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Boys Wreck Your House (And Your Head)

When I discovered at my 20 week scan that I was having a boy I was beyond excited but also terrified and ill-prepared.

I grew up with one sister and oestrogen ruled our house while my Dad took refuge in the good room watching sports. This was not the era of pink and princesses but my childhood CV would list collecting fancy paper as a skill (smellies were my area of special interest). I was not one for pushing dolls in buggies, I was more interested in my Barbies and their list of social engagements that required many, many outfit changes. I attended an all girls school until college and the shock of menfolk being allowed to roam freely among us, unfettered, alarmed me. I retreated in crippling shyness behind a book and an obscenely thick fringe (for 3 years).

I wasn’t a total recluse, I did have boyfriends but they were kind to me and I didn’t pay much attention as their mothers explained what divils they were as kids. I’d put the stories down to retrospective parental exaggeration. dto-10502-first-term-at-malory-towers.jpg

I had male cousins growing up and they were all terrifyingly physical creatures. I’ll admit that as a first child and with the build of an underfed greyhound I was cosseted and fragile.

One of my cousins would rip chunks out of his hair in temper and had a bald patch at the back, similar to a monk; another would repeatedly bang his head against a wall if slighted. Family gatherings were like a day trip to the set of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest (to me anyway).

I would hide behind Enid Blyton, finding solace in ginger ale and midnight feasts as the boys chased each other and inflicted serious GBH. I hoped for invisibility and I achieved it, I’m not even sure if those guys realised they had a cousin called Aisling. They may try to trace me on Long Lost Family… Davina would have to explain “we found your cousin” que tears “where was she?” “Under a table reading Malory Towers for the last 30 years”.
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So… I had my baby boy and as all new mothers know, time passed in a blur of sleepless nights and nappy changes. As his personality and motor skills developed, so did his “divil-ness”. I tried to keep toys gender neutral but he gravitated to cars and would spend most of the day lining them up (another story for another day).

Baby number 2, another boy arrived 3 years later and I made the common parenting error of proclaiming “they’ll be SUCH good friends!”ensuring a fraternal feud of biblical proportions.

I was still fielding the question “will you try for a girl?” when I discovered I was pregnant again; my second son was only 9 months old! I went to the 20 week scan alone as my husband drove circles around the Rotunda with our 2 boys howling for me in the back.

The doctor placed the scanning device on my tummy and I said “you don’t need to tell me, I can see his willy!”  I had no feeling of disappointment, my baby was healthy and “another little friend,” I’m sure Mrs. Gallagher thought the same when Liam was born.

So here we are.. I currently live in a house with 4 men… aged 3, 4, 7 and 38. People are fond of saying “a boy wrecks your house, a girl wrecks your head”. Mine do both although I’m not sure which comes first.. it’s a chicken and an egg scenario. I am still baffled by this species and watch them like David Attenborough would a pack of volatile hyenas.

They seem to enjoy wrestling each other and I’ve learnt to walk away as what nerve I have left can’t take it but they laugh until it inevitably ends in tears…mine.  They find it hard to sit still and I call them my 1970s rock band as they can trash a room in minutes. I’ve lost two TVs in this manner; they didn’t quite get them out the window but middle boy frisbeed a wooden jigsaw at the youngest who ducked (third child is a pro at self-defence) and the TV was shattered.

I sometimes sit in the eye of the storm and am torn between uploading it to youtube or threatening a strike. I’ve tried it all… charts, naughty step, pleading, bribery, consistency….but they only listen when I go to Defcon 1 so I now parent like that sergeant from Full Metal Jacket and am constantly sucking on a strepsil.

I can’t visit many houses as for some reason people are not appreciative of our company and I’ve taken to arriving at my parents with no warning and my own key just to get out.

giphy-26.gif I need to be more outdoorsy and it’s on my giant to-do-list (just above baking cakes and right under learning a language) but I do love to play computer games with them. We play Plants Vs Zombies on the Xbox and I scream along with them and it’s FUN. I must drop a bottle of wine in next door. 

As much as they are like 3 crazed ninjas (think Pink Panther’s Cato) they compensate with their unabashed love for me. I am showered with kisses and cuddles all day and they fight to massage my feet and whisper in my ear at bedtime that when they grow up they want to marry mammy. I’m aware this won’t last and I can tolerate the mess (on a good day) and the toilet seat situation if I’m paid in compliments and snuggles. 

About the Author

Mother of 3 young boys, blogging about poo, post-baby vags and other beautiful aspects of parenting and domestic slavery.

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