A friend of mine recently gave birth to her first baby, a boy. I was inordinately excited not only because it was a long-awaited child but also, I soon realised, because she’d had a boy.
“Welcome to the MOB!!” I exclaimed excitedly in an email reply to her announcement.
Mothers Of Boys. We’re a unique…um…mob. I’m sure mothers of only girls have their unique challenges too but there’s something about being the one outnumbered in the household gender stakes that makes life more interesting. (Any fathers of girl-only households reading this are welcome to write their own blog post perspective.)
It’s quite possible that my friend, down the track, may become a Mother Of Boys And Not Boys but for the time being she is a part of the club. A club in which I am a more-than-paid-up member.
After my first two boys were born and I was pregnant with my third child, I lost count of the number of people who asked “So, are you hoping for a girl?” It got a bit boring so I took to looking at the enquirer in horror and saying, “Oh, goodness, no! Why would I want one of those? I wouldn’t know what to do with one.” (I still don’t.)
Do I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have a daughter? Of course. Do I ever wish one of my boys had been a girl? Never.
Besides, from listening to my girlfriends, bonding time with daughters seems to mainly involve clothes shopping. I’d rather be poked in the eye with a blunt stick (I believe it’s more painful than a sharp one). Give me a Joss Whedon movie outing with my boys any day.
In the hospital, after the birth of my third son, a cleaner told me that when my children were teenagers, I’d be glad I had boys. I held on to that promise through the years of small boys running amok in playgrounds, picking up any remotely pointed object to be used as a weapon, through the three-year-old penis obsessions and the pre-teen biffo and insults. And now, with two teenagers and one on the cusp, I can honestly say she was right. As I watch mothers of teenage girls struggle with the hormonal nastiness, psychological bullying and body image issues, the full-on early boyhood years seem worth it. Boys – my boys at least – are so much more straightforward. Well, as straightforward as parenting any teenager can be.
I can’t wait for the possibility of a cuddle with this newest member of the male race and to recall those thrice-heard words,