After my last blog on pre-pubescent girls, so many people asked me when I would come up with a reassuring piece on boys. Boys!!?? The only thing I really know about boys is that I have one, and he likes guns and blood and stupid video games with the plenty of the forementioned, turned up to an extreme volume, enthusiastically accompanied by the only other male in this house, his Dad.
I look at my son most of the time and think to myself, I have absolutely no idea what to do with you! I don’t know how your mind works, or how your boy feelings function. I don’t know why you find bugs irresistibly collectible, or why you think it’s funny to open the dog-poo bin when your mates face is positioned right next it. I don’t understand the massive appeal of countless hours of riding your bike or the sheer desperation of wanting the best longboard/penny/skateboard in the street. I really don’t get how you can leave a soggy banana in the bottom of your school bag for over a week and not be all that bothered when you find it. Our yard is littered with various parts of bikes and scooters that you inexplicably, absolutely HAVE to dismantle and I’m not allowed to throw them in the bulk rubbish pile in case of future usefulness for your next building project.
I will never comprehend the point of watching the TV shows you like about racing cars, driving trucks, smashing bikes or just generally blowing stuff up. Your fascination with the book that your father got you, that shows you how to hunt and skin a rabbit frankly just disturbs me, and your inability to pee anywhere but on the toilet seat has left me with many a wet-arsed worry that maybe, although never having tried it myself, we haven’t quite taught you the knack, or the importance, of that life skill just yet!
I worry about being a Mum to a boy. I worry that although I’m confident that I’m teaching him the right things, I may not be teaching them the right way. I don’t have any brothers, only one male cousin and not many present uncles so I’m flying by the seat of my very untrained pants when it comes to moulding my little man. But I think I may know someone in my house that may be a little more experienced.
My husband’s life dream came true when we had our son. All his visions of motorbikes and fishing and footy games played out on his face as our son literally barged into the world. The bond between them is an alliance, the boys versus the girls. And it’s an exclusive understanding, like a code amongst those endowed with a penis. One of my husband’s self confessed proudest moments was when we found a Bra’s N Things catalogue hidden under our son’s pillow. The two of them watch Nascar and Grand Prix racing just to witness the crashes, and race to our front window to eagerly witness the hoon neighbours burnout in our street. They burp and fart as naturally as I breathe, and laugh uncontrollably at the testicle-crushing antics of JackAss. While I don’t understand our son and the things he loves, my husband relates to him completely, still finding a child-like excitement in Lego houses and toy guns.
So whilst I believe it’s my motherly prerogative to raise my son to do the right thing, I will leave it to my husband to teach him the right way. Despite ours sons obsession with football and annoying his sisters, he also loves to bake cakes and secretly cuddle his Mum, so I think we must be getting the balance right. My son is an enigma to me, a puzzle of a picture I have never seen. But we’ll always love and be proud of who he is, and the role we had to play, no matter what the picture turns out to be.
By Clancy Briggs
Clancy Briggs has been “learning on the job” since becoming a Mum 10 years ago. She struggles daily with her role in the home as well as in the world and is a self-proclaimed “sporadically irresponsible” parent! She lives with her 3 gorgeously feral children, her long-suffering husband and their domestic zoo, is seriously addicted to chocolate and the idea that someday she will find her inner enlightenment and everything in her life will run smoothly!