I think everyone has heard of the book Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. I haven’t personally read it, however living with three boys does give me a pretty good idea of the key themes. I am one of three girls so had very much always lived in a more female dominated environment. Then nearly 9 years ago, starting with #MJM, the Milne boys started to shift this. Earlier this year we went on holiday with two other families both of which had daughters, and after spending 10 days in close quarters, the conclusion that they were raising their families on Venus while we were clearly on Mars was insurmountable.
Boys seem to have an attraction to “dirty things”. #SHJM collects sticks and stones like a proud puppy, he can’t help but come back from any trip outside the four walls of our home without one and he tends to gravitate to particularly filthy and decaying specimens. We have actually had to implement the rule of “no sticks in the bedrooms”. When I say “sticks”, tree branches twice his height would be a more appropriate description. Half the time I don’t even notice he has them and then suddenly I’m clambering over them to get through the front door with a pram, bike and the predictable entourage of items required when leaving the house with 2 kids. The next rule close to being implemented is “no stones in the fridge”. Seriously the fridge?! I live in naive hope this phase will be short lived but we are closely monitoring the situation. I have broached the subject a number of times to try and find a reason or purpose yet the logical reason of “Because I need to Mummy!” is all that I have been offered. These stones and branches are removed subtly from our house under the cover of darkness a few days after they appear and a few days later the cycle starts all over again and more are brought home.
Living with boys means there are balls everywhere, and not just anatomical ones! Footballs, rugby balls, tennis balls, basket balls. I tried and failed to implement a “no ball games in the house rule”, and was quickly told by #MJM I should pick my battles. A compromise was made, and the rule edited to be “only in the corridor” limiting the likely hood of balls coming into contact with photos, ornaments, flowers, #ARWM and more importantly me! I’m not sure how we got so many, the only logical explanation I can come up with, is they multiply every time they touch one and other. #MJM and #SHJM spend many a blissful hour wondering around with balls at their feet wearing just a t-shirt and their pants (or nappy in #SHJMs case).
Why do guys just love hanging in their pants? (a.k.a. underwear for the non-Brits). I have spent a small fortune on lounge wear, purchasing a huge variety of shorts that give #MJM the feeling he is in his pants yet looking more presentable. Yet he and #SHJM seem to be in a permanent state of “half dress”. This seems to be a deep rooted evolutionary trait as when my dad comes to visit, he senses the balance is in the testosterone corner and suddenly joins this half-dressed tribe. They roam around the house in a state of semi-undress whilst playing with balls (both kinds). I’m desperately clinging on to #ARWM at the moment but I can already feel the pull of the others on him. #MJMs inability, or maybe refusal, to do up poppers on a baby grow is only making this worse. Why can’t men use poppers?!
Admittedly, one thing this look is perfect for, is wrestling. When you are surrounded by boys you have to at all times be ready for an impending attack. #SHJM is ready at any moment to embark on a wrestle. If he sees you even slightly let your guard down he will pounce like a lion on its prey. Dare to bend down to pick up a stick / stone / ball and he will silently leap from nowhere. Even poor #ARWM isn’t safe although he does seem resilient thankfully!
I had always imagined myself being a mum of boys and lots of them! I have a “feeder” instinct deep within me and I always envisaged having loads of hungry boys around the dinner table to feed. Well I should have been careful what I wished for as #SHJM started as he meant to go on. As a baby he fed every 2 hours day and night! As a near three-nager I lose count of the number of times in a day he says “I want a snack” and often has 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners in a day. When picturing my idyllic dinner table scene I didn’t take into account the realities of feeding hungry boys with relentless and insatiable appetites.
Obviously though, I love it! I am so lucky to have not just one, but three men in my life and while I cling to the hope I will one day convert them to be short lovers, I do love our life on Mars.
Mummy Milne xx