Posts Tagged ‘boys’
I try to bring my children up not to be materialistic.
Yes, in Dubai.
We do public beaches and pools, not malls. But still, the materialism permeates like soggy rain: the children want things their friends have. They want things they see on TV.
(I’m a child of wartime parents. My children don’t often get what they want.)
So DS today writes a Christmas wish list.
‘There’s only six things on it,’ he tells me.
I read the list:
Guinness Book of World Records – 2016.
Guinness Book of World Records – 2015 (why?).
Lego City Police sets (‘But DS, you have the police station?’ ‘I know, but there’s loads more I could still get!’)
Laptop (he is six).
Phone (I repeat: he is six).
Now it’s at this point that I start to get embarrassed, for I am the mum who Googled ‘toymaker’; only to realise two minutes later that there is no such thing. It is not something he’s seen on Disney Channel. It’s not something he’s seen on the ads on Channel 5; it’s something out of his imagination.
‘If I get that, Mummy, I’ll be able to make every toy I ever want and never ask you for anything again,’ he says. ‘Please?’
‘Sure,’ I say. ‘Just tell me where to buy it…’
“Mummy, you’re the best mummy in this town,” says DS during his bedtime cuddle.
It’s dark but I raise an eyebrow. Only the best in town? Seriously? I cooked his favourite chili tonight; I’m making chocolate cupcakes with milk chocolate tops tomorrow; I drove 138kms to and from school today for various things. As far as he knows, my days are dedicated to him and his sister.
“Best mummy on EARTH!” he says, squeezing me tighter.
“You’re the best son in the universe,” I say.
“What’s a universe?”
“Not just the earth, but the Moon and stars and planets and all the space in between,” I say. DS cuddles into me, his arms tight around my neck. I kiss his peachy little cheek. He’s nearly five but he still smells of baby. It’s a tender moment.
“You’re the best mummy in the UNIVERSE!” he says. “But now can you get off me? I need to go to sleep.”
When DD was about the age DS now is (four), she knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up: a princess or, failing that (because “how do I become a princess, mummy?”) an art teacher.
DS, on the other hand, aside from thinking he’d rather like to marry mummy, has never given it much thought. But, the other morning, we got a taste of what he may become in the future.
“I want gold,” he said, apropos of nothing.
“Hmm,” said DH, in an aside to me, “a commodities trader?”
“How are you going to get this gold?” I asked DS. “Are you going to earn it? Or trade for it?”
“Neither! I’m going to be a pirate and steal it!”
[I, meantime, vow to work harder on establishing the work ethic and simultaneously strike Somalia off the list of places we could retire.]
I’m a girl-mum. It’s not surprising since I had a girl first. Ever since my first pregnancy, all I knew was “girl”; everything was pink and purple, Angelina Ballerina, hairclips, dollies, prams, colouring, fairy wings, shoes and handbags.
But now, even though I have a boy, I’m still a girl-mum. I just “get” girls better – I get the hairstyles; I get the twirly dresses, the jewellery, the stationery, the high heels – I even get the emotional complexity (but ask me again when she’s 15).
Initially I thought I’d never get used to “boy”, but, generally, I am getting there. He’s a simpler creature; his emotions are black and white; his needs more basic (hungry / tired / needs a hug is about it).
But I still get caught out when I have to take DS to the hairdresser. When it’s DD’s turn, we’ve looked at hairstyles online. We discuss her hair type, the care routine and the products. We know exactly what we want and we give the hairdresser precise instructions. But my first trip to the barber for DS’s haircut caught me short.
“How you want it?” asked the (rather cute) young Lebanese chap.
“Um. Cut?” I asked.
His eyebrows rose.
I tried again: “Shorter?”
It hadn’t even occurred to me that there were “styles” for boys. That there might be a decision involved at the barber’s.
And even now we’re a good two years and plenty of haircuts down the line, I still get taken aback when the (flirty Syrian) stylist asks what I want.
“Shorter at the back,” I say, imagining Hugh Grant in Notting Hill, “and a bit longer on top?”
“And the sides?” he asks.
“Cut?” I suggest.
“Clipper or scissors?” he asks.
And, really, at that point, I’m like “Can I just sit down while you make his hair shorter? However you see fit? Seriously, do you have any sparkly pink hairclips that DD and I can look at?”