real life

The things I've learned from raising three boys.

Raising boys has been a steep learning curve for this mum.

Since my sons tornadoed into my life, I have become conditioned to remain un-fazed about most things. I’ve literally had any trace of princess ripped right out of me and my tiara is now being used as a slingshot.

My role as a mother to boys has opened me up to a whole new set of skills. I can catch a garden lizard, pick up crabs (at the beach) without losing a finger, I can play cricket, football and I ride a mean skateboard.  I’ve even had to carefully remove a pet budgie from a money-box amid assurances from a 3 year old that “he likes it in there”.

There are also some other minor differences to my day to day life that are all part of this sticky, sweaty, fast moving package of living with little boys.

Take for example the fake spiders, rubber snakes and crocodiles are as much a part of the furniture in our house as, well, the furniture.

Then there are the real insects that the boys ‘catch and release’ except without the release, and I find myself emptying dead bugs into the garden as I whisper them a quiet apology.

I should also pay my respects to the snails that were sacrificed when the boys just had to see what was under their shell.

There’s our patient, ever smiling Labrador who is no stranger to wearing a cape and playing the role of someone’s sidekick in a pretend game.

There’s a bath tub that is filled with toys and enough noise for you to believe there are 15 kids in there. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the water changes to a brown broth when these 2 little naked bodies are submerged – even on a clean day.

There are fights, wrestles and punch ups, but there is nothing in our home that cannot be solved or decided by paper, scissors, rock – and we move right along. My boys don’t have a long enough attention span to hold grudges.

Giving my sons the ‘Typewriter’ is a perfectly acceptable and dare I say normal form of punishment (complete with a manual ‘return’).

I have found a quiet acceptance that I will never again walk into my toilet without having to dodge a wee puddle.

Jayne with her kids

There is the never ending supply of food that I need to provide to feed their growing bodies.  My financial strategy to afford their food into their teenage years is to perhaps sell one of my internal organs. Granted my liver has declined in value having taking somewhat of a beating with the wine I drink to cope with being outnumbered by boys.  It’s a vicious cycle.

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I have minimal to no reaction to being hit in the side of the head with a Nerf bullet travelling at high speed.

I have lost count of the amount of debates about which superheroes would beat each other in a fight. Personally I back the Hulk every time, even though his only super power is a bad temper.  Besides, I think that with a make-over, he’d be hot.  I like to think of him as a green version of the Commando.

There’s the inbuilt talent that little boys are born with to produce fight-sound effects when smashing their figurines together. I’ve tried to do it when I’ve played with them, and they have politely asked me not to spit at them.

There is a never ending supply of energy. There are no quiet drawings or craft, no puzzles and though we have plenty of it – no building Lego.  The only part Lego plays in our house is inducing my Tourette’s-like swearing after I’ve trodden on a piece of it.

They pee anywhere.

Farting. There is a lot of farting, and laughing about farting.

When I was pregnant, I specifically requested ‘Café kids’ but my order must have been lost in the mail as I haven’t eaten out in over 9 years without leaving within 25 minutes with a bad case of I-just-blew-$60 and indigestion.

Boys can and will pee anywhere. There is never a toilet drama that can’t be resolved with the privacy of a tree, a car door or in desperate times – an empty bottle. There’s a part of me that is forever jealous that the world is their urinal, and that part specifically is my weak pelvic floor.

I constantly find myself reminding my boys of things that really shouldn’t need reminders:

  • We do not ride the dog
  • We do not shoot at people’s heads
  • We wear pants

I have bid farewell to many a vase or ornament after yet another clash with a rogue bouncing ball in the house. Add “We do not play ball in the house” to the above list.

My boys make me laugh harder than anybody else with their antics, conversations, endless energy and crazy ideas. Even during my darkest days, their light was on.

Boys will be boys, and I am so grateful for all that that entails.   These two little sleep evaporators are worth every exhausting moment and it’s because of them that I get up each day and smile.  Until I step into a puddle of wee in the bathroom.

What do you love the best about having sons?

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