I’m not sure what I expected when I started thinking about having a family. Maybe the idea of 2.1 children. I probably thought it would be me and my husband, and that we would have a boy and a girl, add the dog and we’d be sorted. Instead, I got a house of boys – albeit the dog is a girl – well the new puppy is anyway. So what have I learnt in a house of boys?
Both boys are early risers. It doesn’t matter what time they go to bed, whether we have just changed the clocks, it is the height of summer or the depths of winter, they are up by 6am most days and it typically ranges from 5.30-6.30am. Anything past 6.45am is deemed a lie in these days. This is fine by me as I have always preferred to get up early. This morning (as I write this it’s a Saturday and only 7am) so far they have coloured in, had 2 breakfasts, built a tower of blocks and now they are playing balloon football. Soon we will be off to gymnastics. I wonder how many more breakfasts they will have before we go? That’s one of the things I have found – there is no filling them. They are both always on the go; they are always hungry. I dread to think the weekly food bill by the time they are teenagers.
Next, since when did every surface or room (not just the garden) become a sports surface? Our kitchen goes from one minute being a football pitch to a cricket wicket the next. The garden is full of sports equipment. Trainers, football boots and wellies clutter the utility room. Add in my husband Martin’s refereeing kit and our house is literally full. It’s full of balls of all shapes and sizes. No walk is complete without them collecting sticks and ‘flowers’. These are then left collecting in the plant pot by the front door in some form of display to welcome you home. Or the sticks get used as guns and this is despite the fact we have never purchased them a toy gun. Is that just innate in boys?
What else have I learnt since living in a house of boys? Well I have discovered it is noisy. This comes from the mundane activities to the noise (and smells) their bodies make. They seem to be constantly touching part of their anatomy. I am still not sure what to say when one of the boys announces “it’s gone big”. Exactly what should you say to a 3 and 5 year old when they make that statement?
My house does not have the dolls or pink that so many houses are full of. I don’t get to buy pretty outfits for them to wear. Their stock wardrobe is made up of jeans, shorts and t-shirts. Although despite having boys I find I am listening to their adorable versions of “let it go” on none stop loop. I even had to make Henry a Frozen themed birthday cake. Both boys are also extremely loving and affectionate – they want to look after each other, they want to give each other a cuddle and they enjoy snuggling up on the sofa for a cuddle and a story.
I love my House of Boys. It’s mad, it’s noisy and it’s chaotic but they are my family. Yes I feel outnumbered and, yes, I wish sometimes it was just a little bit calmer but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Rachel Coy | North East Sling Library