Why I'm Glad I Had a Boy

11/27/2015




Very soon, Reuben will be 2. That's it, he can no longer pass as a baby. That baby is now a full on boy. And recently I’ve been really glad that I had a boy. But I have a couple of confessions.

1 - I knew I was having a boy. I told everyone I wanted the gender to be a surprise but realistically, did I really need any more surprises? Absolutely not.

 2 -  I didn’t want a boy. I mean, I didn’t want a baby in the first place but I came round to that idea a lot quicker than I did to the idea of having a boy.

There was no question about it. The radiologist showed me his little body parts and I held back tears as she showed me his little boy parts too. I assumed I was destined to have a girl since I had my first ever Baby Born with approx. 350 outfits and I got up at 3am to feed her (it’s easier to get up when it’s a plastic baby). I’m as girly as they get. I wear dresses every day, I don’t like to get dirty, and I like anything that’s pink and sparkly. It was a predicament. All my dreams of us wearing matching outfits were dead.

In all seriousness, after the scan I sobbed the whole way home. It’s a feature that is unspoken of in pregnancy – as long as your baby is healthy you aren’t supposed to have a preference for a boy or girl. But I wanted that connection I have with my own mum where I tell her anything. I thought a daughter would be closer to her questionably young mum. I thought we’d be like sisters. But more importantly I thought we’d be like one of my favourite TV shows - Gilmore Girls. It didn’t matter if the dad drifted in and out, those girls stuck together no matter what. I thought I would never bond with a boy.

I believe my exact words on the way home were ‘is it not bad enough I’m pregnant but now I’m having a BOY!?’ Irrational, I know. But even after he was born and pregnancy hormones had subsided, I still envied my friend for a having a girl. Sometimes I put Reuben’s hair in ponytails. And I used to wonder what I’d call him if he was a girl.

But these days things are different. The older Reuben gets, the more I love his boyish features. And the more I’m glad I had a boy. Here’s some reasons why.

  •  He’s really really energetic. And I’m really really not. All I ever wanted was a child who sat at the table and read books while I looked on smiling sweetly. Instead I have a boy who stacks chairs as high as they can go and then he jumps off them…repeatedly. AND IT’S SO FUNNY. I’m laughing just thinking about it. His energy is contagious! I regularly complain about how exhausting he is as he Just. Doesn’t. Stop. But if I’m honest, I didn’t even know I could laugh the way I do when I’m chasing him round and round. And I didn’t know I had that kind of energy inside me…deep deep down inside me.

  • He’s easy going. I can already see him roll his eyes at me when I’m at that crazy time of the month. He gives me a look that says ‘Mum, chill’ and he reminds me that I have no need to be insane.  

  •   Previously boring things are now super exciting. Like water pistols and fire engines. The other day I was alone and saw a massive Dinosaur shaped balloon and I couldn’t stop thinking about how cool it was. Things are much more thrilling now that I see them through Reuben’s sweet little eyes.

  • His strength. He does everything with gusto. Even when he comes running at me with for a hug, I usually get winded.

  •  Boy clothes. I spent my pregnancy jealously swooning over the girls section but now I don’t bat an eyelid. I love how boys can dress like little men but still look like yummy little babies. Here’s one of my fave outfits recently.



  •  I’ve gained a whole new appreciation for nature. It’s very interesting when Reuben comes to me with a dead fly in his hand and says ‘Mummy fly awwww’, and expects me to cherish it.

  •   He is changing my perception of guys. I have a tendency to dislike men. It’s an issue. But it’s also a work in progress. I honestly believe God gave me Reuben to soften my heart – and I am so thankful.  

  •  There’s something special about having a ‘mummy’s boy’. Little boys are very loving and squishy towards their mamas.These days Reuben has some amazing male influences in his life. It's an answer to prayer. I feel so blessed by them but also a little jealous of their boy bond. I just don't have it. Thankfully, Reuben is a mummy's boy. The hugs, thoughtful gestures (even if it’s a dead fly) and the precious words all melt my heart. Even when Reuben is grown up and doing his own thing and is married or something else horrific, I know we’re both going to have a special mother-son relationship. We’ll remember the years it was ‘just us’ and we’ll still be closer than ever.




A Little Update

11/07/2015

You will have to forgive me. For the last 2 weeks every time I've tried to blog I've either fallen asleep on my laptop or I’ve had to put Reuben back to bed 462937856 times and fallen asleep on his bedroom floor. My life is a vicious circle of sleep deprivation and dribbling on stuff I can’t afford to dribble on.

I also just had to evacuate the McClay Library for a fire drill. I'm obviously not meant to be blogging. Or at least I'm not meant to be blogging in Uni anyway. In my defence, before this I was googling ‘how to use a semi-colon correctly’… so blogging is definitely better use of my time.  

Recently a lot of people have been asking me how on earth I fit everything in. And my special secret recipe is... I don't. If I fit everything in then something suffers, and I don't want that something to be Reuben. Right now there's mince on my living room floor from two nights ago - I can live with that. But it's been a busy few weeks and my constant concern is that Reuben will become another thing to tick off my to-do list. I'm very aware of the need to set aside quality time to spend with him.

I've been going to a parenting course at Liberty and something that has stuck with me is my answer to the question 'What is your favourite fun thing to do with Reuben?' My favourite times with Reuben are the unexpected fun moments in the normal times. I’ve realised you can't organise fun for a toddler. You could organise a whole day of activities and it could be a nightmare. Actually, in Reuben’s case it WOULD be a nightmare. I love the moments where I chase a naked Reubs around the house in the morning trying to dress him. I love the walk home from Uni where he points to every car and says WHATS THAT?!... In his worsening Belfast accent. This is interesting at rush hour. By the time we get home I’m screaming IT’S A CAR OKAY REUBEN!!! But to be fair I live on the Donegal Road so me shouting in the street isn’t the strangest thing that’s happened.


Here’s some of my favourite unexpected fun moments recently; 

- Reuben became a very hands on chef. 
N.B. No toddlers were harmed in the making of this meal. If I'm honest no meals were made in the making of this meal because I don't actually cook. 



- When I planned a cute pumpkin carving activity and he freaked out, climbed onto the window sill, and left me to carve alone. See what I mean? Planned activities - nope, not a chance. 





















- The night he said 'love you' for the first time after devouring 3 kit-kats. 



- One Friday night I caught him gorging on my McFlurry and those nights henceforth have became known as Fat Friday.


- The week he wore that hat everywhere, bed and bath included. And that one time we made it to the park after class. 




- The morning he climbed into the shower with me fully clothed and then ran a bath for himself. 



- When I tried to make buns and forgot about the chocolate I left melting on the cooker. I came out of the toilet to find the kitchen covered in smoke and poor Reuben standing coughing. Ironically, I had ripped the the fire alarm out of the roof the day before because the beeping was annoying me. But don't worry, we stood outside for a little while and all was fine. Again, no one was harmed in my attempt to cook. Interestingly, later on I was reading the book of Daniel where the 3 men are thrown into the fire and they make it out absolutely fine. God was telling me that in life he doesn't promise to save us from the flames but he promises to be with us as we walk through the fire. I wont make a habit of setting my house on fire but at least I learnt something in the process. 

Here's the second attempt at making buns. The sprinkles are still ingrained in the carpet. From reading this blog you're probably thinking 'this girl has a lot of food on her carpet' - you're thinking is right. 




- The day I realised Reuben actually is my son when I returned from getting a drink to find him eating both of our desserts. 



- When I chased him around outside for 25 mins to get a photo for Sunday Style and ended up having to hold 2 lollies and a pack of maltesers behind the camera. Then he shouted abuse at me across the garden for bribing him. 




- The day we dressed up as Elsa and Olaf and all my princess dreams came true. This was one of those times I had 'Teen Mom' written all over me. I regret nothing. 

 

- We booked a front row ticket for Disney on Ice the night before the show and Reuben absolutely loved it. It did my heart good to see him clapping and dancing along. Sure, he tried to run onto the ice a few times but what's a little tantrum embarrassment in front of 10,000 people?


We both have coldsores in the exact same place because I kissed him.
I'm still not sure if this is extremely cute or extremely disgusting.

- Tonight when I tried to take a super cute pre-bath photo of Reuben with his Granda and Reubs shouts at me NO REBECCA!! Can you believe the cheek? This kid acts like he's 21. I'm not even 21 yet! It is definitely MAMA to him until further notice.