What's so bad about boys then?
A friend who is pregnant with twins has just found out she's got two little boys in there. She already has a three year old. She was just looking for reassurance that having three boys is a breeze. This one's for you, Cath.
BC (Before Children) I believed that boys and girls were largely the same until they got hormones, therefore should be brought up in a gender neutral environment. Hah, funny that.
On the other hand, I get quite cross with the women for whom taking a pop at their 'crap' husbands' male characteristics. It's too easy and really doesn't help any of us get along and understand each other. That said, I don't have a daughter so I'm not really qualified to make a proper comparison.
In the 11 years since I spotted my first child's testicles in an ultrasound scan I have had two more sons and learned a few things about male children.
The penis is endlessly fascinating. From the first time a baby finds his and realises it's attached, it will prove to be their favourite toy. What else can give target practice and sensual comfort in the same moment? Boy Two was spotted on the sofa this week with his pulled through a hole in his PJs, absent mindedly stroking it gently.
Farts and other bodily functions are funny... always. OK the look on Boy Three's face was comical when he tried to figure out where that noise had come from, but later when every single toot, parp and guff triggers gales of laughter the joke will wear thin.
There aren't very many ass-kicking female role models for little boys. Bob TB's pearl wearing Wendy, Thomas TTE's Clarissa and the other boring carriage, Minnie Mouse, Peter Pan - another wet Wendy and Harry's swattish Hermione.
Wheels, guns and building toys will always be popular. Even if you only give them 'soft' playthings like dolls and crafty stuff, they will craft a weapon and take Peppa Pig off for a road trip.
Household chores are interesting too, providing there is machinery or construction. Boy Two's favourite toy for a long time was his baby Dyson, Boy Three can't get enough of the dishwasher, tumble dryer or washing machine and Boy One spent hours reorganising the contents of his dolls house. The same wooden dolls house is still one of the most popular toys amongst visiting kids, especially boys.
If you're a boy, what's not to like about traditional role models. While recognising differences, kids appear to be instinctively egalitarian, however sexual stereotypes sneak in and it's easy to see why. If someone suggests that women are there to cook, clean and look after you while you go off to have adventures you're not going to argue, are you?
Boys' don't get the sensibilites of the female ego. Their comments can cut. "Mummy, what are those lines beside your eyes?" "Boy Three is nearly a year old, when is your tummy going to go flat?" "Don't put your hair in a ponytail, that's only for little girls, not old people."
A complement from your son is just the best. "You're beautiful mummy." "You're really sparkly." "Your hair is nice and slippery."
They cannot stop themselves from kicking and throwing things. Live with it. I'm trying to channel it to some use. Currently working on the best thing to get the Boys to throw at the cobwebs on the skylight over the stairs to knock them off. A muslin cloth tied in knot is current favourite.
They will like Doctor Who, You've Been Framed, TV Burp, The Simpsons and anything with superheroes in it, you might as well mug up and join them on the sofa.