo head
Hog face
Bog face
Booby belly
Big fat belly head
Bottom belly
Fart face
Poopee pants
Stinky winky
Bogey mouth
Bogey brain
You've got a backside on your head
Butt head
Wee wee wonka head

When I read this list aloud to my boys they could not stand up for laughing. Are they really that funny? I will never know.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Green Grass

This blog is the opinion of the author and no offence is intended to anyone living differently to me..... but I have to be honest and real..... so here goes....

As a mum who has chosen to stay at home with my children, I go through different phases of being incredibly content to stay at home and watch my boys grow up, knowing that I am blessed to be in such a position and phases of being totally bored and desperate for some sanity and adult normality. As rewarding as it is, being at home with small children is often mind-numbing, repetitive, physically draining and demoralising.

Now, I know all the arguments for it and I know how precious it is, and how special it is to be able to be the main influence in my boy's lives but every now and again I am tempted to look at the green grass on the other side of the fence. That grass, to me, looks so fresh and inviting sometimes. To be able to leave the house in the mornings and not have to look at it all day; to not have to talk to any children about fossils, Curious George or Sarah Jane Adventures all day; to be able to eat my lunch without any food being thrown at me; to be in the car without having to listen to cheesy children's music; to be able to use my brain and my skills for something other than star charts; to have a salary where I can have money to actually buy my boys the things they want without feeling guilty; to be able to go guilt-free clothes shopping; to be a real person called by my real name instead of "mum". All these things seduce me.

Yet I know that I have made this choice, and to go back on it would be to go back on my principles. Feel free to disagree with me, but I think staying at home with small children is the more difficult road to walk and one that requires determination, patience, perseverance, endless energy and sacrificial love. How many other people would work such long, physically draining hours and not get paid for them? Only a mother. Now, I know that some women are not in the position where they have a choice in whether to work and I am not attacking anyone else's lifestyle, choices or necessities. I am simply saying how I am feeling and at this moment in time, I am tempted by the alluring, crisp grass on the other side.

Monday, 22 February 2010


Guns. The great debate. Should little boys be allowed to play with toy guns? I have to admit that when Toby was younger I was very anti-guns and tried extremely hard not to let him have any or play with any. Everything inside of me screamed out (and still does) that gun play was a violent game that was totally inappropriate for children to play.

"Don't they realise how devastating a real gun can be? Have they not watched the news recently and seen how evil people with guns can ravage a whole community?"

Of course they haven't! Why would they watch the news? Why would they know about such terrible violence?! Even if I tried to explain it to them, which I did sometimes, they still would not understand. They are playing a game. It is not real life. It is far from real life for them (hopefully).

I very quickly realised that the more I tried to protect my son from guns, the more he would want to play with them. Everything from a toy guitar to a chewed up piece of toast was transformed into a gun. He made them out of lego, sticks, crayons and even his own beautiful little angelic hands. It horrified me to see him playing out such terrible games, but I was fighting a losing battle.

I have not done a great deal of research on this, but I honestly do not think that gun play turns boys into violent men. If it did, there would be a lot more violent men out there today. More important factors in producing violent teenage boys and men are more likely to be the values they have been given as foundations in their lives, the way their Dad (or other significant men) has dealt with his own anger and the love and security they have received as children. I'm sure there are many more.

Boys have an inbuilt need for adventure, for 'the chase', for danger and for 'hunting' and if we don't let them express these when they are younger then perhaps when they are older, stronger and able to access more dangerous equipment they will begin to assert these needs in ways that are not games anymore.

What do you think? Let's have a poll. Should little boys be allowed to play with guns?

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


Why do little boys love to be with big boys? Are they learning how to be 'big'? This half term we have had the pleasure of visiting our Southern Element. Well, once we arrived it was pleasurable but as always, long journeys with 3 boys squished into the back of the car needing the toilet or another book / biscuit / sweet / drink are not even mildly enjoyable (torturous was the word that sprang to mind). "Muuuuuum, he hit me again", "Muuuuuum, he keeps leaning his head on me" or "Muuuuum, how much longer?" do not make for a pleasant afternoon drive.

The Southern Element consists of my brother, my sister in law, their beautiful daughter (and my one and only niece) and their 2 lovely sons. The oldest boy is now 13 and growing into manhood. (Yes, I know you are reading this.... but it's true!). He has always been by far the oldest grandson of our whole brood of 9 grandsons and 1 grand-daughter and is therefore admired and exalted to a position of hero by all the other boys in the family. He rises well to his challenge and takes on all the bundles that are thrown his way.

On this particular occasion Toby was overawed by his cousin's teenagehood. Not only did he have an X-Box in his own bedroom, but he also had amazingly cool music to listen to. Toby followed him around like a little lamb following it's shepherd, watching his every move, listening to the exact tone of voice he used and the exact phrases that came out of his mouth. How exciting must it have been to be Toby, standing in the shadow of his hero for a whole 24 hours!

Toby has come home with a whole new way of living, speaking, wearing clothes, playing and has made new requests of downloading 'good tunes' onto his mp3 player. He wants to be 13 and he wants to be 13 now. Thankfully, this will fade until the next time he sees his idol.

This has made me ponder about role models. Boys need them, and they need good ones. A Dad is, of course, the first port of call, but what if the Daddy is not there? Or if he does not show his son how to make good choices or how to control his anger? Even if the Dad is there, sometimes other men will need to help out and be mentors in different situations. Boys will always find someone to follow, to look up to and to teach them how to be a man. Our job as parents of boys is to find the right men for them to follow and to guide them towards those men. If we fail to recognise their absolute need for a male role model then we fail in our mission of bringing them up to be men. This is a vital part of our parenting and one which I hope we will be able to do as our boys grow up into their teen years and beyond.

Friday, 12 February 2010


My house resembles a campsite. Every room that I enter has a homemade tent set up in it, which I am not allowed to dismantle even though I have to squeeze onto the very edge of the sofa to sit down because the rest of it is part of the tent.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for creative and imaginative play but this is taking it to the extreme. Every single cushion, blanket, chair, chair cover, table and anything else that moves has been taken and put to tentmaking use including all the baskets of heavy toys so that they can weight the ends of the blankets. Once they have made the tents, they do not play in them as I would do. If it was me, I would make myself a nice comfortable bed inside the tent and perhaps have a fun snack in there, or read a book inside, or play 'camping' (actually, I wouldn't play camping, because I prefer only to endure camping once or twice a year). But it is not me making the tent, and so whatever suggestions I make as to how to play inside them are met with withering looks that suggest I really don't know what I am talking about.

Apparently the fun is in the building. So why can't they build with lego, which only takes up a small corner of the room? Why does it have to take over the whole house? And why can't I move it once it's built? There will always be some things that I just cannot understand.

As soon as it is warm enough to spend more than 5 minutes outside, I will be able to throw them in the garden and they can tent-make to their heart's delight. While it is still rather chilly on the , no I won't say it but you all know what I mean, I will have to put up with the sprawling encampments that dominate my home.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Stress Ball

Jared has been away for 2 nights and 2 days at his annual conference for work. They all dress up in DJ's and posh dresses, drink copious amounts of wine and eat ridiculously tiny portions of gourmet food whilst I, to make things easy, eat fish fingers and smiley faces, wear clothes covered in snot and dribble and barely have time to brush may hair. No, of course I'm not jealous........

Although I tried hard to be a 'good mother' during this time, I failed miserably. Instead of sorting out arguments and fights, I hid in another room hoping desperately that they might sort it out themselves. Funnily enough, they did not. When they came to find me with their tales of woe, I shrugged my shoulders and told them to stay away from each other. Eventually I pleaded with them to watch the television only to be accused of "trying to turn us into girls"! "How, exactly", I asked," does watching the television turn you into a girl?" There was no answer to this...... However, once they were finally ensconced in front of the screen, their cute and angelic little brother began to throw things at them, turn the television on and off, steal the remote controls and change the channels! I was fighting a losing battle so eventually put them to bed early and breathed a sigh of relief.

When Jared returned, he brought them their obligatory presents for 'being good' (although this is highly questionable this time). What were the presents? Stress balls. Stress balls for boys who, of course, carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Stress balls for boys who have to cope with living with a mother like me. Stress balls for boys who are forced to watch the television, thereby becoming more girl-like. I apologise for my cynicism. It is inexcusable. It must be so difficult being them!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Toilet Rant - Gruesome content.

What is it with boys and toilets that makes them totally incompatible? Is it because somehow needing to wee takes them back to their caveman roots where they didn't have to aim but could just let it flow freely into a bush or the dark recesses of a cave?

It makes no difference how often I clean the toilet, at the end of every evening there is wee all over the floor, the walls and the skirting board. Is it really so hard to aim into a hole? The worst offence is not lifting up the seat and weeing all over it, only to be discovered when I sit down to visit the facilities myself and feel the dreaded cold wet sensation.

We have tried various methods for training the flow. Cheerios to aim at. Ping pong balls to aim at. We even bought a pack of blue ping pong balls with a smiley face on them. Dying the toilet water blue so that it turns green when the wee hits it. We have also tried the usual methods of shouting, nagging, bribery etc etc. All of these to no avail.

Now we could try and make them sit down to wee, but really, is it ok for a boy sit down and wee? Isn't one of the benefits of being a boy the fact that you can stand up to wee, and therefore you can wee whenever and wherever you are? We have all seen the men on the motorway hard shoulders admiring the grass verges.

So my life of cleaning up wee continues. And continue it will until my boys have left home, unless someone out there can give me some hope that this will improve. Someone please give me some hope that, as they are standing in front of the toilet, they won't get distracted and suddenly turn round only to spray everything in their path. Someone out there, please give me some hope that my bathroom will not smell like the men's urinals for the rest of my life.