Slugs and snails and puppy dogs tails, that’s what little boys are made of

Boys often get a bad press – sure they are energetic, and often noisy, but with that comes a passion and sense of fun. Today we have a post from Emily Vest, in defence of all things boy!

Emily writes the Brits in Bosnia blog about living in the north-eastern city of Tuzla in Bosnia with her long suffering husband, two energetic boys and food obsessed dog.


For some reason boys aren’t really celebrated. People will flash a look of sympathy at the mother trying to extricate her mud covered sons from half way up a tree. With two boys of my own, I’m quite used to that sympathetic look. But I have to say, I like having boys. I love their energy, their passion, their cuddles, and their sense of humour. I love that they will climb anything and I love that they offer to teach our neighbour’s daughters the same tricks.

I asked a couple of other ‘mothers of brothers’ what they most enjoy about their boys. The mothers responded with enthusiasm and affection, relishing the chance to say why boys are a joy and not just because their nappies are easier to clean and our houses aren’t inundated with pink.

The affection of our boys is a constant delight. ‘They are affectionate, loving and cuddly – with me and with each other. Brothers might bash each other over the head sometimes but they are terribly loyal. Boys adore their mummies – mine are like a couple of baby bear cubs when they cuddle up to me in bed in the morning’, says Nappy Valley Girl. We don’t know, not having a daughter between us, if it is the same for girls, but we like that our boys love their mummies and hope that in our dotage we will have some lovely young men to be protective of us. But it is bittersweet, for there is always the worry that our boys will move away from us when they marry. Already we sympathise with our mothers in law.

In our experience, boys just seem to be more straightforward. ‘They don’t have friendship crises with their friends.,’ says Ella. ‘They just get on with it. They say nice things to and about their friends. Those they don’t like? well, I don’t think they even think about them much less say anything nasty to them or about them’.

Then there is their sense of humour, which could never be classified as complex. ‘Boys think bodily functions hilarious,’ says Angels and Urchins, ‘never stop laughing at slapstick humour (they could watch someone having a custard pie slapped into his or her face all day long) and love being tickled. It’s sweet. I love it’. Looking at the grown up boys you can see this isn’t a phase they are going to grow out of. And when I stop having my grumpy Mummy hat on I have to concede that most of the time it is pretty funny.

Boys are ever so brave, bordering on foolhardy. They will give anything a go. They will climb that tree, learn how to do tricks and jumps. When they fall they laugh and pick themselves up and do it again. Their Mummys get brave too, for as they do all these things, so we end up doing them too. ‘My boys make me braver..’ says Califlorna. ‘I now climb to the top of tall climbing frames to rescue them, cross rope ladders to give them confidence, follow them down half pipes on my skis so that I don’t lose them and ‘get air’ on my sledge following them down the hill.’

Those not used to the energy of boys can find it unnerving.  ‘When friends who only have daughters visit they clearly think our household is out of control,’ admits The MadHouse, ‘as the boys race each other around the kitchen on scooters, have competitions as to who can jump the furthest off the sofa or up in the air. I am used to it to the point of being oblivious (it’s only bleeding or the possibility of a Mike Tyson boxing match that will cause me to stop them). I like it. Not sure why, but it’s so basic that I find it rather endearing’. So yes, occasionally we look in envy at those girls who sit quietly colouring in as our sons are last seen attempting to climb the bookcases. But all that energy does makes them quite straight forward to deal with.

All the Mums agree that a bit (oh alright then, a lot) of fresh air is needed to tire them out. Fresh air play is terrific, messy and life affirming. ‘I love all the mud and muck,’ says Ella. ‘I love that even just going on a walk round the block becomes an adventure, with scary dragons and brave knights at every corner.’ It seems that giving ‘boys plenty of exercise and feeding them every two hours’’ reaps wonderful benefits.

‘I love my boys’ joie de vivre the most.,’ says Diapers and Dragons. ‘They just throw themselves whole-heartedly into everything they do’. There’s no half hearted with boys. They will climb the highest tree. They will ask every possible question about the life cycle of snails and a few that are less possible. They will run and run but they are rewarding, loving and life affirming. Yes, boys should be celebrated for they are terrific.

With thanks to the Mothers of Boys – 23 of them between us and not a daughter in sight.

Brits In Bosnia (www.britsinbosnia.blogspot.com) Nappy Valley Girl (www.nappyvalleygirl.blogspot.com) , Califlorna (www.califlorna.com), Angels and Urchins (www.angelsandurchins.co.uk/blog/), The MadHouse (www.themadhouse-themadhouse.blogspot.com), Most/Least (www.mostleast.com), Diapers &Dragons (www.diapersanddragons.blogspot.com) , Baby Baby (www.sandycalico.blogspot.com ) and The Potty Diaries (www.potty-diaries.blogspot.com )

Visit the Cuddledry website

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11 comments

  1. wendy’s avatar

    I have a girl & a boy and they are both a delight but in such different ways – but then they are both very active and into everything as well & lead lots of tiring out.

  2. Calif Lorna’s avatar

    Nice post Emily. 23 boys between us – we should get them all together and cause havoc somewhere!

  3. TheMadHouse’s avatar

    I love this post. I loved thinking about this post and I loved reading it. I cherish and relish my boys. They are amazing and I think what does it most it that I am a woman and I made boys!

  4. kathryn’s avatar

    Please add another 2!! I’m so sorry – I COMPLETELY forgot – I blame my boys and the hectic life they make me lead :) ) – I love my boys (of course) and I love having boys – they are everything the other Mums mention – they are noisy, untidy, smelly (at times), quite disgusting (my 12 year old at least) but they are funny and they are fun – I melt when they are kind and generous, when they show me how much they love each other and their Mum and when I can still see that although some might think they are growing into young men I know they are still my boys

  5. ella’s avatar

    I’m going to put this post up on my fridge – what a lovely celebration of boys! Boys sure are energetic but our house is always full of life, laughter and bottom jokes!

  6. Noble Savage’s avatar

    I have to laugh when people think my daughter will sit still and do ‘colouring in’ quietly just because she’s a girl. Lordy, how I wish. She climbs trees, loves football, gives lots of cuddles and wants a rainbow unicorn for her birthday. She’s not a ‘girly girl’ and she’s not a ‘tomboy’, she’s just….her. Likewise for my son. He’s obsessed with anything with wheels but he also dotes on his baby dolls and has more patience for drawing than either me or my daughter do.

    I love that neither of them fit the gender stereotype ‘box’ that is touted to them. I do hold a special place for my boy in my heart but I think that’s just because he’s the baby. Only time will tell if I’ll be one of those mother-in-laws who just can’t let go to the ‘other woman’! ;-)

  7. muummmmeeeeee......’s avatar

    I’ve got just the one and despite having a dad, brother and husband, I never realised until I had Harry, the huge difference beween the sexes.

    I love the saying “Boys are like dogs and horses…they need to be exercised daily”…soooo true!

  8. jo.middleton’s avatar

    Lol – I have two girls and would LOVE them to spend the day sitting quietly doing ‘colouring in’ :-)

  9. jo.middleton’s avatar

    That’s a really interesting way of looking at it – I’ve only ever made girls and they feel like a little chunk of me, but to be a woman and make boys must feel pretty clever :-)

  10. Peggy @ Perfectly Happy Mum’s avatar

    I love this post! Thank you so much for it :)

  11. marketingtomilk’s avatar

    Boys rock (even if i am E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D”!
    Great post.
    The image below courteous of the fabulous Thinly Spread sums up what i want in 10 years time. just gorgeous. (scroll down a bit)
    http://christinemosler.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/what-comes-next/

    http://marketingtomilk.wordpress.com

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