Nothing prepares us for becoming a parent and looking after small children. Sure, there are practical manuals about caring for babies and toddlers; and then the psychology books take over, helping us get through those 'difficult phases'. But no one in my immediate circle really wanted to share the warts and all truth about raising children.
Moreover, I was completely unprepared for having boys. I must admit that my fantasies during early pregnancy featured a little girl, dressed as mini-me (that's a miniature version of me - not Mini-Me from Austin Powers, that would be really weird).
I am the youngest of three girls and was educated at an all-girls school from the age of four, so I felt totally unprepared for a boy-child, let alone two.
I'm sure the early blur of motherhood is no easier if your sticky bundle of joy is a girl, but no one told me about these boy-like things that would follow in the years beyond babyhood:
1.Sticky toilet seats
Every layer of the toilet in the kids' bathroom is sticky.
You know how when you first start living with a man, there's the constant nagging about putting the toilet seat down? Well in my house, I have to nag two of the males in our house to lift the toilet seat up.
And then put it down again. But regardless of the position of the seat, they miss anyway.
Which leads me onto...
2.Wee on the floor
I'm so glad I bought white floor tiles for the kids' bathroom. They're permanently yellow. And I'm often to be found on my hands and knees with a cloth, gagging.
All babies and toddlers play with their genitals, I get that. But my boys have turned this into a sport. They have genital stretching competitions which is, quite frankly, disturbing. And makes the hubster's eyes water.
4.Genital fascination part two
There are frequent questions about the whereabouts of mummy's genitals and the mechanics of going to the toilet without a penis.
If it can't be seen, it doesn't exist, like a tree falling in the woods.
5.Not being able to find anything
It could be as small as a marble, or as large as a tennis racket; if a boy can't find it, it must have grown legs and left. I am the only person in this house who moves objects, in order to find other, lost objects. If it's not on the top of the pile, it's dead to them.
6.Things that I probably wouldn't say if I had girls
"It's in the gun draw." (Note to social services: these are toy guns)
"Your willy is not for playing sword fights with."
7.The tampon question
"Mum, what are these white bullets?" I just can't. I mean, where do I start?
Mums of young girls, I'd really like to know how you tackle this.
I love Lego. These simple, tiny bricks keep at least one of my children amused for hours on end, and he makes amazing constructions.
I hate Lego. Lego bricks breed, fact.
The incessant eating; the need for snacks of every shape and size; and the fact that even if they're full after dinner, there is always room for pudding.
There is no disagreement between brothers that can't be solved without a punch in the back.
11.People ask if I'm going to try for a girl
People who don't know me well display sympathy that I only make boys. I'm completely happy with my lot and two children, of any flavour, is ample. I find myself having to explain to educated adults, that even if I wanted a girl, getting pregnant does not guarantee that outcome. Plus I hung up my ovaries in 2008.
Boys are brilliant fun and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Being a mum of boys, this is my truth. But I encourage you to challenge me, particularly if you're a mum of girls. How much of this is exclusively boy territory and how much is universal? I really would love to know.
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