Raising a boy

Boys. Hmm I don’t know much about these creatures. I was raised an only child until my parents split aged ten and then I developed three new sisters. I do have two nephews one of whom I was very close with while he was younger but his interests were singing, dancing and acting so the whole “boy thing” still passed me by.

My boy is 18 months now and is into everything, seriously, I’m not one of these people who say it meaning he empties my handbag now and again. This boy is like a whirlwind of curiosity. It is like he has a compulsion to empty, explore and basically do everything I wish he wouldn’t.  When we’re out he is grabbing, grabbing, grabbing and in fact today he managed to pull a pushchair down off the display in Boots (I blame them for it not having the brake on personally!)

People say, “Oh he’s such a boy” but what does that mean? It’s not like he has testosterone pumping around his body making him angry and aggressive he’s just a little monster constantly looking for the next thing to explore and destroy.

I doubt people would say “Oh he’s such a boy” when they see him playing with his favorite toy vacuum cleaner, or even better Mama’s vacuum cleaner. What about when he puts my handbag over his shoulder and drags it along the floor? Or when he found my mascara and then proceeded to poke himself in the eye with it?  Probably not.20130208-160926.jpgIn this day and age we are still so gender concerned? Maybe it’s because as parents we know in out heart of hearts our children would have a more “straightforward” life if they don’t have to worry about sexuality or gender issues.  Many women joke that they’d love a gay son to go shopping with and not worry about him knocking up his teenage girlfriend etc, but what if that child were bullied because he were gay? What if he didn’t develop the bond where he could tell his Mum about his feelings. It’s hard enough being a teenager without extra worries, I remember (vaguely.)

My boy flips from being a thug smashing things and shaking his fists in temper to pushing the vac around and brushing his hair.  Why is a vacuum or an iron or any of the other ‘home role play’ items still seen as feminine? Is it really out of this world to expect boys to be able to wash and clean for themselves?  I was pretty sure this was 2013 not 1913. Times have moved on, if girls are allowed to have cars…even Barbie has a car, then boys should be allowed to clean!

I try not to stereotype my daughter, OK she has some beautiful dresses which she’ll wear on special occasions but her toys have (although limited by her Autistic preference) always been following her lead;

  • Blocks
  • Anything which flashes lights and sings
  • iPad

The boy has recently acquired an interest in real life big mechanical things such as diggers thanks to a building site at the end of the road.  This has led onto an interest in related toys.20130630-221252.jpg I secretly did have this little voice in the darkest part of my mind did a little happy dance that he was interested in trucks etc.  I reprimanded myself immediately for being so silly but I think having one child who, love her as we do, doesn’t fit in with the normal society confines it was nice to see my son playing with something in the same way as his peers.  For the record I do not think he is now destined to have the wife, 2.4 children and a dog because he likes trucks. He can do as he pleases and quite frankly I hope his fascination with cleaning continues long enough for him to start helping me!


Edit: I saw a little girl today run up to a display and say “Ooh Tree Fu Tom” at which point her mum quickly moved her on joking to her friend “She needs to like Hello Kitty, her party is all Hello Kitty.”  OK, she was being flippant but it simply highlights the effect of social norms and marketing on our brains as parents, not just our children’s.


4 thoughts on “Raising a boy

  1. Ha ha welcome to the world of boys, I was raised an only child too ( boy) Sometimes i have trouble understanding My son’s actions.
    Then again what is a typical boy?? Im a stay at home dad so he watches me cooking,Cleaning and taking care of the house hold chores.
    We got him a kitchen for his room and now he makes us tea and breakfast at the weekends ha ha, Great to read all about your kidds your doing a fantastic job keep it up..:)..Love from us all here in Canada..xx

  2. Your edit made me giggle and reminded me of a friend who removed all the pink building blocks from her sons blocks when he was younger. He is now 19 and very much a self confessed Eddie Izzard, wearing make up and feminine clothes. My daughter is pink. I’m not so its hard to understand her world. She loves anything sparkly or girly. I now have a baby boy who is going to teach me a whole new world as well. He will have his sisters old toys as well as things he shows a preference for. I will be delighted if he grows up able to take care of himself and pick up his dirty pants off the floor (something my daughter is currently unable to do). I would wish happiness for both my children and agree that any path less chosen can bring bullying with it but would support them wherever their choices take them, hopefully not to prison though! I think the world likes labels and pigeon holes. Anyone who doesn’t fit a specific box will probably have a tough time of it. My son is definitely a bonny baby so all I hear is how much of a bruiser he is. Would they use the same terminology for a girl? I suspect not.

    1. God can you imagine haha, your daughter is such a thug/bruiser lol. I was the ultimate girls girl, hated anything even remotely related to boys including tv shows. By that logic I should have turned out gay lol. My boy gets hand me down clothes also, bet he’ll be less grateful of that when he grows up!

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